Choosing the right Veterinarian for you


Many of us find ourselves in the situation of having to look for a new veterinarian on occasion.  We have put some tips and suggestions together to help you find a good vet.


Ask your neighbors

If you have just moved to a new location and are settling into a new neighborhood, start looking around and seek out those families with pets.  Ask them for a vet recommendation and if they like their current vet.


Ask your groomer

Your groomer may give you recommendations for a good vet.  These individuals work with dogs all day long, and they talk to their clients.  A groomer can be a valuable resource.


Ask your breeder

 Your pet’s breeder may be able to help you with finding a good vet, especially if they live near you.


Ask a Vet Hospital near you

If you have had to take your vet in for emergency service, that vet hospital may be able to give you a referral for a regular veterinarian in your area.


American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

  Check the website - for a vet in your local area.  AAHA accredited vet hospitals mean that the vet clinic has meet a certain elevated medicine and surgery standard as set by this organization.  Bear in mind, that bedside manner and personality are not part of the requirement to become an AAHA approved vet facility, so there is no guarantee that the practice or the vet will be good.


Visit the Vet Clinics in your area

Take some time and go and visit the vet clinics in your area.  Explain to the receptionist that you are new in town and looking for a good vet.  Look around and take in the environment – is the reception area clean, do the clients in the waiting room look calm, does the room smell clean?  Ask the receptionist questions – what are their hours, do they offer emergency services, how long does it take to get an appointment, what is the cost of an office visit, etc.  Do the people at the reception desk seem knowledgeable and able to answer the basic pet questions?  Ask them how long it will take you to get an appointment if you have an urgent problem.  If you are going to visit several vet clinics, then you may want to ask a common questions such as “What is the cost of a dental”, “What do you charge for a spay”, “What do you charge for a neuter”?  Keep a notebook of the costs, and then you will be able to compare the price differences from the individual vet clinics.  A good tip is to take your pet with you when visiting these vet clinics.  You will be able to watch your pet and see if he/she is calm when you enter the facility.  If your pet appears agitated or distressed, then leave and continue your search.  Our pets are wonderful assistants when it comes to finding a new vet.  Some clinics may provide tours of the clinic to a new prospective client, so you may want to ask if it is possible to take a tour of their facility.


Interviewing a new vet

Once you have found a vet clinic you think you may like, make a wellness appointment for your pet.  When you and your new vet meet for the first time, look for the following:

               Does the vet treat you as well as he/she treats your pet?

               Does the vet try to put your pet at ease by a pet on the head, or by talking to the animal gently?

               Does the vet appear to be receptive when you ask a question?

               Does the vet encourage you to ask questions?


Once you think you have found the new vet for you, here are some other questions you may consider asking:

What kind of anesthesia does the vet use on toy dogs?  The answer to this question should be isoflourine or sevoflourine.  If the vet tells you they use the same anesthesia on all dogs, find yourself a new vet!!  Toy dogs require special anesthesia and cannot tolerate the anesthesia given to larger dogs.

Does your vet confer with other vets when he/she does not know the answers to a problem or illness?  The answer to this question should be yes.

 Does your vet give lepto vaccine with the Distemper shot?  If you live in an area where lepto is a problem, then your vet may be justified in giving your toy dog lepto.  If you live in an area where there are no cases of lepto, your vet should not give your toy dog lepto.  Many toy dogs experience problems with the lepto vaccine.

What is your vet’s policy on vaccines for toy  dog breeds?

Is your vet  familiar with the diseases that are hereditary in your breed of dog?

Does your vet return your phone calls in a timely manner?

Some states require that your veterinarian take continuing education courses on a yearly basis.  Through conversation with your vet, you may want to ask him/her what kind of courses they take and what topics are of interest to them.

We hope these tips help you in your search for a new vet!!!


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