Take time to choose your vet carefully. You will rely on his or her expertise for many years to come.
You and your vet are your dog's health care team; you observe and report, your vet diagnoses and treats. Your veterinarian will arrange a schedule of vaccinations and regular check-ups, maintain a medical history of your dog, and provide preventive, critical, and emergency care. Your partnership with your vet will be a long-term relationship. Working together, you and your vet can help your dog have a healthy, happy life.
Start your search by asking people you know for recommendations. Turn to:
Ask fellow dog owners:
Compile a list of at least six vets to check out.
Once you have a list of six or more vets to choose from, get on the phone and call the vets' offices. Gather information to compare and contrast and narrow down your list. Note how you are treated over the phone. Staff and doctors should be courteous, pleasant, and willing to listen and talk with you. Here are some basic questions to consider:
Consider phone manner, location, proximity, payment methods, and emergency procedures to narrow down your list to two or three choices. Make arrangements to visit each office. Keep this handy checklist in mind when you visit.
The tone of the vet's response is as important as the content. Vets are generally qualified, so ease of communication is critical. You should be able to understand your vet's response and feel comfortable communicating with the doctor.
Observe how the staff treats you and how they interact with each other. Different offices have different styles and you should find the one that suits you. Every practice should be friendly, helpful and caring.
Once you decide on a vet, take your dog for a visit. Do not wait until you have an emergency to get acquainted. Observe how the doctor and the staff treat your pet. The more you know about your vet and the more your vet knows about your dog, the better.