Bark About! Blog

A puppy pile of dog information and stories

A great vet is your dog's second best friend

How to Find a Great Vet

Published April 17, 2019
| Comments: 0

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or moving to a new area, choosing a vet can be a challenging process. We want our dog’s health to be in good hands, getting the best possible care.

Thankfully, many people are happy to refer others to their vet, and talking to others is a great way to start your search. Asking neighbors, friends, and local shelters is an easy way to get ideas, and online reviews can provide additional insights.

If you’re just starting your search, keep these ideas in mind.

They work in an AAHA-accredited hospital

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only organization to accredit veterinary hospitals in the US and Canada. They hold hospitals to the highest veterinary standards, so if you find an AAHA-accredited hospital, you can feel confident about the level of care your dog should receive. There are many great hospitals not AAHA accredited, but it’s an option if you’d like some extra peace of mind.

If you’re interested in finding an AAHA accredited hospital near you, you can use this search feature provided on AAHA’s website.

They’re easily accessible

When you meet with a prospective vet, ask about their emergency policy. If something happens to your dog, would they be able to see your dog immediately? Could they arrange your dog to go to another hospital? Could you get to that hospital easily and quickly?

Find out how easy it is to schedule appointments or get medications confirmed. If you call the hospital, does the vet get back to you in a timely manner? It’s much easier to stay on top of your dog’s health when the vet is easily accessible and just a short distance away.

They have strong communication skills

It’s a difficult time when your dog is dealing with an injury or illness. Great vets are able to stay calm and show compassion, and they can help you through any stressful situation. Do they treat your dog well, take the time to listen to all of your concerns, and answer your questions thoughtfully? These are just a few traits to look for in a vet.

They have a large network of specialists

Your vet may be highly skilled and knowledgeable in their practice, but chances are they won’t be experts in every specialization. When you meet with your vet, find out whether they’re connected to a large network of other specialized veterinarians. If your dog could benefit from seeing a cardiologist or ophthalmologist, it’s much easier when your vet is able to recommend someone within their network.

They maintain a clean practice

It seems obvious, but it’s still important to inspect the environment your vet works in. A clean, sanitized space indicates a quality level of care. If possible, if the hospital could give you a little tour of the area. Many are more than happy to show you the quality of care they provide.

These are just five tips to keep in mind as you start your search. Trust your gut, ask for referrals from your community, and keep your pup’s health a priority!

Do you have any tips on finding a great vet? Let us know your experiences.

Recent Blog Posts

Is Your Pup Feeling the Back to School Blues?

It’s not just the kids who get back-to-school blues. Our dogs may also feel the blues, just for different reasons. After a summer with their people, filled with trips and fun outings, staying at home alone for longer stretches can be a challenge. In this post, we’ll...

Doggone Hot! Keeping Your Pawsome Pooch Cool and Happy This Summer

The summer sun sizzles and the pavement turns into a frying pan. It's time to talk about our furry friends' favorite season: summer! While dogs adore outdoor adventures, it's crucial to keep them cool and comfortable during the dog days of summer. So, grab a popsicle...

Does My Dog Watch TV?

These days, in the competitive pet care industry, some dog boarding businesses offer TV in their overnight suites. Usually, DOGTV or Animal Planet are the chosen channels. This assumes your dog is going to watch TV in the first place, which is meant as a calming tool...

Tips for hiking with your pup

Now that the colder weather is subsiding and spring is in the air, many people are ready to get out of the house and start enjoying the outdoors again. One great way to do this with your furry companion is hiking!  Hiking with your dog allows for extended one on...

The Emerging Science of Dirt for Dogs

A lot of us don’t spend much time thinking about dirt. And if you have a dog, you may not like the idea of dirt and dogs together. It could mean dirty paws, which might mean a dirty house…and bath time. Admittedly, mopping up after your dirty dog doesn’t sound fun....

How Did Wolves Become Dogs?

Do you ever look at your pup, who’s looking back up at you, hoping for a treat, and wonder: How did you ever descend from wolves?  Yet it’s true. All dogs, big and small, share a common ancestry. For a long time, we thought dogs were descendants of the modern...

How to Prevent Your Dog From Being Destructive When Left Alone

Do you worry every time you leave your dog at home? Are you hoping you won’t have to buy cushions a third time? You’re not alone. Maybe you’ve tried everything you can think of, and your pup still chomps the minute you’re out the door.  We’ll cover some ideas...



Recent Blog Posts

Is Your Pup Feeling the Back to School Blues?

Is Your Pup Feeling the Back to School Blues?

Are your kids heading back to school? Or maybe you’re heading back to the office for work? Your pup may experience some “back-to-school blues.” Learn some tips on how to help your dog as they adjust to a new fall routine.

read more