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5 Things First Time Dog Owners Should Know When Searching for a Vet

Picking a vet is not something you do on a whim. First, you have to make sure that they actually love their work and that they’ll have a good relationship with your dog. You also want to make sure that they’re qualified and honest. Dealing with the wrong vet could end up with missed diagnostics, bad treatments, or excessive fees.

This is why you want to work with someone you can trust, and with a solid track record. This is especially important when you’re a first-time dog owner, and you’re still in the dark about some of the precautions you should take. Let’s take a look at a few things you have to consider before you pick a vet for your new dog.

5 Things First Time Dog Owners Should Know When Searching for a Vet

Do They Have Experience with That Specific Breed?

While most vets are qualified to treat a wide variety of animals, different dog breeds can have very different health profiles. It’s important that you pick a vet who’s familiar with your dog’s breed so they can make good recommendations and inform you of what you can expect in the future. You should first make sure that they have a lot of experience with dogs in general, and quiz them on your particular breed to see if they look like they know their stuff.

This is especially important if you own an exotic breed or a purebred. These will have very specific issues, and a vet who’s familiar with them will be able to spot them much faster.

Have They Had Any Cases Against Them?

It’s very important that you do a background check on any vet to make sure that they haven’t suffered disciplinary measures. You also want to know if they’ve ever been sued for things like malpractice or insurance fraud for instance.

One of the things you could do is check Federal Court Records on a site like All you’ll have to do is enter their first and last name and you’ll be able to look up public records using three different services. This will ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and that you know exactly who you’re dealing with.

5 Things First Time Dog Owners Should Know When Searching for a Vet

How Flexible Are They?

You have to know if your vet will be available if you ever have an emergency. In many cases, owners only realize that there’s something wrong with their dogs once they get home. This means that they will often need to see a vet outside of regular working hours. This is why it’s important that you make sure that the vet’s schedule works with yours. This will give you some extra peace of mind, and reduce the chances that you’ll have to reschedule visits because they’re at an inconvenient time for you.

What About Payments?

If you didn’t know already, veterinarians can get expensive. So, it’s important that you know which type of payment plans they offer, especially if the pet isn’t insured. Not being able to pay for an important treatment for a dog can be heartbreaking, and you never want to be in a situation where you have to choose between paying the bills or getting the dog the surgery that they desperately need.

You also shouldn’t automatically assume that all vets will have a payment plan and will be open to delayed arrangements. You have to sit down with the vet and ask exactly what options will be open if you can’t pay upfront, and what are the eligibility requirements.

5 Things First Time Dog Owners Should Know When Searching for a Vet

What’s the General Atmosphere Like?

How do you feel when you enter the clinic? Is it nice and clean? Is it crowded with people? Does the staff acknowledge you and look happy? You want to work with a team that seems to actually enjoy their job and love pets too; you don’t want to feel like just another number.

You also want to make sure that both of you have the same philosophy as far as treatment goes. Some veterinarians, for instance, will be more open to alternative treatments, which is not something everyone believes in. Also, you want to know if they have specialists in-house. Not all clinics will, and it’s not a prerequisite, but there are some times when you’ll need someone specific, like a veterinary cardiologist for instance. In case they don’t have any specialists, ask if they have other people that they can refer you to if your pet has a special condition.

These are just some of the things that you should be on the lookout for when searching for a good veterinarian for your new dog. Choosing the right vet will make a world of difference and could literally be a question of life or death for your pet in the future, so don’t take this decision lightly.

Beyond Comps

Monday 29th of June 2020

All the vets I've used in the U.K. are great. Very caring.

Sarah L

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

Good tips for anyone looking for a vet. I had the same vet for 20 years.

Marisela Zuniga

Friday 19th of June 2020

Thank you for the great information

Debbie P

Monday 15th of June 2020

These are all very important and great tips.

Sandy Klocinski

Monday 15th of June 2020

One thing that I have found since I adopted my boy is that you need to take into consideration the amount of traffic in and out of the vet's office. My boy is a nervous little chihuahua and he does well with my vet. Their office is quiet and the appointments appropriately spaced so that we seldom run into another customer. Good atmosphere for my boy, given that he does not like other dogs and is nervous. A busy office would just contribute to his nervousness and make things more difficult.

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