Your vet is a pretty significant figure in your dog’s life – and also in yours. Hopefully, you’ll only ever need him or her for routine checkups and preventative procedures. But you never know, so it’s worth taking the time to develop a good relationship with a suitable vet before you need their services.
Where Do I Look?
Sure, you could just pick a vet at random from the Yellow Pages or from an Internet search, but having the right canine vet is crucial to your dog’s health and happiness. Think about it this way, if you were trying to choose a doctor for yourself would you be happy to just select one at random from an impersonal list?
Probably not. The best place to start looking for a canine vet is by word of mouth. If you have any friends or relatives who take good care of their dogs, then that’s a great place to start looking for a good canine vet. Ask them who they’d recommend and why.
This one is particularly important, because everyone has different priorities. For example, perhaps they like their own canine vet because he/she is a specialist in their own particular breed; or they don’t charge very much; or the clinic is only five minutes’ drive. Their priorities are not necessarily yours, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your values coincide with the person giving the recommendations. Once you have a list of canine vets that you’re interested in pursuing further, all you have to do is call up the clinic and explain that you’re looking to find a regular vet for your dog(s) and if you can come in for a quick chat, introduce your dog, and have a look at the premises.
Things to Ask the Vet
While you’re at the clinic, you’ll want to be assessing your potential vet’s overall attitude and approach to health care and animals; and you’ll also probably want answers to some specific questions.
Here’s a list of useful questions to help you on your way:
What kind of testing and analysis capabilities does the clinic have? If they have to send away to a lab for this kind of stuff, it means that the results are going to be delayed. If your dog is very sick, time is an important factor, its best if the clinic has at least blood-analysis testing on hand. What after-hours services are available? A lot of clinics close the doors in the evenings and on weekends, which means that if there’s an emergency you’ll have to go somewhere else – and subject your dog (and yourself) to an unfamiliar canine vet. If you don’t mind this, then that’s fine. But be aware that in a high-stress situation when emotions are running high, it’s reassuring for your dog and yourself to deal with someone familiar.
And of course there’s the issue of money: What’s their price range? How are payments made? Do they have payment plans in case of unexpected vet bills? The payment-plan option is particularly important. Even with pet insurance, vet bills can sometimes be astronomical – and not everyone has the resources to deal with large vet bills right away. Ask the clinic how they cater for situations like that.
Making the right choice
When you choose a canine vet, you’re balancing convenience and quality. There’s no right or wrong vet for you and your dog – which is partly why making the choice can be so confusing. There are lots of canine vets to choose from and they’re all different! A good vet knows how to take care of you as well as your dog. The relationship that you have with your vet will hopefully be one that’s based around a healthy mutual respect and positive energy - there should be very little room for misunderstanding. When the two of you see eye to eye, it makes caring for your dog that much easier.
Now off you go, your dog needs some exercise.
T.F. Jackson writes product reviews and articles on dog obedience training and on dog health issues. You can learn more about the wonderful world of dogs by visiting his weblog K-9 Corner:http://www.k-9corner.blogspot.com
All Pet Furniture, part of CSN Stores, is a niche market retailer designed with your precious pet in mind. Our store features a comprehensive selection of pet supplies that spans all price points and styles. Browse our store at www.Allpetfurniture.com to find the perfect gift for your furry friend. If you have any questions, our expert customer service staff is ready to help!