Top 10 Tips for Going to the Vet

In a former life I was a veterinary coordinator. That’s a fancy title for people who answer the phone and schedule appointments at a vet practice (but!) are also called upon to help save lives every now and again.

 

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For nearly two decades, I counseled people through medical conundrums large and small and had to become competent really fast in giving sound veterinary advice. I’ve worked at general practices, a practice specializing in orthopedics and neurology and for the veterinary program at the fabulous Guide Dogs for the Blind in Marin County.

I’ve had the privilege of shadowing some amazing doctors while they diagnosed and treated, a delicate balancing act between education, experience and good old-fashioned detective work. I’ve seen dogs saved and lost, anguished owners grieve, and angry owners blame. I’ve seen some things.

At WOOF, I’m in charge of monitoring the health of our guests – a responsibility I take very seriously as I’ve seen how quickly a seemingly insignificant problem can go really wrong, really fast.

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You could say I’ve been writing this blog in my head for quite a while.

So, what are the Top 10 Tips I would give to owners for going to the vet, you ask? Let me tell you.

But first, the standard disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. This blog is about sharing some general observations I’ve had as part of the veterinary world and not to be substituted for real medical advice.

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1. Try out more than one vet.

Successfully caring for a pet is very dependent on a good relationship between vet and owner. Find a vet who you can communicate with, whose medical approach you understand, and who you like. You might want a small practice that incorporates some acupuncture, or you might prefer a big practice, with in-house diagnostic equipment and 24-hour availability. Figure out what makes you feel safe and who you trust so that each visit isn’t confusing and upsetting. (If you pick the small vet, make sure you have an emergency vet in mind for after hours!)

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2. Know your dog and speak up.

Vets need to take a good history of your dog in order to diagnose. They may need to know what they eat, how often they poop, if they are generally hyper or mellow, if they eat socks, etc. You are your dog’s spokesperson! There is nothing more frustrating for a vet than hearing crickets when they ask the owners questions, or owners who go off on unrelated tangents. Remember that symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea could point to so many different illnesses – the details you share with your vet can really make the difference between life and death. Be observant, stay on topic, and give as many relevant details as you can.

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3. Stop Googling!

Don’t go into your vet appointment armed with pages of online research and self-diagnoses. Vets have gone through years of study and practice – let them do their jobs. A little information is truly dangerous. If you think you already know what is wrong with your dog, you run the risk of steering your vet in the wrong direction or – worse! – deciding you don’t need to take your dog to the vet at all. (And on this topic, take Yelp reviews with a grain of salt. Even the best vet practice is going to have some loudmouths spewing nonsense online.)

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4. Keep and bring records.

If you change vets, move, or go to a different vet for emergencies or specialty treatments, keep copies of any lab work your dog has ever had. Blood work, urinalysis, titers (the tests that determine if booster vaccines are necessary) – each time you get one of these done, (you’ll know because they are expensive!) ask your vet’s receptionist for a copy and keep it in a handy folder. When you can hand your vet previous labs, they can compare your dogs’ values over time and see trends that may help them in diagnosing what may be wrong today.

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5. Ask for estimates!

For any vet appointment, you walk in the door already paying an exam fee. They can range from $40 to $90, depending on the practice. (Future readers: these are 2015 prices.)That’s it until the vet takes your dogs’ vitals and history, and then starts suggesting tests, surgeries and treatments. This is where you ask for an estimate. This helps not only determine the cost of your visit, but also illuminates the approaches your vet might take in diagnosing your dog. Any vet worth their salt will not only willingly give an estimate, but gladly do so. This helps them make sure they can collect their fees and protects them against folks who may be ignorant of how much things cost. I’ve had vets work up two or three estimates at a time, pricing all my options at once.

* A special note (and long one, sorry!) about vets and money: I stop listening to people when I hear the words: “All vets care about is money.” This is the battle cry of the ignorant, is unfair and simply not true. Firstly, veterinarians (unless they are specialists) rarely, if ever, make anything close to six figures. Secondly, running a veterinary practice costs money. The overhead for a hospital is staggering and most of the income goes towards staff, leases, insurance and upkeep, not lining the vet’s pocket. And thirdly – and I’m most passionate about this point – vets did not go to school and incur student loans to fund your dog’s health care. That’s your job, as the owner – one you took on when you decided to get a dog. It’s manipulative and insulting to tell a vet they don’t care about dogs because they won’t treat your dog for free. If they did that, they’d be out of business and couldn’t afford to treat their own dogs, many of whom I assure you they’ve probably rescued.

Okay, rant over. Onward!

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6. Can this be a tech appointment?

There are many things a technician can do, saving you an exam fee. Things like vaccines, anal gland expression, fecals, nail trims, and even blood draws for pre-ordered tests. Most vet offices will allow this so long as your dog has been seen by the doctor within the past year. So ask for tech appointments for the small stuff, and thank me later when you feel rich and clever.

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7. Medications – ask for them!

If you have an ongoing relationship with your vet, and bring your dog in regularly, sometimes your vet will prescribe a medication over the phone. Things like antibiotics for hot spots, pain medications for arthritis, sedatives for the Fourth of July – all can be given without an office visit so long as your dog has had recent blood work and been examined within a year. Make sure to ask about risks and side effects and let your vet decide if a med is reasonable to try before coming into the office. But you can certainly ask!

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8. When in doubt, throw in an X-ray

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen dogs present with some subtle symptoms – a little dehydrated, minor vomiting, lethargy. Blood work is done and the values seem mostly normal – maybe the white blood cells are a little high, or the dog is a tad anemic. Nothing serious. Can I just say – go ahead and ask for an X-ray. They can be a bit pricey (ask for an estimate!) but sometimes a vet is willing to take one lateral view (that’s the one taken from the side) and it doesn’t cost that much. An X-ray can spot swallowed foreign objects that could obstruct the intestines or a tumor that will eventually burst. Ever since I lost my dog to a splenic tumor that I had no idea was there, I’m a fan of the X-ray. They can’t catch everything, but they can catch some big things.

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9. Get the pain meds.

Dogs feel pain just like we do, but they are really good at hiding it. Some say it’s a leftover instinct from the wild because showing pain showed weakness. Whatever the theory, if your dog has had a surgery, an injury or even a particularly nasty hot spot, ask for the pain meds. As long as your dog’s liver and kidney values are normal, there is absolutely no downside to treating their pain, even if you’re not sure it’s bad. The flip side is that your dog will be suffering silently and it’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen. (This also applies to surgery: make sure there are pain injections on your estimate and that your doctor will be actively controlling your dog’s pain while hospitalized. Sadly, some vets overlook this aspect of treatment and, ironically, make their clients really happy because their surgeries are “cheaper” without the pain injections. Another reason to feel good about paying your vet well!)

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10. Lastly, BE NICE.

Vets and their staff are people too. When you are a cooperative client who makes appointments, follows the rules and is pleasant – and doesn’t pull the “all vets care about is money” card when presented with your bill – the staff appreciates you and will be more willing to help you when you really need it. They’ll be more willing to squeeze you in between appointments when you are having an emergency, or to waive the exam fee if the diagnosis was really simple. At the vet’s office, just like in life, it pays to be nice. You are setting the tone for the relationship and you will often be treated as well or as badly as you treat the staff. (And this goes the other way too: if the people at your vet’s office are rude, change vets!)

Going to the vet is really stressful for everyone. You’re worried about your dog, the vet is worried about missing something important and your dog is just plain worried. I hope these tips help in navigating these stressful waters. And please know I am always available to you if you have any questions about your dog’s health.

Here’s to health and happiness,

Vickie Jean

Receptionist

 

About Jonathan

Vickie is blogger, copy writer and dog welfare coordinator at WOOF Dog Daycare & Boarding in San Ramon, California. She loves loving dogs and loves the love she gets in return.

105 thoughts on “Top 10 Tips for Going to the Vet

  1. Thank you for sharing, all of our 3 dogs visit Woof, Joey, Piper and Kato and they love it, because we know all of you have always taken good care of our little buddies.
    Thank you,
    Nancy

  2. Vickie, I really like your first tip. Many people tend to stick with the first veterinarian that they find. I think it is a good idea to check multiple vets, and compare their strengths and weaknesses.

  3. I can definitely agree with your last tip about being nice to your vet and their staff. They’re the people that are helping you take care of your pet. Even if nothing comes from you being nice to them, they at least deserve to be treated with respect since they’re looking out for the health of your pet.

  4. I have certainly learned that what the article says about not trying to diagnose your dog yourself on Google is good advice. Vets are professionals in every sense of the word, and are the ones who are qualified to diagnose and treat your dog. In the past, I would some times try to find out all I could online before going to the vet to help steer them in the right direction. In reality, this only ended up complicating things, as the vet couldn’t properly do her job while also trying to accommodate my need to “help.”

  5. Thanks for the information. I have to take my dog to the vet next week, so these tips are really helpful. I don’t want her to freak out because she’s scared, so I’ll make sure I follow your tip about finding an office that is calm and comforting. I’m sure she’d just love that. Do you have any other tips?

  6. You want the best care for your pet, and in my opinion these ten tips can help with that. Tip one says to try out more than one vet, and I totally agree with that. How can you know you are getting the best care unless you try out more than one vet. Once you find the vet you feel is the best stick with them.

  7. I think that you definitely have to make sure that you ask for medications over the phone. That really makes it so much easier on yourself. Animals, like humans, need their medications. They can suffer from many of the same illnesses that we do.

  8. The tip that I found the most beneficial is knowing your pet. Similar to visiting a doctor, being able to properly describe your pets symptoms is very helpful when talking to the veterinarian. I think that this would allow the vet to make a more accurate diagnosis.

  9. I agree that you should ask for estimates. That will make it so that your vet will try to stick to his word. I have been wanting to find a vet in my area for a while. We just moved and we don’t know any medical professionals around here at all.

  10. I enjoyed your list of vet visit tips.The last one stood out to me. Being nice is something that is often overseen. A great veterinarian will care about your pet just as much as you do about them. By being nice to your veterinarian you are also be appreciative of your pet’s health.

  11. We just recently got our first dog so we’re trying to find a good vet for him now. It seems like a good idea you shared to try out more than one veterinarian. That could be a good way to really get to know what we want. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  12. Thanks for the tips! Going to the vet is a lot different than going to the doctor because the dog can’t say how it’s feeling. I agree that when in doubt, throw in an x-ray. It’s always better to be safe than sorry with your loved animals!

  13. All those puppies were so dang cute. We’re getting a new dog in a few weeks, and I want to have everything prepared. We’re going out of town a few times this summer, and I’m not sure we can take him every time. It would be good to have a nice boarding area that I can know will work in advance.

  14. Wow! With advice like that we can all be sure to get the perfect diagnostic, right? NO.
    Don’t stop googling. That’s how you solve things. And do ask around to people you know at work or friends for references. Are they happy with their vet. Maybe it’s worth to try. Comparative shopping is a good thing.
    I really find it obnoxious when people of the medical profession talk down to people. I
    find it outrageous when people let it happen to them and don’t even reply. I guess they
    get what they deserve.

    You are perfectly justified to think veterinary medicine is to costly, because
    the frustration comes from the fact that after paying all those fees, you are
    not further ahead. The pet is still in pain, and your wallet is empty.

    Medicine for pets or humans is very imperfect and we pay for that. Flawed
    diagnostics, wrong prescription, mistake here mistake there, is the reality of
    medicine today. The reality is we cannot call medicine a profession. It is a
    trade at best. Doctors are technicians with a medical tool kit. That’s it. They
    try the different tools they have and when it does not work they don’t know
    what else to do.
    Medicine is a business. Those in the trade are looking for profits. The
    medical aspect is secondary to the primary objective.

    1. Hi Bob, I posted your comment in the interest of good discussion but I really disagree with just about everything you are saying. Googling and getting anecdotal advice from friends is not a good way to find out what is wrong with your dog. And doctors are not just technicians with a toolbox – they are there everyday, in the trenches, practicing medicine. And they call it “practicing” medicine for a reason – it takes time and experience to get really good at it. And you need to pay for their time spent learning the science and practicing the science. Your comments show a real lack of respect for those in the profession – and I can tell you most of the veterinarians I’ve worked with aren’t very well paid and are still paying off student loans. Nobody’s becoming a veterinarian for the money. And to equate a lack of positive results with an “empty wallet” is just really simpleminded.
      But thanks for commenting and I wish the very best of veterinary care for your pets!

  15. Great tips! By far my favorite tip that you mentioned is to stop googling! Things like WebMD can scare people silly of impending doom and death if they have a stuffy nose! I think you are totally right though! No matter how good your practice is, there is always someone that has something bad to say. How often do you think I should take my dog to the vet? He’s still a puppy, so he is pretty much indestructible, but I want to make sure that he’s all taken care of and happy.

    1. Hi Chase,

      Thanks for weighing in! I’d say a healthy pup should be seen often enough to get all his vaccines (the last set are generally given at about four months old) then should be seen at least once a year for a general check up – more often if he is experiencing any issues. Good luck with your pup and I wish you a happy and healthy life with him or her!

  16. I really like the tip about trying out a lot of different veterinarians. There may be one that your pet is more comfortable with and makes the whole experience easier. We recently moved to Redmond, WA and my two dogs are due for their shots. I will definitely use these tips when we make the trip to the vet’s, thanks for sharing!
    http://www.mypetsvetclinic.com/

  17. Your advice about not Googling your pet’s condition really hits home. When our last dog, Rielly, got sick, I spent hours researching the symptoms online, and all of my research led me to believe his condition was much worse than it actually was. Had I gone to my vet, I would have been spared the grief.

  18. Thanks for sharing these tips on taking my dog to the vet. I haven’t been too good about keeping records of my sweet puppy’s health exams in the past, but I’ll be sure to start doing so. I also appreciate the tip on asking for a tech appointment. I’ll have to ask for the tech when I go in for a vaccine next week. Great article!

  19. The tip about asking for estimates was one tip that I didn’t think to ask! Usually you ask for estimates on repairs to make sure that you are getting the best prices for the best job. It makes sense that you would make sure your pets were getting the best care, with an affordable price! I also loved the ‘stop googling!’ tip, I have a habit of googling things and coming up with the worst possible scenario when it’s not really that bad at all! Next time I take my dog to a vet I will keep this list in mind.

  20. Thanks for the tips. My dog gets really excited to see new people, so I’ll try going to new vets so that he is always excited. I’ll also make sure my dog has the right medications and vaccinations. What does it cost to get a regular check up?

    1. Hi Rachelle, it varies by vet but anywhere from $40 to $100 depending on if the vet is a specialist, if it’s an emergency work-in exam, etc. 🙂 Vickie

  21. Excellent article, Vickie! I’ll be sure to share it with some of my friends. I’m glad that I stumbled upon your article because I’ve been thinking about taking my dog to the vet clinic. I think you’re absolutely right: it’s important to keep medical records of your pet and bring them into the exam with you. I’ll be sure to do just that when I schedule an appointment next week. Thanks for sharing this with us; it’s been very helpful!

  22. I have always been a little skeptical about visiting the different veterinary clinics in the area. I feel like once you go to one clinic you can’t go to another. For that, I have different vets for each of my pets. I am glad that I can switch to the same veterinarian.

  23. I totally agree with you that we should stop googling our animals symptoms and problems. If it were that easy, no one would have to go to veterinary school anymore. It also encourages us to treat ourselves, which is a terrible practice. Thanks for the post!

  24. Awesome article, Vickie! I’m glad that I stumbled upon it because I’ve been thinking about taking my dog to the vet. I think you’re absolutely right: it’s important that you’re trying out more than one vet. I’ll be sure to follow your suggestion by asking them for how much they’re charging. Great tips; thanks for sharing them with us!

  25. I am so glad that I was able to find this! I am going to take my dog to the vet next week, and I want that to go as smoothly as possible. So I really appreciate you talking about this, and giving me some great tips when I go to the vet. I’ll make sure I follow these tips when I get there.

  26. Thanks for the tips about being nice to the vet. It makes their job easier to do and it makes them better at it. Not to mention, like you said, they are people too. A friend of mine is a vet, and he gets railed once in a while for dumb reasons. I appreciate this article. Thanks for sharing.

  27. I didn’t know that dogs really suffer silently. My dog just had surgery, and I was able to get him some pain meds. I hope these have helped him to feel better. Hopefully, he is not suffering in silence.

  28. I really like the advice you gave about trying out more than one vet. Most people go to the same vet for years which is great, but each vet does things differently that might be better for your pet. I got a new dog and started taking him to my regular vet and he would not hold still and freak out the whole time. Thanks for posting this I will take your advice and try out a different vet.

  29. I think when it comes to taking our dog to the veterinarian, like you said, it’s important to keep good records. I think it makes the trip to the vet a lot smoother and easier. We have moved a lot so we have changed vets a few times. I always try and make sure I ask for an updated record of my dogs history after visiting. Thanks for the great ideas on vets.

  30. All ten of these tips are great when you need to take your pet to the vet. That way you can make sure that you are going to the vet that is right for you. The one that I like the most would have to be to try out more than one. Doing this will show you who your pet will do best with.

  31. Thank you for the great information here on going to the vet. We will be sure to save this page as we will be needing to go to the vet more often for multiple reasons after getting our new puppies next month. I really like the advice in number three, sometimes we just need to get out there and see for ourselves and what our pets like! Thanks again for sharing.

  32. I love the advice you give here, especially to stop googling! While the internet can be a really helpful resource, trying to diagnose your pet by excessively googling ultimately just causes more anxiety than necessary. It’s best to just pay attention to your pet’s behavior and bring it up when you see your vet.

  33. My wife and I just got a new puppy and we love him so much. We want to take the best care of him that we can, and we realized that huge part of that is having a good vet that we can take him to. This article has some good points that I feel will help us find what we are looking for.

  34. I really appreciate your comment about keeping all the records. I am usually not very good with keeping receipts and documents because I think I won’t need them anymore. We got a puppy two weeks ago, and we are taking him to a vet next week. I will make sure to keep all the records!

  35. This article mentions that you should know the history of the dogs health and make sure to tell the vet. I definitely agree that this could be a good idea, as my dog has had a rather difficult history with his condition. Thanks for sharing, this article has brought up some very helpful tips!

  36. I just got a new dog, and I want to make sure I take him to the vet soon so I can know what I can do to keep him healthy. This being said, I really appreciate you giving me some insight on this and letting me know about 10 ways I can best get my dog to the vet. I’ll be sure to follow your tips and see how it all works out. Thanks a ton for the help.

  37. I agree that you need to be careful with what you tell you doctor. I think going in with a list of symptoms is difference than going in with a list of self-diagnoses. like you said vets have gone through enough school that I think they should be able to figure it out. After all it is their job.

  38. I like your tip to try out more than one veterinarian. I just moved to a new city and I want to have my dog see a veterinarian to make sure he is fine after the move. I tend to research a little too much, so I’ll try to let it go. Thanks so much for the advice!

  39. I like that you mention that you should try out more than one vet. I actually took my pup to three different vets before settling on the one that was best. Not all vets are going to really care about you and your pet and they may not be very accommodating. That was the case with the first vet I took my dog too. The second was alright, but I still wanted someone who was much happier and friendly and really cared. I finally found one. I think it is just a good idea to check the area and start visiting the different offices and see which one will suit you and your pet best!

  40. Going to the vet can be really hard because of all the different ones out there. Mostly because you want what is best for your pet. I think you bring up a good point that if you have changes vets that you should bring all your records because that can really help the vet out.

  41. I completely agree that you should keep and bring records with you to the vet. When I was younger, we had multiple dogs that we had to take care of. I don’t remember seeing any of their paperwork, and it made things really hard for the vet office.

  42. Thank you for the help. I just bought my first dog and am looking for a good veterinary clinic now. I definitely would like to get estimates on certain services, as you suggested. Would you compare multiple estimates before committing to one vet?

  43. I am new to this area and am looking to find a vet for my dog. I like how you mention to try out more than one vet. I think this is important because not all vets are perfect for you or your dog so going to different vets will help decide on which one is best for my situation. Thanks for the great advice!

  44. I really need to take my dog into see our veterinarian for a check-up as it has been three years since he has gone. I usually put it off, because I can’t always afford for his medical care and so I really appreciate your advice about asking for a tech appointment to save money. I will start doing that in the future. However, in which situations should I use a vet instead of a technician?

    1. Hi Faylinn,

      It depends on the vet but most will allow techs to do nail trims, anal gland expressions and vaccines if your dog has been seen within a year for an exam at their office.

      Thanks and good luck!
      Vickie

  45. Thanks for sharing some tips for taking your pet to the vet. You make a good point about how trying more than one vet can be a great way to make sure you have found someone you can properly communicate with and who treats you and your pet with the respect you deserve. I recently adopted a dog, so I will have to make sure we ask for some vet recommendations and try a few of them out.

  46. Keeping records is a great suggestion. Like you mentioned, if you need to go to a different vet for specialty treatments, making sure to have all the records with you is a good way to help the new vet know exactly what’s going on. Placing new records in the same folder as old records would be a good way to ensure that it’s all always in one spot.

  47. I like the idea of trying out more than one vet. There are a lot of different styles and clinic dynamics out there, and the best way to find the right one is to try out a lot of different ones! When you do this, though, I would think that going and getting to know the staff on a personal level while you’re bouncing around will help you to have good insight on whether or not you want to take your pet to their clinic. Thanks for sharing.

  48. Keeping records is smart. That way, you can remember past problems. medications, and so on. If you are meeting a new vet, it would be nice to have that information for them. Then they can better assist your pup!

  49. You have to make sure that your pets are doing well. You want them to be happy and healthy. I think it is a good idea to ask about estimated for surgeries because you not to be able to plan for that.,

  50. I like your tip on keeping vet records and bringing them to any visit you make. I would imagine that past records would be an important tool to help a veterinarian to take care of your pet. I need to take my dog to the vet for some meds for his skin so I’ll be sure to bring any past records we have when I do.

  51. Yes! Yes! Yes! Just because vets can be expensive, doesn’t mean that they are taking advantage of you. If they wanted to make money, they would have gone into something different. They love our animals and they went to a lot of work to help them! Any vet I’ve ever known does it for the love of the animals.

  52. It’s good to know that I should be asking for an x-ray if I’m ever in doubt about my dog’s health. Unlike people, dogs can’t talk about how they feel, so it is up to us to figure out what is wrong. Plus, like you said, they can catch a lot of things that can’t be determined by blood tests.

  53. I agree that trying out more than one vet would be a good idea when looking for a clinic. I would imagine that finding the one that fits you best would take time. I’m looking for a vet for my dog so I’ll have to be sure to visit a few and find the one that fits us best.

  54. This is some great information, and I appreciate your suggestion to try out more than one vet before settling on one. My husband and I have decided that we’re going to get a dog, and we want to make sure he’s as healthy as possible. We’ll definitely visit a few vets to get a feel for how well they communicate so I can choose the best one for us. Thanks for the great post!

  55. I really like your tip “keep and bring records.” I think that is something that will really help the vet to know what your pet has dealt with in the past. We recently moved to a new town so we are looking for a new vet hospital for our dogs. We will have to keep this information in mind while we are searching. Thanks for sharing!

  56. I’ve never had to go to the vet before since I’ve never had a pet. But now I’m taking care of my sister’s dogs while she is living overseas for a year. I like how you suggest to keep copies of any lab work your dog has ever had. This will be helpful if my sister has it for her dog since I will be taking him to a new vet where I live. Thanks for the advice!

  57. I appreciate this article about the tips for visiting the vet. It is good to know that keeping and bringing records is beneficial. This would save time and help the vet to stay organized.

  58. I really like how you give the advice on not going to your vet appointment armed with pages of online research and self-diagnoses. I care a lot about my dog and when I see him in pain I want to know what’s going on. However, the veterinarian is the professional and will be able to spend much less time giving a valid diagnosis which means I should worry less. Thanks for the advice!

  59. You mentioned that you should bring records for when you find the right vet, as it is important for them to know their health record. My brother has an adorable new puppy and has been looking for a vet to take him to. I’ll be sure that once he finds the vet that fits him and his dogs needs, to have all the paperwork necessary to ensure all measures are taken to keep the puppy healthy.

  60. I appreciate this information about how to find a good veterinarian. I like what was said about the importance of keeping and bringing animal records. This would facilitate the visit and help to inform the vet of the pet’s history. Something to consider would be to find a local vet to shorten the commute time.

  61. I agree that you need to ask for an estimate when looking for a veterinary clinic. I would imagine that you would need to find out how much they will charge you before you take your pet to the vet. I’m looking for someone to help take care of my new dog so I’ll have to ask for an estimate first.

  62. In your article, you stated that symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea could point to so many different illnesses – the details you share with your vet can really make the difference between life and death. Last night when I came home from work I found a lot of vomit in our front yard that came from my dog. I wonder if there are vets who will only treat certain breeds of dogs.

  63. I like the suggestion to ask for an estimate. I didn’t realize that operations were so expensive until I made the mistake of pay for the first one available. I think that if you want to get your pet neutered or spayed then you might want to ask around and find the best price.

  64. I would want to make sure that I have a vet that is near by. I would want to make sure that they take emergencies. I want to have someone that is sturdy as well.

  65. I really like your tip about asking for an x-ray if you sense a bigger issue for your pet. There have been many times when our lab has gotten sick and if it hadn’t been for the x-ray we wouldn’t have realized that the problem was bigger than it seemed. I will keep these tips in mind and share them with my husband for future visits to the vet.

  66. I absolutely loved your final point about being polite with the vet and their staff, so that everyone has a great experience. I’ve been meaning to take my dog to a vet, but don’t have one currently. I’ll have to look for a good vet who is friendly, and will help make being nice an easy thing. Thanks for the fun read.

  67. I agree that you would want to bring all the records of your dog when you are looking for a vet. I would imagine that having that paperwork handy would be helpful in informing them what you are looking for. My husband and I are looking for a new vet for our puppy so we’ll have to bring all our records when we meet with one.

  68. This is some rally good information about taking your pet to the vet. I like that you talked about bringing our pets records with you. It would probably be easier that having to have the vet look up when your dog got his vaccinations. I know that I can’t really remember what month my dog got his last vaccinations.

  69. We just got a new dog, and the dreaded trip to the vet is right around the corner, and I need help! I like the idea of asking for estimates. Its good to know that good vets would be willing to give me an estimate on the spot! Thanks for the tips!

  70. I like how you mentioned trying more than one vet so you can find the right one for you. My wife and I are going to be getting a dog, and we want to make sure we take good care of him, so we’re starting our search for a vet now. We’ll definitely visit several so we can find one that we communicate well with and feel good about.

  71. I completely agree with the concept of knowing and understanding your pet. That is especially important when finding and staying with a vet. You want a vet that you know your pet would trust as much as they trust you.

  72. I appreciate the advice you give to know your pet when going to a vet. It’s important that you do what you can to prepare the vet so that they can give the best service possible. I’ll have to pass these thoughts off to my sister as her dogs are getting older and need more frequent visits to the vet.

  73. I recently moved to a new city and I was wondering what I should do to find the best veterinary service for my pets. I agree that going to multiple animal clinics to see the different styles that the different clinics have. Also, your idea to ask for estimates and a small diagnosis of your pet is a great way to compare the different styles of the veterinarians that you are looking into.

  74. My wife and I recently adopted a dog. We are taking her to the vet for her first check up, so we’re looking for advice. I didn’t realize getting an estimate beforehand can help you have a better idea of what to expect. I’ll be sure to share this info with my wife.

  75. Thanks for the tips for going to the vet. My wife and I just got a puppy, and we want to learn everything we can to make vet visits easier. Thanks for mentioning to make sure you ask about pain meds if your pet has been injured. I want to make sure that my dog isn’t in pain, so I will be sure to stay on top of this.

  76. I agree that you want to know how much a vet will charge for their services. Asking for an estimate seems like a smart way to know what they will charge and get your money’s worth. My husband and I adopted a dog recently, so we’ll have to find a vet with a fair price to take him to.

  77. This is some really good information about choosing a vet. I just got a puppy and I want to make sure that I take good care of him. I liked that you pointed out that you should try out more than one vet. Personally, I would want to make sure that they could handle an emergency situation.

  78. I like that you talk about how it’s a good idea to be observant and give your vet as many relevant details as possible. This could help them figure out the best way to treat and care for your animal. When choosing a clinic to go to, you’d probably want to pick somewhere that has a veterinarian and other staff that you’re comfortable with and who will listen to what you have to say in order to make sure they understand what happened.

  79. I agree that you need to consider your dog’s overall health when you go to a vet. Knowing your dog and what they need would be helpful. My brother is looking for a vet for his new French bulldog puppy, so he’ll have to find one that cares for her health like he does.

  80. Thanks for the great tips to pick a good veterinarian. I want to be sure I have a vet chosen, so if there is an emergency with my pup, I’ll know who to turn to. That is a great idea to find a veterinarian that I can communicate with, and that I can understand their medical approach. Those two points of advice will really help me find the best vet in my area.

  81. My dog Snuffles has been really mopey lately. I thought he might just be feeling a little off, but it’s lasted for a couple days now. Your tip about really knowing the symptoms of your dog will certainly help as I try to explain all of this to a veterinarian. I will be sure to monitor him properly so that I can give as helpful answers as possible.

  82. I thought it was interesting how you advised up to try out more than one vet to find out which ones you like more than others. Just as you mentioned, a part of being a good vet is your genuine care for the animals and the relationships that you build with the animal and the owner. Rosco, my dog, needs to be taken in for a regular check, and I think that I will try a new vet to see if they are better. Thanks for the post, and I hope that they will love him as much as I do!

  83. It sure got my attention when you said that as the owner if I am not convinced with the results of a checkup, I should consider x-ray for my dog because though they cannot detect everything, they can detect the big problems. I think this time around, the only available way for us to determine what was wrong with my dog was to schedule an x-ray. He fell down the stairs a few hours ago, and though I do not see him limping or anything, I know that something is up. I want to know what. Thank you for the info!

  84. I’ve recently gotten a border collie named Nanty. I want to keep Nanty as healthy has he has been, so I think I should probably find a vet to take him to. Thanks for your suggestion to bring copies of any lab work your pet has had as well as any blood work they’ve had done. I will have to start gathering that up and make sure to get copies once I find a vet to take Nanty to.

    1. Hi Rose, yes, it’s definitely a team effort between you and your vet to figure out what is wrong with your dog and get the most effective treatment. Bringing recent lab work is always beneficial, even if new lab work is done. The vet can then compare the different values on each report to see “trends” of things like kidney decline, liver function – that sort of thing. And a good history of how your dog has been eating, pooping, peeing and his energy level are all good things to think about and come prepared to share that info so your vet can have all the info possible to make a good diagnosis.

  85. I like that you provided some tips for going to the vet such as asking for medications. Vets would normally prescribe the right medication to treat your dog’s condition. Nevertheless, it’s always good to be proactive every now and then to ask the vet for any recommendation if ever your dog suffers from any side effects from the treatment or procedure that he has undergone. This is actually one good way of establishing a good rapport with your vet as well. If I were to visit a veterinarian, I would definitely take this into account. Thanks.

  86. I like the idea of trying out more than one vet. Sometimes we think that if we go to a vet once, we are then committed to always going to them. It seems like it’s really simple to change vets when you want. You should always make sure you find a vet that you can connect with a have a good relationship with, like you mentioned.

  87. We’ve been wanting to find a vet who we could use in emergencies. I’m glad you talked about how you can try out a few different vets to see who you like. I’m going to have to look for a good emergency exam vet and see who we like best!

  88. I love that you suggested visiting a few vets. It is hard to tell what kind of vet you think would be best for your pet until you actually give them a shot. I will have to try that out next week after I pick up my new puppy.

  89. I really appreciate your advice about keeping any copies of any lab work that your pet has gone through, especially if you move vets a lot. We haven’t found a vet that we like quite yet, but we really need to be prepared for any emergency with our dog. We’ll definitely adapt to this and I hope we never have to use it, but it will be good to have it just in case.

  90. Thank you for pointing out that a vet is going to need to get a good history of your pet so you should make sure and speak up about them. I’ll have to keep this in mind for when I take my puppy to the vet. I want to make sure and find the best vet in my area for my dog.

  91. I appreciate your advice to not google what you think might be the problem. I have been meaning to go to the vet to see what’s wrong with our cat, but I haven’t been able to find the time. This is totally something that I would do, so I’ll be sure to not do this since the vet is more experienced in this area than I am.

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