Monday, March 20, 2006

Finding the right veterinarian for Your Labrador Retrievers

One of the most difficult things the owner of a Labrador Retriever must do is chose the right veterinarian. With a little work upfront, you will be able to find a veterinarian that you will be comfortable with, and one that will be able to serve all of your Labradors long term needs.

One of the best ways to find a good veterinarian is to start by asking your family members and friends whom themselves own pets. Neighbors, groomers, and your fellow co-workers are other good sources. You can also search your local yellow pages under dog hospitals, veterinarians, and animal clinics. An excellent online source is located at (punch in your zip code and it will locate veterinarians in your area).

Now that you have a potential list of vets, your selection process can begin.

Give each veterinarian a call and explain that you are looking for a new veterinarian for your Labrador Retriever, and you would like to meet with them to ask a few questions and to see their facility.

Typical questions and what to look for:


Fee and Services – some veterinarians are higher priced then others. Don’t be hesitant to ask about prices.

* What methods of payment do they take?
* Do they accept a pet insurance plan?
* Is full payment expected on the day of visit?
* Are there discounts for multi-pet households?
* What is the range of services that the veterinarian provides (x-rays, blood test, heartworm test, etc)?

Office Hours

* What are regular office hours?
* Who will take over if the veterinarian is on vacation or out sick?

Emergency Care for your Labrador

* What should I do if the veterinarian is closed and my Labrador Retriever gets hurt or is sick?
* In case of an accident that requires an overnight stay, will someone be with my Labrador Retriever non-stop?

Observe the Staff

Observe the interaction with the veterinarian and with the other staff. Are they courteous and caring?


* Is the facility clean and well kept?
* How many veterinarians are in the practice?
* Are appointments required?
* Are the animals in separate cages?

The last thing you might want to do is to check with the Veterinarian Medical Board to check if any complaints have been filed against the practice.

Once you have finished making your visits with the veterinarians on your list, you should have a clear picture on what veterinarian you would like to use. If for some reason your first choice doesn’t work out, you can always switch veterinarians to your next choice on your list.

By utilizing the above guidelines, you will be able to match the right veterinarian to what you are looking for, and to serving all of your Labrador Retrievers needs.

© Fay Fernandez

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