Choosing a Veterinarian

Questions for Your Potential New Vet

If you are choosing a veterinarian there are several things you’ll need to assess concerning your potential vet’s overall attitude toward animals and approach to health care.

You'll also probably want answers to many very specific German Shepherd related questions. So, just so you won't forget, here are several questions to get you started.

When you're choosing a veterinarian, you're balancing convenience and quality. There's no right or wrong vet for you and your dog – which is partly why making the choice can be so confusing. There are lots of vets to choose from, and they're all different!

Even though it's tempting to go for the one right around the corner with the rock-bottom prices, it really is worthwhile taking the time to shop around. Your dog is utterly dependent on you for her health care – and if you take her seriously as a companion and member of the family, you'll want to do the best thing by her.

Useful questions to ask a new veterinarian:

- How many vets are there on staff? If you need to make an urgent appointment, you don’t want to be waiting around while precious minutes tick past. Ideally, there’ll be at least two qualified veterinarians on hand (not just technicians or assistants.)

- What kind of testing and analysis capabilities does the clinic have. If they have to send away to a lab for this kind of stuff, it means that the results are going to be delayed. If your dog is very sick, time is an important factor: it’s best if the clinic has at least blood-analysis testing on hand.

- What after-hours services are available? A lot of clinics close the doors in the evenings and on weekends, which means that if there’s an emergency, you’ll have to go somewhere else – and subject your dog (and yourself) to an unfamiliar vet. (If you don’t mind this, then that’s fine; but be aware that in a high-stress situation when emotions are running high, it’s reassuring for your dog and yourself to deal with someone familiar.)

- What’s their price range? How are payments made? Is there a facility for payment plans in case of unexpected vet bills? The payment-plan option is particularly important. Even with pet insurance, vet bills can sometimes be astronomical – and not everyone has the resources to deal with large vet bills straight away. Ask the clinic how they cater for situations like that.

- How up-to-date is the staff with advances in the industry? Do the vet, the technicians, and the assistants attend seminars and workshops regularly? The field of medical care is always moving forward – responsible vets make the effort to keep up with the times, and see that their staff do, too.

A good vet knows how to take care of you as well as your German shepherd. The relationship that you have with your vet will hopefully be one that's based around a healthy mutual respect and positive synergy - there should be very little scope for misunderstanding. When the two of you see eye to eye, it makes caring for your dog that much easier.

There are many important decisions to be made when choosing a veterinarian and knowing when to take your dog to the vet and when to let him "self-regulate" can be pretty tricky business. How do you tell when your dog needs to see a professional or will be fine with treatment at home ? After all, it's not as if you can rely on your dog to tell you know whats wrong.

Return for choosing a veterinarian to German Shepherd health articles

"I spilled spot remover on my dog. He's gone now." - Steven Wright

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