How to choose a Vet for your dog and puppy

How to choose a Vet.

The vet is a very important part of you and your puppy's life, and the best time to choose one is before you need one.
Get it right, and a lot of stress will never happen - get it wrong, and it can be horrendous!
Your vet will be the most important person in your dog's life.(after you)

Ask Others.

As with most things to do with your puppy, other people's experiences can be very helpful.
Never choose a vet because he is nearby - choose him because he is right for you!
Cost will come into your decision, but having the right person should be the over-riding consideration. Ask your family and friends - see what they experience and recommend.
If you have a pedigree puppy, consult with your breeder, and local breed clubs. It may be that your breed has special needs, and a certain vet is sympathetic and knowledgable of these.

Visit the Vet.

When you have got your short list, do not be afraid to visit the vets premises to see if you are comfortable with what they offer. it may be that you have to be flexible in your timing of a visit (last thing in the evening etc,) but most practices will welcome you, and respect that you are taking your puppy's welfare seriously.
Take your puppy with you, and see how the staff interact.
Check how many vets there are in the practice, and if appointments always necessary.
Are telephone helplines available at no cost to registered customers?
Do they have specialist services (dental, x-ray, behaviourists, etc)?
Do they offer a payment plan for larger bills?
As with choosing a doctor for yourself, it is important to find someone you can talk to and trust.
Your vet needs to be able to explain and discuss with you the symptoms of illness, test results, treatment plans etc..
Ask about pet insurance - some vets run a specialist plan which can work out a lot cheaper than "off the peg" solutions.
With your puppy you will go through some emotional times together, so it is vital that you find the vet easy to talk to, and that you have complete trust in the practice.
Puppies can build up a phobia about going to the vet, so you'll be starting him off on the right foot if his first visit is to a vet you already feel comfortable with.
If you are moving house and need to find a new vet, don't put ot off, do it as soon as you can.
Don't be put off if the first vet you visit is not right for you - check the internet or local directories, and visit another one.
A vet is too important to be left to chance!

All information on this site is given in good faith, but should never be taken as final authorative advice. In all cases of doubt or query you are strongly advised to check the position with an expert - before you have chosen your vet, your breeder is the person to see first, and ask other people with dogs - you will find them more than happy to help.