Choosing a Veterinarian

A veterinarian will be of tremendous help to you during Fido's puppyhood and will be able to guide you through the vaccination process, spaying and neutering, and any accidents or injuries Fido might have. After all, puppies are clumsy and invariably hurt themselves at some point during puppyhood.

Worse yet, puppies eat anything they can get into their mouths, and your vet can help soothe that upset tummy.

There might be several veterinarians doing business in your neighborhood or city. All probably have nice clinics and informative advertisements in the local phone book. So, how do you find the right vet for you and your dog? Most pet owners find the professionals they work with through word-of-mouth referrals. Ask dog-owning friends and neighbors which veterinarian they do business with and why. Are they happy with her services? What do they like and dislike? How are her prices?

When you have a couple of different names that seem to come up again and again, call each of these vets and make an appointment—not for Fido, but just to go in and talk with the vet. By leaving your dog at home, you can concentrate on getting to know this veterinarian without the distractions of a puppy. Be prepared to pay for this office visit, as you are taking some of the vet's time, but that's okay; this is, after all, an investment in your dog's health. Ask the vet if she prefers working with dogs or cats? Big dogs or little dogs? Does she have any problems with Fido's breed? Ask her, too, about her office hours and how she prefers to handle emergencies. Does she offer payment plans? Which credit cards does she accept? Once you've visited two or three vets, make a decision as to which one you prefer. Then make an appointment for Fido's first visit.

Try to get Fido in to see the vet sometime during the first week he's with you. Not only can this visit get him started on a vaccination schedule, it can also pinpoint any possible health problems. If your vet discovers a congenital health defect (one your puppy was born with), you will need to decide whether you can deal with this problem, and you will need to let the breeder know that a problem exists.

If you adopted a dog from a rescue group or shelter, you still need to get the dog to a vet within the first week. He may or may not have had any vaccinations and may need to be wormed, and, of course, you need to make sure that he's healthy.

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Dog Owners Handbook

Dog Owners Handbook

There are over a hundred registered breeds of dogs. Recognizing the type of the dog is basically associated with its breed. A purebred animal belongs to a documented and acknowledged group of unmixed lineage. Before a breed of dog is recognized, it must be proven that mating two adult dogs of the sametype would have passed on their exact characteristics, both appearance and behavior, to their offspring.

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