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Find a vet, if possible, who specializes in small animals (as opposed to one who treats large and small - like horses, cows, cats and dogs.) Your community may only have vets that do a little bit of everything - and there's nothing wrong with that, if that's all that's available, but I'll remind you - you usually go to a specialist for your health issues, don't you?
If you're new in the community, or haven't needed a vet before - word of mouth is a great way to start looking for a new vet. Ask everybody you can get your hands on - co-workers, friends with pets, local humane societies or shelters. Ask questions: are they happy with their vet? Do they like the way they're treated when they take their dogs in?
If your dog is a particular breed, check with the local or state breed associations to find out who they use, or local breeders. This can be especially useful if you buy a puppy from a local breeder, because the vet will have seen your puppy and know at least some of his history. You may want a holistic vet. Go to their website at www.ahvma.org and check out their referral directory. Or contact them via phone at (410) 569-0795 You may also be interested in a veterinarian who has been trained in acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture XE "Acupuncture" Society. Log onto their website XE "International Veterinary Acupuncture Society" at http://www.ivas.org or call 970-266-0666. Once you have a referral from someone you trust, here are some questions to ask:
1. What services does the vet offer?
Is it a one-doctor office, or a multi-doctor practice? As vets try to streamline services many are consolidating practices and forming partnerships and group practices. There's nothing wrong with this - just be aware that you may not always see the same vet. And find out if they offer 24 hour emergency services, or if he or she is affiliated with someone in the area who does. Like everything else in life, illness or accidents don't always happen between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
2. Does the vet offer a full surgery suite with on-site lab work? X-rays? Ultrasound? If the vet has to send all lab tests to an outside agency to be processed, you may be getting popped with additional charges because those tests aren't being performed or processed in-house.
3. Get a fee schedule.
Cost is usually one of the biggest considerations for dog owners, and it should be lowest on the list of importance, at least in my mind. Not because cost isn't important - of course it is, but - if you have a vet that you're happy with - who gives your dog the best care you can possibly find in your area - does paying a little extra for that care really matter in the long run?
4. Check out the physical characteristics of the facility.
Is it clean, or does it smell? Are the ads or magazines in the waiting room current? (That may not sound important, but if the staff and doctors aren't keeping up-to-date on the latest and greatest information, this may not be the place you want to bring your dog.)
5. Communication - by that I mean how well does your vet communicate with you?
Will he or she explain the condition or illness in terms that you can easily understand, or do they try to confuse you with high-tech or medical jargon? A good vet will go over treatment options with you, explain necessary tests, review x-rays or test results, give complete and clear instructions for home care or further testing requirements, etc.
Take your time to do a complete and thorough evaluation before choosing a new vet. Your dog's life literally depends on what choice you make. Make it a careful one.
Charlie Lafave, author, "Dog Training Secrets!" To transform your stubborn, misbehaving dog into a loyal, well-behaving "best friend" who obeys your every command and is the envy of the neighborhood, visit: http://tinyurl.com/6u2cj
New York Times
How to Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays
New York Times
While the holidays can leave you with a warm, fuzzy glow, they add a lot of things to the daily mix of your life that might not be good for your pets. Whether it's your treats that upset their stomachs, a tree whose needles wind up in their mouths or ...
The Mercury News
Smoke from fires can cause problems for wildlife and pets
The Mercury News
Our pets are at greater risk from the smoke. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends limiting the amount of time our pets spend outdoors, especially if they already suffer from respiratory problems or have shorter snouts — I'm looking ...
NHS: Adopting older pets
(WOWT) - While many families may be looking to adopt a puppy or kitten, the Nebraska Humane society wants to remind potential pet families about the benefits of older pets. Senior pets often come already trained, are calmer and offer a smoother ...
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
What is and isn't OK to feed your pets during your Thanksgiving feast
If you just can't resist those sweet puppy dog eyes, there are a few things you can share with your pets. Dr. Green says think boiled and bland. For example, unseasoned turkey, chicken, veggies, and rice. If for some reason someone at the table breaks ...
CRPD shares tips on how to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving
Tips on keeping your pets safe this Thanksgiving
How your pets can enjoy Thanksgiving
Colorado Springs Gazette
Pets of the Week on Nov. 21, 2018
Colorado Springs Gazette
Meet Dixie, a white domestic short-hair mix about five months old. While shy at first, Dixie is full of energy, friendly and independent. She is spayed. Adoption is $50. Knox is a handsome 5-year-old red terrier/American pit bull mix who loves to be ...
Asbury Park Press
Millennials are adopting more rescue pets. That's good news for NJ shelters
Asbury Park Press
Millennials really love animals — the 18- to 34-year-old demographic now makes up the largest group of pet owners in the United States — and their pet acquirement preferences are a boon to shelter dogs and cats. Rescue animals are having their moment ...
San Angelo Standard Times
Pet-friendly gifts, tips, and what to avoid this holiday season
San Angelo Standard Times
Don't forget the pets this holiday season. San Angelo has several stores to help with pet-friendly presents, and local experts offer the dos, don'ts and how tos on keeping the pets safe and happy over the holidays.
CBD is safe for pets, but does it actually work?
If you know what CBD is, you may have noticed it's everywhere these days. If you don't know what it is, check it out: “CBD and marijuana are both cannabis plants but they're two different strains entirely. So CBD is derived from industrial hemp and has ...
Pets dying at groomers is a growing problem
Pets dying at groomers is a growing problem. Unable to load video. One way to pamper your pet is a trip to the groomer. But in a moment's time...that cut and wash could turn deadly if your dog is in the wrong hands. Published: 6:21 PM EST November 19, ...
Pets of the Week
This week's Ark Animal Rescue and Adoption Pets of the Week are a bonded pair of dogs, Poo and Cooper. Poo is a 4-year-old male that's likely been with 10-year-old female Cooper for his entire life. Poo is shy but loves to be held and petted. Cooper is ...
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