Choosing a Veterinarian

Find a veterinarian you feel comfortable with—someone who will discuss all your concerns and questions. You can start looking for a veterinarian before you bring your dog home, or if you are not satisfied with your current choice, interview others.

Talk to other dog owners or friends about their experiences. Call and ask if you can stop in to see each facility. Veterinarians are busy, so they may or may not have time to meet you, but you can talk to the staff. Here are some good questions to ask:

1. How many doctors are on staff?

2. Is someone on call after hours, or do they recommend a twenty-four-hour clinic? (Keep this number by your phone in case of emergency.)

3. Do they have any handouts or reading that they suggest in preparation for your dog's/puppy's arrival?

4. Can you bring the dog in before his appointment to give him a positive experience?

5. What is their recommended vaccination schedule? It will be more frequent with a puppy than an older dog, but older dogs also need visits to test for heartworm and get vaccine boosters.

Once you are happy with your selection, try to stick to one doctor. Not only will this person get to know your dog, but your dog will form a relationship with him or her as well!

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