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Tips on How to Choose a Vet For Your Dog
By Charlie Cory 


When we need a service performed (on anything), the first port of call is usually the Yellow Pages (or their equivalent). Pick up the book and find someone who is close to you. Right? But would you take your kids to a Doctor you don't know? Perhaps if you have just moved to a new town and you don't know anyone you might. Here are some tips and helping you choose a vet for your dog, who is after all, part of the family.

The best idea is to ask people what they do with their pets. Even if you are new to the neighborhood, you are bound to see fellow dog owners out and about walking their pet, so stop and ask. People are usually keen to share information, especially where dogs are concerned, so don't be shy.

Some of the questions you should be asking are how does the vet handle animals. Are they gentle or not? Do they explain in detail about the health of the animal that they are looking at. Do they answer your questions in a way that you can understand? A vet that is great with animals but who doesn't explain anything to you is no good at all. The dog cannot come home and tell you what the vet said after all.

Once you have got a recommendation, visit the vet and trust your own judgment. Don't feel pressurised into sticking with a vet, just because everyone else says that they are good. Taking peoples opinions into account is a great way to get started and narrow the field, but it is not the end of the process.

Vets will belong to a Board of Practice. This may differ where you live, but they shouldn't be hard to find. Check and see if any complains have been lodged against the vet.See if you can find local vet hospitals to visit. These types of places will hold great store by reputation, and will also be very well equipped. Make sure that the Pet Hospital is affiliated with national associations too, just in case.

If you are thinking of looking at a Pet Hospital, ask for a tour of the facility. I am sure that they would be very pleased to help you out. Make sure that the facilities are clean and that they appear to be in good shape. If things are messy, especially where the dogs are housed for example, it may not bode well for your pet. If the facility is short of staff, they may not be able to care properly for your pet.

You could also pay an unauthorised visit, and see how the staff treat their customers and how the vets treat their staff. Both will give you an idea as to how your dog will be likely to be treated.

Ask questions about the vet's accreditation. Any genuine vet will have studied and qualified. Normally you would expect to see a vets qualifications displayed openly, but if they are not, ask about them. And make sure that the licence displayed is current as well.

Ask what the Practice's policy is for emergency care. Your dog may not always need treatment at convenient times, so out of hours care is very important. What happens if your dog requires overnight treatment? Will the facility be manned at all times?

Check whether your pet insurance (if you have any) is valid. If not, find out how you pay for the fees, and if they have plans that can help you, especially in the case of emergencies.

Above all, take your time in researching a good vet. If you make an informed choice now, you will have peace of mind knowing that if something does happen to your dog, you are in a position to offer it the best treatment that you can afford.

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