How to Choosing a Veterinarian for Your Dogs

Your puppy’s veterinarian plays an important role in health and well-being.

Choosing a veterinarian

Here are some things to think about:

Can friends who are dog owners recommend a veterinarian?
Is the clinic located close to your home? Do the clinic’s hours work for your schedule?
How does the clinic handle emergencies after hours? There are after-hours hospitals in many large Canadian communities. In small communities, check whether the clinic partners with other clinics or hospitals for after-hours care.
Is the clinic or hospital clean and tidy? Does it smell fresh? Is it quiet and comfortable? Can you take a tour?
How long has the veterinarian practised?
Does the veterinarian keep her (or his) knowledge current (when it comes to new treatments, for example)? Does she have specialty degrees or special interests? Are there any conditions she won’t handle?
Is the clinic or hospital able to provide quick test results (either from an inhouse or outside laboratory)? Does it have adequate technological equipment? What does the veterinarian do when special services or exceptional care are needed?
Veterinarians are trained to examine and treat a variety of animals, but everyone has preferences. Does the veterinarian enjoy working with dogs, and does she work primarily with dogs?
Do you feel comfortable with the vet? Is she open to questions? Does she mind explaining things about your dog’s health so that you understand? Are staff friendly and helpful?

Trust your instincts. After you choose a veterinarian, try to develop a positive relationship. It’s good for your puppy’s health!

Your puppy should be examined by a
veterinarian as soon as you bring him home – ideally within 24 hours.
The vet will check for congenital defects, for major health problems that could be expensive to treat, or whether your puppy is generally unhealthy. If there are major problems, you may be able to go back to the seller.
You also need to make sure your puppy has no health problems that can affect the health of your family and any other pets.

The first time you visit the veterinarian, she will do a thorough examination. She will also want to know about your puppy’s health care todate. The vet will weigh your puppy, check tha this pulse and breathing rates are normal, andlisten to the heart and lungs. She will examine his eyes, ears, mouth and teeth, glands, genitals and anal region, and check for hernias.
The veterinarian will vaccinate your puppy and give deworming medicine or parasite control, if necessary.
After the first visit, you will need to return
for booster vaccinations every few weeks until four months of age. When your puppy has grown into an adult, he should be examined by the vet about once every year, unless health problems come up that need to be treated.