When looking for a veterinarian, the sooner the better. Even if you’re getting ready to purchase or adopt a dog, choosing your veterinarian before you bring your buddy home is a great idea. When your dog is sick or hurt, you will feel relieved to get the help he needs right away rather than spending important time searching for a veterinarian.
STARTING YOUR SEARCH
Finding the right veterinarian can take a while, but it is worth your time. When your buddy needs medical attention, you will feel happy to enlist the help of someone you know and trust. To begin your search, ask dog owners you know for recommendations. Other resources include obedience schools, professional groomers, local breeders, and boarding kennels. When you’ve received some referrals, check out the clinics. Many people feel more comfortable choosing a veterinarian after visiting the hospital, meeting the staff, and asking any questions they might have.
CHECKING THE CLINIC
Good questions can help you choose the right veterinarian. First, ask about the clinic’s office hours. Pet owners with places to go and things to do might find flexible hours appealing. Then ask how emergencies are handled, whether the office is open or closed. Should your dog need emergency care during the holidays, will someone be available? What veterinary services are offered? Would these include X-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, surgery? Different veterinarians may provide different coverage. Ask whether they will refer you to a specialist if they cannot otherwise provide a service your dog needs.
CHECKING THE DOCTOR
Once you find your favorite clinic, make sure that you have the right doctor. Every veterinarian is different, and you should feel comfortable enough with yours to leave your dog in her hands. She should be knowledgeable and welcoming, receptive to your concerns and pleased to address your questions. In the event of an illness or injury, she should always explain the diagnosis and treatment in a way that you can understand and elaborate if necessary. And of course, both your veterinarian and the staff should treat your dog kindly and respectfully.
YOUR VETERINARY MATCH
Veterinary clinics are unique wherever you find them, and so are dog owners. With enough research, you can establish a healthy veterinary match for you and your dog.