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Even before you bring your new dog home, you must have already thought of a million things to make everything perfect for him. Getting the best dog food, the right bedding, and so much more. Soon enough, it will also be time for your first check-up. And what if he gets sick or injured?
Finding the right veterinarian (before you need him in an emergency!) could be vital for a healthy, happy dog.
Selecting the Right One
1. Ask around. It is very important that you pick the vet early on. You don’t want to wait until it is already time to see him before you even consider your options. Ask your friends and neighbors where they usually take their pets. References are indisputably one of the best ways to get first-hand information. Their experiences will help you make sound decisions for your dog.
2. Take a pre-visit. If you have the luxury of time, try to pre-visit your pick of veterinarian; ideally, without your pet. This will give you the opportunity to watch things through the outsider’s point of view without having to be involved on what is happening. Meet the staff and get an impression of the place. Find out the vet’s experience, background, and expertise.
3. Analyze each person’s behavior. During your first visit, observe the vet as well as the assistants’ mannerisms. If you see that other animals seem to feel at ease with the staff, and in turn, the assistants also appear to be comfortable with the pets, then you might say that you are in a good vet’s office. However, bear in mind that a nice vet is almost as important as a certified one. Also, you need to consider that the right veterinarian will care for your pet as much as you do. He or she should be able to relate to you and your dog effectively. The right one will be more than willing to answer any question you might have.
4. Ask for an office tour. You can tell a lot about a person’s work ethic through the cleanliness of his or her work environment. The veterinarian’s office ought to be clean. Yes, pet odors are natural but they should never be overwhelming. Explore the office and see the kennels as well as exam rooms.
5. Consider the office location. Choosing the veterinarian who resides near your home is vital as time is of essence when accidents happen. If possible, pick one close by. It will also be a big plus if the vet’s office provides 24-hour or after-hours emergency care services.
6. Do some research. Use the web to look for blogs and articles that might give you a wealth of useful information. Check the Veterinary Medical Board to find out if the office of your choice has received any complaints in the past. Since each state has its own board, it won’t be hard to discover whether or not your potential practicing vet is certified. Besides, the board further gives access to the vet’s records, certification, education, licenses, and affiliation.
You’ll know when you’ve found the right vet. During visits, you’ll feel at ease, your pet will feel at ease, and you’ll notice that you trust your vet to give your dog the best care possible. If you aren’t feeling any of these things, keep looking.
How did you find the right vet? Have you ever had an awful experience that made you find a new one? Share your stories with our readers!