How to Select the Right Veterinarian
Choosing a professional veterinarian for your precious canine buddy can be easy, yet somewhat complex.

There are many things to consider when you choose a doggie doctor. After all, your puppy is a member of your family, so you need to go through much of the same considerations that you would when hiring a doctor for your child, or a child care provider, a coach, a nanny, or a dog walker for your puppy, keeping the safety and welfare of your loved one in mind at all times.

When you check out a doctor for your children or a nursing home for a parent, you normally look to family and friends for references. You basically do the same thing when you are looking for a professional veterinarian or doggie daycare for your puppy. You can seek out references from friends that have dogs, because you know that even if they administer their own vaccine booster shots, they all take their dog to the vets for at least their rabies shot. It is required by law.

Ask everyone you can think of. Your co-workers, your neighborhood association, dog groomers, dog trainers, people you have met at the local dog park, dog clubs, animal rescue organizations, and even the humane society can all be good resources. Many of them will have their own vet that they recommend or know of a vet that they have heard is a good vet. Ask them why they like that particular vet.

Some states have a (VMA) Veterinary Medical Association that you can call for a referral. If you are new in an area, you can search for a veterinarian in your area by going to:

Once you have a list of Vets, you can call or stop by.
  • Is the location convenient?

  • Are the hours of operation conducive to your schedule?

  • Is the office sanitary and orderly?

  • Is the office staff knowledgeable and friendly?

  • Can I see the same vet at each appointment?

  • What are their rates?

  • Do they have a welcome package?

  • What do they have in the way of emergency hours?

  • Are appointments required?

  • Are dogs and cats cages in separate areas?

  • Are the x-rays, ultrasound, blood work, EKG, endoscopy, and other diagnostics done in house?

  • Make sure the vet is not planning on retiring any time soon.

  • Write down your questions and take the list with you.

  • Be honest with your vet and their staff.
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Keep your vets phone number with your other emergency numbers and be sure to give it to your puppy walker, puppy sitter, and puppy day care. Keep your vets number programmed into your cell phone.

Prevention of disease is always the best treatment. Taking your sweet baby boy or girl to the vet is the best and most responsible thing you can do for your new family member. Make sure you take all the necessary steps recommended by your veterinarian to keep your puppy healthy.
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Obedience Classes and Dog Parks
Once your new puppy has had their 4 puppy booster vaccine shots and a bordetella injected shot or the bordetella intra-nasal, then heading to obedience lessons or the dog parks is great fun for the both of you! The dog obedience class instructors will also have a requirement on how many and what shots your puppy or dog has to have before allowing them entrance into their classes. You will need to show then your vet records, so keep them in a folder or safe spot.

You still want to be somewhat cautious about allowing your puppy to sniff other animal's fecal and play with unknown strays. These unwanted germs, bacteria or viruses can be brought home on your clothing, shoes or hands. There are airborne viruses out there and it is simply difficult to always know who or what your sweet canine puppy friend is going to sniff next, so cleanliness and preventative medicine is always the best approach to keeping your sweetheart very healthy.
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Spay or Neuter your puppydog
  • If you are not going to breed your dog, then spay or neuter your puppy at the age recommended by your vet which is usually 4 to 6 months, depending upon your vet. Animal health specialists and experts believe that spaying and neutering helps dogs live longer, healthier lives.

    Local animal shelters sometimes operate a clinic or know of a clinic that offers subsidized services to help people better afford spaying or neutering their dog. They may also offer vouchers to have your pet spayed or neutered at a lower cost by local, private veterinarians.

    Spaying eliminates the heat cycle in females, therefore eliminating pyometra and the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and nearly eliminates the incidence of breast cancer, tumors, and uterine infections in females, particularly when your puppy is spayed before her first estrous cycle.

    Neutering your male puppy eliminates testicular cancer, decreases the incidence of prostate disease, and nearly eliminates the risk of perineal hernias, and penile tumors in male dogs.

To learn all the basic training that your dog will ever need:
"Take our Free Puppy Training Course"
Always seek professional veterinary care following your first-aid attempts. All information on this web site is provided by No Free Lunch Dogs for general reference and informational purposes only. This information should not be construed to be formal professional advice or the formation of a consultant-client relationship. Your veterinarian is the best source for your dog's medical needs.