One of the most important
decisions you will need to make to keep your dog healthy and happy will be the selection of a veterinarian. Like
your own personal family doctor it is best to choose a vet who will get to know your dog, will have a history of
vaccinations, health problems, allergies and other other information which will be valuable when health challenges
There are a number of factors that you
should consider when picking a veterinarian so that this practitioner will
bethebest veterinarian for your
Here's some criteria we
Ask friends and neighbors, local
dog rescue groups and shelters about their experiences with individual vets, veterinary hospitals and
Call the veterinary office and
ask for an appointment to come in and visit the animal hospital. When you arrive take a good look around at
how the facility is maintained. Is it neat and clean? Is the staff friendly and neat in appearance
Ask how payment is handled. Do
they accept pet insurance, credit cards, payment plans?
What are the office hours? What
about after hours and emergencies?
Check out the kennel area? Are
the dogs comfortable ? Are the cages clean and free of feces and do they have water and blankets, towels or
other clean bedding? Are any of the animals in distress and unattended? Do you see any notes attached to
the cages with instructions for special care?
Ask the staff how exercise and
fresh air time are handled for ambulatory pets? How often do they see the doctor? Who feeds them? Who gives
them medication? Can you watch a dog get his meds? This is all important so that you can get an idea of the
level of care and professionalism in any hospital
Make sure to
meet to the veterinarian If your dog is with you, how do they get along? If not, try to watch the vet
interact with other pets in the office.
Ask him/her how they treat
different types of problems?
Do they believe in holistic
What is their philosophy
concerning vaccines? What do they feed their pets?
How long have they been in
practice? Where did she/he go to veterinary school? Do they have any advanced
How do they handle referrals to a
specialist if the need arises Which specialists do they work with? Are the specialists local? Can you
contact them if your dog has a special problem?
Should I Choose a Holistic
Whether you decide to choose a holistic
or regular practitioner will ultimately be up to you, your comfort zone, philosophy of health care and other
criteria such as accessibility, cost and needs.
A brief examination of what Holistic Vets
do may be helpful.
It is important to understand that
holistic vets are not the same thing as homeopathic vets.
Homeopathy, chiropractic, and botanical
medicine are all examples of holistic medicine. Be sure to ask what forms of treatment a practitioner uses before
making any decision.
use a variety of alternativetherapies, taking a general holistic approach to
treatment. A vet may use acupuncture for example but not
consider themselves a holistic vet because they subscribe to just one form of alternative treatment,
acupuncture. For referrals and information contact theAmerican Holistic Veterinary Association
vetstreats the animal as a whole not by just suppressing
symptoms, which is often the focus of traditional medicine. Homeopathic results may be slower than antibiotic or
cortisone shots but you dog will be healthier and potentially live longer as a result. For referrals contact
The Academy of Veterinary
For most dogs a vet that is a holistic
vet who incorporates different approaches including homeopathy may be the best solution
Here are some helpful links to help you make the right choice: