As a responsible dog owner, you should take choosing a veterinarian for your dog just as seriously as you would take choosing a pediatrician for your child. When you get a new puppy, he will establish a trusting relationship with his vet from the first visit. This relationship will be an important one and your vet will be able to better understand your pet’s ailments, his quirks, and so forth. By choosing the right vet, one who is compassionate, patient, and kind, you will all benefit from the relationship.
Your dog’s vet will become a big part of both of your lives. He will be able to help you through scary times and through times of happiness and growth. He will prescribe foods, vitamins, regimens, and medications to help your dog when he needs help the most. You and your dog should feel comfortable around your vet and you both should feel trust in him.
How to Choose?
One of the best ways to find a reputable veterinarian who is both professional and caring is to ask your friends. People are very critical when it comes to caring for their pets. If someone doesn’t rise to the occasion or exceed expectations, people will quickly call them on it and there will be no glowing recommendations. However, when a vet does something spectacular or personal for someone, they easily gain praise and new clients. If you don’t know anybody in the area, try out local animal shelters. They usually work with vets who are very dedicated provide their services for free to needy animals.
There are many questions to consider when choosing a vet:
- Is this a specialty vet who works with certain animals or certain problems?
- Does the vet have an emergency line or work after-hours?
- Is he open on weekends or during times when are convenient for your schedule?
- Does he currently accept new patients?
- Is he prompt in returning phone calls?
- Is it easy to get an appointment?
- Is the office clean and inviting to you and your pet?
- Is the staff friendly and courteous?
- Is the vet the only one or is it a practice with other vets?
- Is the office equipped for emergencies and surgeries?
What’s the Next Step?
Once you find a vet, make an appointment for a routine check-up. You can use this as an opportunity to see if you like the vet and the office, and to see whether your dog will get along well there or not. Once you get your foot in the door, take note of some things that might be of importance:
- How do the receptionist and staff treat you both?
- Is everything hygienic?
- How does the exam room measure up to your expectations?
- Is the vet patient and welcoming or hurried and cold?
- Does she seem to push products on you or is she really listening to what your concerns are?
If everything checks out to your liking, you’ve found your vet! If not, you are not obligated to go back and you are free to try another vet until you are satisfied.