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Discussion Starter #1
We've just moved & it's time for Molly's wellness check & boosters. Any suggestions on questions to ask the new vet about her practice or experience? Last time I chose a vet, I just went with the rescue group's vet, who was awesome but too far, and I didn't think to ask anything.
 

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I'm a stickler on the surgical part. I like to know that there is an experienced, preferably licensed, vet tech who is monitoring anesthesia while the vet does surgery. I'd also make sure they aren't the kind of practice that wants you to get every vaccine out there, yearly. You should be getting vaccines every three years (or titering, as alot of us do) with the exception of rabies. I also like a vet who leaves my dogs nutrition to me.
 

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It depends on what you want from a vet, honestly. Some people want to have more control, and others really like a vet who takes over. It also depends on whether you will be going to this vet for everything, or whether you also have an animal hospital nearby that you would choose for surgical procedures.

Personally, my needs for a vet are:

- Can perform surgery on site, and has a tech onsite for anesthesia
- Has up-to date equipment
- Is open-minded about considering alternative options. I don't actually intend to use any alternative medicine on my dog or cat, but I have found that vets who are OPEN to alternative medicine are more likely to be willing to have a dialogue with you about treatments and possibilities.
- Is reasonable about costs. This, to me, means that they are understanding when it comes to your finances, and won't insist on expensive tests for every little thing.
- If you are planning on insuring, make sure that they are happy to deal with the paperwork. Some vets can be a pain about insurance stuff, and it is not worth the stress.

Its also really important that you personally LIKE the vet! It may seem silly, and that it doesn't matter how you get on with them, as long as they are qualified and capable, but it really does matter. When it comes to being comfortable discussing options, if you have an emergency and are emotional or upset, even just being in a positive state of mind while you are there so that your dog is comfortable going to the vet....all these things matter, and a good relationship with the person goes a long way.

Make sure that anywhere you go is happy to answer questions, and ask if you can have a tour of the facility. You don't actually need to TAKE the tour (frankly, I would have no idea about anything there, other than "is it clean", so it wouldn't make much difference to see it) but having a vet who is willing to give a tour is a good sign.

I also really like places that encourage you to come in often, just to get weighed or say hi. It really helps the dog become comfortable and happy at the vet, and not just associate it with pain or bad feelings. It also helps you keep a close eye on their weight and health, and doesn't cost anything.

Finally, don't get too caught up in recommendations! We "chose" our vet because it is directly below our home (how convenient is that!!), and have so far had an excellent experience. They encourage us to come in weekly for weighing, are very friendly and knowledgeable, and don't charge ridiculous amounts. When we went in for the first check up, she didn't charge us for de-worming because "she barely needed anything, I don't want to charge you for such a tiny amount". We were recommended by the SPCA to get a set of shots, but the vet talked to us about changing the schedule to make it easier on the pup, even though it would take a little longer, and meant that she got less money that day. However....we had been told by someone NOT to go there, that they were terrible, rude, all about the money, etc etc. Just goes to show, you can't put too much stock in recommendations!!

Sorry for the giant post!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both so much for your responses. Unfortunately, I didn't see them until after the appt. but I will definitely follow up about the surgical stuff. I had not thought about that and I agree it's important. Worst case, I could bring her to her old vet (about an hour away), who is an excellent surgeon. I did like the new vet very much. She was very understanding of my desire to space out Molly's boosters so we did the DDHP today & we'll do rabies next month when it's actually due. She didn't push any other vacs & gave me very helpful parasite info about our area that solidified my decision not to vac against Lyme disease. She was also supportive of Molly's diet-PMR. The staff was all very warm & friendly as were the people in the waiting room. Great experience.
 

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A vet that was supportive of a raw diet - that's unusual!
 
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