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find a Veternarian

How to Find a Veterinarian

find a veterinarianChoosing a veterinarian for your dog is a very important decision to make. Don’t make it lightly.  You need to know how to find a veterinarian that can care for the needs of your dog and also meet your needs. You need to evaluate the supporting staff along with the location and fees.

Plan ahead and choose a veterinarian before your dog needs one. Don’t wait until there is an emergency, time may be crucial for your dog. Be prepared so you can get your dog the best care as quick as possible.


Your Search

First, start your search by asking family, friends, co-workers, pet sitters, groomers, or an animal shelter worker that takes the same approach with their dog as you do. Then, check for accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association. You can schedule a visit to see the facility, meet the staff and introduce your dog to them.


Things to Consider

When you visit an animal hospital, ask questions such as what diagnostics (x-rays, blood work, ect) they can do in-house. Some other things to consider are:

•    Location
•    Hours
•    Fees
•    Methods of payment
•    Pet insurance plans, if you have one
•    Emergency Services
•    Cleanliness of the Facility
•    Is the staff helpful and friendly

sick dogYou should not feel rushed during your visit and the veterinarian and staff should answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns. My dog’s veterinarian gets down on the floor with her and he always answers all of my questions and we discuss my concerns.

If you and your dog are not comfortable with the veterinarian and the staff, it’s time to choose a new veterinarian. Make an appointment with a different animal hospital and take a visit to evaluate them because you and your dog deserve a vet that truly cares about you and your dog.


Good Manners

Take your dog regularly to your veterinarian for preventive care, not just when they are sick. If your dog is not acting normal, make an appointment and have your veterinarian check them out. Don’t wait until they are really sick.

Arrive at your appointment on time. If you can’t be there on time, call the animal hospital and let them know. You may have to reschedule the appointment if they are busy and always be courteous and apologize if you are running late.

My veterinarian was recommended by my sister in law. How did you find a veterinarian to fill the needs of you and your dog? Leave a comment below to share your story about how you found a veterinarian for you and your dog.

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44 Comments

  1. Very informative test. I know whenever something has happened with or dog, like her getting a UTI, we’ve always searched high and low for the best vet we could find. We have thankfully not had anything serious happen to our pooch yet, but I definitely will keep in mind all the points you listed above. Another great way we’ve used to find a great vet is by checking reviews done by other people on websites like Yelp (I think) and just going through Google. It gives us a sense about what to expect from the people at the clinic. Thanks for all the great information!

    • Alice

      June 11, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Pete. I agree with you. If you can’t get a personal recommendation, I would definitely go online and read reviews. The experience of others can help you make a decision. Wishing you and your pooch all the best in the future!

  2. These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to start your search for a vet by asking co-workers. My husband and I just moved into a new area, and we need to find a good veterinarian to take our two dogs to. We don’t know a lot of people in the area yet, but I’ll definitely talk to some of my co-workers to see if they have recommendations for me. Thanks for the great post!

    • Alice

      August 30, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I am glad my article could help you in your search for a new veterinarian. If your co-workers can’t help you, call a local animal shelter and talk to a staff member. They usually know several veterinarians. Good luck.

  3. I recently adopted a puppy and now need to find a vet so that he can get vaccinated. Looking for a vet that is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association is a smart idea. Another thing to look for is a vet that your pet likes and isn’t scared of.

    • Alice

      November 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Congratulations for adopting a puppy! Finding a vet that you and your dog likes is very important. If my dog didn’t like a vet, I would find another vet. Call a few local vets and make an appointment for a visit taking your puppy with you. Good luck with your new puppy and don’t forget the training!

  4. I really like how you give the advice to take your dog into the veterinarian not just when they are sick, but for preventive care. My dog is a pretty healthy puppy, but I know that if I don’t take him into the vet at all, he is at more of a risk of contracting some illness. I’ll have to find a new vet since our old vet just retired. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alice

      December 5, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Preventative care is very important for dogs just like humans. Early detection can change the outcome if there is a problem. Good luck finding a new vet that is perfect for you and your dog!

  5. Thanks very much for the list of things to consider when searching for a vet! I especially liked seeing that you included pet insurance plans and friendliness of staff on the list of things to consider. I am sure that you would want to choose a veterinarian who will treat your dog with all the love and care that you would.

    • Alice

      December 14, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Choosing a veterinarian is very important. You and your dog need to be comfortable with the veterinarian and the staff. If my dog is not comfortable around the veterinarian or staff, I will find a new veterinarian.

  6. I agree with you that location is very important when you are trying to choose a good veterinarian. I think that a lot of people opt for a vet that first pops up online. However, some of those choices aren’t exactly the closest to you. Do you have any other tips about finding a good veterinarian?

    • Alice

      January 4, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I would ask friends and family why they like their veterinarian. You can also check reviews online, such as Yelp. Read what other people are saying and then make a decision. If you, or your dog, are not comfortable with the veterinarian and the staff, look for another veterinarian until you find one that you trust.

  7. I agree that you should first start searching for a Veterinarian by asking family and friends. You also suggested asking your co-workers and pet groomer! I think it’s important to choose a Veterinarian that keep their lobby clean and doesn’t smell like animals.

    • Alice

      January 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, you make a good point. If I walked into a veterinarian office that was not clean and had an odor, I would leave and find another veterinarian. Personally, I would ask everyone I know in the area, and ask them why they like their veterinarian.

  8. Since we just adopted a new dog, we have been thinking about where we will take him to get checked up on. It’s interesting that you say to plan ahead and choose one before you actually need them. It would be nice to see where my family takes all their animals, and get him in so they have record of him.

    • Alice

      January 9, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so happy for you and your newly adopted dog! Can you imagine needing a veterinarian before you find one? If your dog gets sick or injured, you want to be prepared to get them the care they need in a timely fashion. Family is a great place to start asking, and friends with dogs. Best wishes to you and your new family member!

  9. I agree that you would want to consider the hours of an animal hospital before you choose them. I would imagine that you would want somewhere that is open 24/7 in case your pet has an emergency. I’m looking for a vet clinic for my dog so I’ll have to find one with emergency hours.

    • Alice

      January 18, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I don’t think you necessarily need a vet clinic that is open 24/7, but you do need one that takes emergency calls. Talk to your family and friends and ask their opinions on a vet clinic for your dog. I wish you and your dog all the best finding a vet.

  10. I agree with the point about making sure that you and your dog are both comfortable with the veterinarian and the staff when choosing an animal clinic. My lab is friendly and if he acts anxious around someone that usually means he’s not comfortable with them. I will keep these vet suggestions in mind for future use.

    • Alice

      February 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      You will have a much better relationship with your veterinarian when you and your dog are comfortable. Labs are great dogs and very friendly dogs. Thank you for your comment.

  11. Thank you for the great advice you wrote in this article. In it you mentioned that you should take your dog regularly to your veterinarian, and not just when they are sick. I’m planning on adopting a dog soon, and wanted to make sure I was completely ready. I want to have the dog stay healthy and happy, so I’ll have to be sure to find a good place where I could take him for all his health needs.

    • Alice

      March 3, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you for your comment. That’s great that you are preparing first and making sure you have everything ready before adopting. Talk to the staff at the shelter and they will be able to help you choose the right dog for you. Look for a veterinarian that you and your dog are comfortable with. Happy Adopting!!

  12. I love my puppy, and I want to provide him the best health care possible. We recently moved and are looking for a vet. As you said, there are many aspects to consider. I hadn’t thought of looking at pet insurance plans. We’ll be sure to use these tips to find someone to help me take care of my puppy!

    • Alice

      March 3, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Congratulations on your puppy! I glad I could provide some tips to help you find the right veterinarian for you and your puppy. Best wishes.

  13. I appreciate the help for finding a good vet. We just got the cutest little puppy, but since she is our first pet, we need to find a good vet to take her to. I like the idea of asking our friends and family, and even some co-workers for recommendations.

    • Alice

      March 14, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      It’s great to get recommendations from family, friends or co-workers. Puppies need many vaccines and it’s very important to find a veterinarian that you and your puppy are comfortable with. Best wishes with your new puppy and thank you for your comment.

  14. My wife and I just adopted a new dog, and I was curious about how you would find the right person to take care of them. I really like that you say to consider their methods of payment. It would be nice to know that you will be able to get everything payed for how you want it.

    • Alice

      April 3, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Congratulations for adopting a dog! I would search for a dog walker or dog sitter by starting with family, friends, or co-workers. You can also ask your veterinarian and the office staff. You should be able to get a couple of recommendations. You should meet with the person and bring your dog along to make sure your dog is comfortable with this person. Best wishes to both of you and your new dog! Thank you for your comment.

  15. My wife and I have recently adopted a dog. She is a beautiful husky, and we’re looking for a good animal hospital that can help her stay healthy and strong. I didn’t realize how important it is to find a veterinarian that provides services that are covered by you pet’s insurance plan to ensure your out-of-pocket costs stay low. I’ll be sure to remember this consideration moving forward.

    • Alice

      April 12, 2017 at 7:14 am

      Congrats on adopting a beautiful Husky! Finding the right veterinarian is very important. I’m glad I could help you with the things to consider when choosing a veterinarian. Thank you for your comment.

  16. I thought the article’s suggestion to take location into consideration is a really good one. I have heard that this is especially important if your pet needs frequent attention from a veterinarian for any outstanding health issues. Having a clinic in a convenient location would save you a lot of trouble if you have regular appointments.

    • Alice

      April 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Location is important especially if your pet needs frequent appointments, like you said. When treatments are needed frequently, a location close to your home would save time and money. Thank you for your comment.

  17. Thanks for the read. A friend of mine just adopted a dog and they wanted to find a good animal hospital they could take it to for its health needs. You mentioned that you should look for a service that can perform diagnostics on your beloved pet. If they could do an x-ray or something similar, they could appropriately diagnose your pets injury or issue, and get them on the path to good health.

    • Alice

      June 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Thank you for your comment. Being able to have an x-ray on-site can put your dog on their way to mending quicker. Transporting your dog to another facility for an x-ray can be very stressful for both of you.

  18. I really like the idea of regularly taking your dog to the vet in order to help them become more comfortable there. A trip to the vet can go so much easier if your pup isn’t acting up or misbehaving. Of course, you also want to make sure that the vet’s office isn’t doing anything to purposefully rile your dog up and that it is open to all kinds of pets.

    • Alice

      June 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

      You and your dog need to feel comfortable with your veterinarian. If you are not comfortable, you may delay a visit and miss an important health concern. If I’m not comfortable or my dog is not comfortable with all of the staff, I will find a new veterinarian. Thank you for your comment.

  19. Last week, I adopted a new husky. We want to make sure he gets the best health care possible by finding the right veterinarian and animal hospital. As you said, when we go to visit an animal hospital, we will have to ask what diagnostics they can do in-house. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alice

      June 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      Congrats on your newly adopted Husky! In-house diagnostics are good, but being comfortable and trusting your veterinarian is really important and your dog must be comfortable also. Thank you for your comment.

  20. I’m looking for a good vet clinic near my home since my wife and I are looking at getting a dog. I really liked how you pointed out that it’s important to find a vet that can answer any all of my questions or concerns that I might have. This is something I’ll make sure to do before settling on a vet clinic since I’d like to be kept informed and up to date on any health concerns that apply to my dog.

    • Alice

      July 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      I’m glad that you are thinking about a veterinarian before you actually get a dog. It’s very smart to be prepared because you never know when you may need one. Best of luck and please consider adoption, it is very rewarding!

  21. Your advice to make an appointment and visit the veterinarian in order to meet their staff and introduce your pet is a good idea. This could help you see how well they treat your animal and check if they’re comfortable. Visiting the clinic could also give you the chance to talk to the veterinarian about their work and experience as well as the opportunity to ask them questions so you can learn more about them to decide if they’re the right choice for your pet.

    • Alice

      August 25, 2017 at 8:45 am

      Visiting the veterinarian and staff you will be able to see your dog interact with the staff and you can ask questions you might have. You and your dog need to be comfortable with the veterinarian and staff. Thank you for your comment.

  22. I recently bought a new dog and have started looking for a vet to take her to. So thank you for mentioning that not only should I feel comfortable with the veterinarian, so should my dog. I will definitely be looking for a vet that I feel comfortable helping my pet in any sort of emergency situations.

    • Alice

      September 5, 2017 at 9:59 am

      I’m glad my tips could be helpful for you. Being comfortable with the veterinarian and staff is very important for you and your dog.

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