Finding a Great Vet for your Dog
Finding the right veterinarian for your pup is just as difficult as finding the right primary care doctor for yourself. You'll need to establish a relationship with a vet from the early puppy age and on so that your vet gets to know your dog and keep records of all your dog's shots and care.
You will want to do your research before selecting the right vet. You may want to ask people you trust for their recommendations maybe they have a good relationship with their pets' veterinarians. You can ask neighbors, or friends or coworkers to see their experience with their own vets.
There are a lot of different factors when selecting a vet. Some vets may charge a bit of a premium for their care, but they may offer a cleaner facility, or simply be in a location where the lease is a bit higher. If cost is a factor for you, then you may want to find a local vet who has only one dollar sign ($) next to their name on Yelp.
We took a chance on our vet because they were across the street from our house. In case anything ever goes wrong, we know we can simply go across the street in minutes. Their office hours fit our schedule and the ease in which we can call them and schedule an appointment is a definite plus.
The most important reason why we chose to stick with our vet, is because of his genuine kindness and talent in what he does. He always seems genuinely happy to see us, and shows concern for Eggy. Vets, much like doctors, have the knowledge and background from experience, to assess what may be ailing your dog. They do their best to find out what the possibilities are before they can evaluate whether it would be best to run a test, or provide symptomatic treatment. It's often in the Western world, that we expect this type of service from our health care providers - if A, B, C is wrong, what can you do to help treat and hopefully cure A, B, and C?
Our vet is well versed enough to assess Eggy whenever he has any issue. He offers choices sometimes for us to decide what route we want to take. For example if he has an ear infection, do we want to just treat it with the same medicine as the last time he had a similar ear infection, or do we want him to run swab and lab tests to see if this time it's a different type of infection? The choice ultimately is left up to us, and we like that he doesn't force us to go either route. Our vet has been with us since we've first had Eggy, from his puppy shots, to his annual check up now.
Their office staff is always pleasant and their facilities are always clean. You may want to note things like this when selecting your primary vet. I've witnessed vets in the past with former dogs in my life, where they have so many patients in and out, that things get hectic or lost in the mix. I would never want that type of chaotic in and out treatment for Eggy. Our current vet doesn't overbook, and always makes sure our dog gets the care he deserves.
Sometimes with a vet, you just feel like it's the right match. If you simply feel comfortable visiting this vet, then you just know. We are happy with our vet and the relationship Eggy has with him.
I will say, on a holistic level, I don't always agree with the type of treatments recommended so sometimes, I may decline a specific type of optional shot that may not be needed. It's your right to do so, but with much heeded caution. Vaccines are there for every dog's protection, and some of them are mandatory as well, such as the yearly rabies vaccine in California.
In any case, I've witnessed horrible interactions with prior vets, from condescending tones, to expensive unnecessary treatments, and typically when these occur, you'll have an inkling that something does not feel right. If you have any red flags that bother you about the vet, and you can't comfortably talk it out with them, then it's time to move on to somebody new. Much like selecting your dentist, it's your right to find the vet that is your dog's best match. I encourage you to read reviews about the vet, but really read what they say. Sometimes people complain about things that wouldn't bother other people, so read every review with a grain of salt. If there's a general consensus, you can probably gauge whether they are worth giving a try.