A puppy is an immense source of joy and it is also a responsibility. Embrace your role and ensure that your puppy is always happy and healthy. One important part of that is choosing the right vet and veterinary clinic.
Here are four things that every puppy parent should do before making this very important decision.
One of the best ways to find the best vet is how we find the best anything. By asking friends and family. Personal recommendations from the people you know and trust are worth more than anonymous online reviews. This is especially true if you have seen your friends nurse their puppy back from an illness or injury. Quiz them on the treatment.Was the recovery time acceptable? Were they satisfied with the advice and treatment the vet provided? Are they happy to stick with the same vet or is it just a matter of convenience?
Online reviews cannot replace the authenticity and personal touch of a vet recommendation from someone you know personally. However, you have the advantage of reading a much wider range of opinions from a much larger group of people. This is important in helping you decide whether a certain vet is good at a small range of treatments or if they are capable across the board. If your puppy has a particular condition, the internet is a great place to discover specialists.
Assess the Facility
Accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the gold standard of veterinary care. The AAHA rates hospitals on 900 criteria; any facility that meets their standards is a reliably better option over one that does not.
A complete list of approved hospitals is available on the AAHA website. You can use it to identify the ones located closest to you.
Location isn’t important just when you are buying a house, it is just as crucial when your pet is sick. Some pet illnesses like allergic reactions can be extremely frightening for you both. Will you prefer the perfect vet an hour’s drive away or the second-best one 10 minutes away? Keep in mind also that you will have to make the trip for every check-up, not just emergencies. However, don’t just rely on a description on a screen. Before you decide, visit the most likely candidates and inspect the premises for yourself. It will also help you assess the next criteria: staff.
Observe the Vet and Other Staff
The best vets are two things in one – eminently qualified and with the personalities to match. The odds are that if someone has dedicated their life to caring for animals, they are generally going to be good with animals. However, small differences in personality can affect how well (or badly) your pet reacts to treatment from a particular vet when he/she is in pain. Observe how they interact with your pet before you make a decision. Ultimately, if you are not completely happy down the track, you can always change vets. The same applies to the support staff at the clinic. The manner in which they deal with your best friend is crucial but just as important is their ability to relate to you.
- Are they able to convey information clearly?
- Do they adequately explain what is happening at every step?
- Do you feel like you can entrust your puppy to them?
It is critical to maintain up to date health checks & vaccinations. Choosing the right vet is the first step in that direction. Happy vet hunting!