Choosing a Vet for Your Dog
I got my Sugar Bear (a tiny toy poodle) for my twelfth birthday. Sugar Bear will be 19 years old this year, which puts me on the shady side of thirty. I credit Sugar Bear’s long and healthy life to three factors — good genes, good daily care (by me), and terrific health care (by his vet).
You should use the same care in choosing a vet for your dog as you would use in choosing a pediatrician for your child. You wouldn’t choose a pediatrician who didn’t actually like children, and you wouldn’t choose a pediatrician whose office and examination rooms were filthy. Don’t choose a vet like that, either. Your furry best friend deserves better.
Word of mouth is one of the most reliable of all methods for choosing a veterinarian. Ask your friends and family members who have dogs who their veterinarian is. Ask how they like him, but also ask how the dog likes him.
On the first visit to a veterinarian, he or she should feel the dog’s body looking for any unusual bulges or swelling. He should check the dog’s ears, eyes, and tongue. His hands should move quickly but gently, and the dog shouldn’t be terrified. The dog probably will not LIKE going
to a vet — any vet — but he shouldn’t be terrified, either.
Another factor to consider when choosing a veterinarian is the vet’s office proximity to your home. In an emergency, you do not want to have to drive an hour to get your dog to the vet. The vet’s office hours should also be considered. Some veterinarians keep their offices open late at least one evening a week to accommodate working owners.
Choose your vet wisely. Your dog’s life depends on it!