Guide to Dog Training
Guide to Dog Training
Puppy Development Stages
When Should I Start
The Right Leash & Collar
You're the Boss
Choosing a Vet
Dog Training Mastery
Instant Dog Training Videos
Sit Stay Fetch
DIY Dog Training
Dog Training Secrets
Housebreak Your Puppy
Dog Recall Training
Guide to Pets
5 Tips For Choosing the Best Vet For Your Dog
If you haven’t already found one, or worked with one in the past, you need to find a vet. Pick one you feel comfortable with, and who answers your questions in full, completely and gives you answers you can understand. You don’t need a vet who talks down to you, or acts like you’re too dumb to understand what they’re saying!
Find a vet, if possible, who specializes in small animals (as opposed to one who treats large and small – like horses, cows, cats and dogs.) Your community may only have vets that do a little bit of everything – and there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s all that’s available, but I’ll remind you – you usually go to a specialist for your health issues, don’t you?
If you’re new in the community, or haven’t needed a vet before – word of mouth is a great way to start looking for a new vet. Ask everybody you can get your hands on – co-workers, friends with pets, local humane societies or shelters. Ask questions: are they happy with their vet? Do they like the way they’re treated when they take their dogs in?
If your dog is a particular breed, check with the local or state breed associations to find out who they use, or local breeders. This can be especially useful if you buy a puppy from a local breeder, because the vet will have seen your puppy and know at least some of his history.
You may want a holistic vet. Go to their website at www.ahvma.org and check out their referral directory. Or contact them via phone at (410) 569-0795
You may also be interested in a veterinarian who has been trained in acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Log onto their website at http://www.ivas.org or call 970-266-0666.
Once you have a referral from someone you trust, here are some questions to ask:
1. What services does the vet offer?
Is it a one-doctor office, or a
multi-doctor practice? As vets try to
streamline services many are
consolidating practices and forming
partnerships and group practices.
There’s nothing wrong with this – just
be aware that you may not always see the
same vet. And find out if they offer 24
hour emergency services, or if he or she
is affiliated with someone in the area
who does. Like everything else in life,
illness or accidents don’t always happen
between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday
2. Does the vet offer a full surgery suite with on-site lab work? X-rays? Ultrasound?
If the vet has to
send all lab tests to an outside agency
to be processed, you may be getting
popped with additional charges because
those tests aren’t being performed or
Get a fee schedule.
4. Check out the physical
characteristics of the facility
5. Communication – by that I mean how well does your vet communicate with you?
Will he or she explain the condition or
illness in terms that you can easily
understand, or do they try to confuse
you with high-tech or medical jargon? A
good vet will go over treatment options
with you, explain necessary tests,
review x-rays or test results, give
complete and clear instructions for home
care or further testing requirements,
time to do a complete and thorough
evaluation before choosing a new vet.
Your dog’s life literally depends on what
choice you make. Make it a careful one.
(c) 2004 by Charlie Lafave, author, "Dog Training Secrets!"
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