Choosing The Best Canine Vet You Can Afford

A good canine vet is your pet's best hope of a long and healthy life. Here are some tips on how you can find the best canine vet without breaking your budget.

Make Finding A Vet Your First Priority

You should start looking for a canine vet before you even get your dog. Remember, your new dog or puppy will need medical attention right away, even if it's only for check ups and vaccinations.

Ask Around For Good Vets

Ask around among your dog owning friends, particularly those who take the same approach to pet care that you do. If you don't have a friend who owns dogs, ask a pet groomer, animal shelter employee, dog trainer, neighbor or a pet sitter. They can give you recommendations and advice about the skills of area vets; they can also let you know whether or not a particular vet's services are reasonably priced.

Check The Yellow Pages

The ads in the yellow pages can give a lot of information about a canine vet's skills and accreditation. A veterinary hospital that's a member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) will be guaranteed to meet AAHA standards in the areas of facility, equipment and care. Some canine vets have earned additional certification in other areas of veterinary care, such as opthamology and cardiology; this means they have studied for two to four additional years after earning their degree in veterinary medicine.

Have A Look Around

Once you've found some promising veterinary practices, don't be afraid to have a look around yourself. The staff of any reputable veterinary hospital should be happy to show you the facilities and answer any questions you might have. Here are some check points to keep in mind when inspecting a veterinary practice or hospital:

  • Are the facilities clean, comfortable and organized?
  • How many doctors are working there?
  • Are appointments necessary?
  • Are there technicians or other veterinary professionals on the staff?
  • Is the staff caring, calm, competent, and knowledgeable? Do they communicate well?
  • Do the veterinarians have special areas of expertise?
  • Are X-rays, blood work, ultrasounds, EKGs and other diagnostic procedures done in-house, or sent to a specialist?
  • Are emergency services available? If so, which ones?
  • Is the location convenient to your home?
  • Does the practice accept pet insurance?

And of course, don't be afraid to enquire politely as to price range of services.

Accept Responsibility For Your Pet's Health

As the owner, you bear the primary responsibility for your pet's health. Your canine vet can treat any problems that arise, but you'll save yourself money and your dog pain and suffering if you see your vet regularly for check ups and seek treatment at the first signs of illness.