How To Choose A Veterinarian For Your Dog

The role of “pet mom” or “pet dad” means that you are responsible for a living being. That responsibility brings with it the need to find a veterinarian to care for your dog for both wellness-related issues or forhow to choose a vet care in emergency medical situations.

How can you choose the best vet for your dog? There are myriad items to keep in mind when you are seeking care for your dog and for many pet parents, the search for a vet begins before the dog or puppy is even brought home. Just as you wouldn’t choose a family physician from a simple internet search, nor should you choose your veterinarian without doing some research.

World Veterinary Day (April 28) is being celebrated and this is the perfect time to talk about how to choose a vet for your dog. 

How To Choose A Veterinarian For Your Dog

Did you know you can set up a consultation with a veterinarian before you bring your dog in? You can. Call a veterinary practice you are considering and ask to schedule an appointment for a tour of the facility and to meet with the vet. You may be charged a fee for this as your visit will be taking the vet away from his or her patients. 

Whether you’re moving to a new area or if you’re simply unhappy with your current veterinarian, take the time to meet with a potential vet before you need to take your dog in for a visit.

How to choose a veterinary practice?

  1. Do you want a practice that is American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited? Some pet parents will only utilize AAHA-accredited practices. Ask the potential vet practice when you call whether they are accredited. Keep in mind, even if a practice isn’t accredited, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great practice.
  2. Ask friends and family for recommendations for a veterinarian.
  3. Ask the shelter where you’re adopting a puppy or dog who they use for the animals in their care.

What should you think about when looking for a new vet?

  • Schedule the consultation without your dog.
  • Ask how many vets are on staff.
  • What after-hour emergency services do they provide?
  • Are they convenient for you to get to? If there were an emergency, how far will you have to drive to get to the vet?
  • If your pet has unique health issues, ask the vet if he or she is comfortable with those issues.
  • Ask for a tour of the public spaces of the practice.
  • Do you feel comfortable with the staff?
  • How easy will it be for you to schedule a well visit for your dog? Can you get in rather quickly as a new patient or do you have to wait weeks or months?

 When you’re at the consultation, here are soem questions to ask (ideal info for a first-time dog owner) 

  • Are you AAHA-accredited? Remember, this isn’t a deal breaker for many.
  • How do you monitor and care for overnight patients?
  • What if my dog needs care your practice can’t provide, do you have a referral network?
  • How will you determine whether my dog is healthy enough for anesthesia? What kind of pre-surgical testing do you do?
  • If my dog is in pain, how do you manage that?
  • Do you have vet techs on staff? May I meet them?
  • How long have you been in business? How long have your staff been with you?
  • Are cats and dogs kept in separate areas?
  • Do you have the equipment to perform ultrasounds, x-rays or other diagnostic testing or will I have to go elsewhere?
  • Do you specialize in a particular area? Senior dogs, etc.
  • Do you provide estimates of care to be provided? What are your general fees for wellness visits and the like?
  • Do you accept dog health insurance?

If you’re taking your dog to the vet on April 28, thank your vet for the excellent care they provide to your furry family member. 

About FIDO

There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.

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