Choosing a vet for your puppy
After you and your family, your dog's vet is the most important person in his life. After all, the vet will be responsible for maintaining his good health throughout his entire life. So how do you choose a veterinarian that will provide the best possible care?
One of the best ways to find the right vet for you is to seek out recommendations from people close to you whose opinion you trust. If you know someone or have a friend in your area with a dog or a cat, ask them where they take their pet and get their honest opinion on the quality of service provided.
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Alternatively, a good place to start your search for a vet is a browse through the phone book or search across the web. Proximity is important because you don't want to have to drive for an hour to receive emergency treatment for your ailing dog, so prioritise those nearest you. Select a couple of practices in your area and call to see if they'd mind you dropping by to visit and introduce yourself.
Remember, you don't need to bring your dog for this initial visit. This is purely for you to get a feel for the place and the people to see if it’s a good fit. There are few things you will want to keep top of mind. Is it clean? Are the staff professional? If you get the chance to meet the vets, are they friendly, patient and approachable? Ultimately, you're going to be entrusting your dog's life to these people so feeling comfortable with them is a must.
Find out if they are a solo or group practice. Most veterinary clinics have one vet and several nurses to treat animals. On the other hand, group practices are increasingly common because they allow a pool of skills to be available to the patients. However, a group practice is not necessarily guaranteed to be better than a single vet practice.
Cost is an important factor to take into consideration when it comes to the choice of a vet for your dog’s treatment. Veterinary care can be expensive so it’s worth asking about Pet insurance once you have narrowed down your list of potential clinics for your pet.
Another important factor to remember is emergency care. A veterinary practice will have specific arrangements to cater for emergencies 24 hours a day. Make sure to do your homework on what the policy is for emergency cases and where they are referred.
You don’t have to look too far for the best advice, take a tip from your dog and follow your instincts. Above all, what you want in a veterinarian is someone who cares deeply about animals, especially your dog.
Your vet will frequently be your first line of contact for many of the trials and tribulations you will likely encounter as a dog owner, so choose someone you feel you can relate to as well as communicate openly and honestly with.