Finding a veterinarian
One of the most important people you will come to depend on during the life of your dog as well as a consistent source of help and information is your veterinarian. You should think of your vet as a family GP for your pets…
When to find a veterinarian
You can begin the search for a great veterinarian even before you have selected your puppy or even the breed of dog that you wish to adopt. A good vet will often be able to provide information on what breed would suit you and your family. They may even have clients that are owners of Japanese Spitz for example if you are looking to adopt a Japanese Spitz puppy and can provide you with more information on your chosen breed. It is important to have found a veterinarian before you pick up your puppy though as you will want your veterinarian to give them a full check over to ensure your new puppy is healthy.
Where to look for a veterinarian
There are many directories, both on the internet (such as local business searches) and in physical form (eg Yellow Pages etc) that list the contact details for many veterinarians. One of the best sources of great vets are your friends and family that already own pets and can recommend their veterinarian as they would most likely be happy with them for many years. Another source to find a veterinarian that is familiar with your puppy already would be the vet that has given your puppy its first vaccination and possibly their microchip also. Their contact details will be found on your puppy’s vaccination card that you receive with your puppy when you pick him or her up.
What should I look for when choosing a veterinarian?
Walk past and drop in, and if possible speak to the staff to get an overall feel of the place and their practice. Some clinics will appoint a particular vet to your pets while other vet clinics will assign whichever vet is first available to treat your pets when you go in with them. Ask whether they are accredited by the governing body in your country (eg. the Australian Veterinary Association for vets in Australia). If your vet operates from a clinic, have a look around at the facilities and ensure you are happy with the cleanliness and maintenance of both the rooms and equipment. Make sure you ask plenty of questions about your dog’s future care such as the level of care that they can provide such as the number of vets on staff, overnight observation, home visits, specialist surgery, puppy school, specialist programs such as weight management etc. Ask about the price of routine practices such as vaccinations and desexing to make sure they are within your price range and if the vet practice is accredited by your pet insurance company if you have a policy. Most vets appreciate clients asking plenty of questions about their dog’s care but just don’t turn it into an interrogation!! Make sure that you are comfortable with the veterinarian and their practice, as what suits one person may not suit another.
What happens if I decide to change vets?
The biggest fear that most owners have when they want to change vets for any reason whether that be due to moving or just not completely happy with their current veterinary practice is that they will lose all of their dogs medical history when they go to the new vet. This is not the case as most vets these days will have the records in a digital format that can be emailed to you or your new vet. Even vets that still use medical record cards can post out the records to your new vet or even hand them over to you.