Moving to a New City? How to Find the Best Vet for Your Dog

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Moving is stressful enough, but add to it an adjustment period for a new pet and you’ve got the potential for a stressful few weeks on your hands.

This is especially true if you’re moving to an entirely new city.

Not only do you have to learn the ins and outs of this new place, but your dog will also have to adapt and adjust to the new place.

From ensuring they’ve got a silicone dog collar on to keep them safe to mapping out a new daily walking routine, one of the main things you’ll need to do when moving to your new city is find a new vet for your dog. Here’s how!


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Look for Someone with Positive Reviews

Reviews are your friend when it comes to finding a quality vet. People aren’t shy about giving their opinion if they’re highly impressed – or unimpressed! Pay close attention to the most recent reviews rather than the most relevant ones.

Staff can change over time, so reading recent reviews that contain descriptions rather than just a number of stars will help you make an informed decision. Look for someone who has a variety of glowing reviews, including their staff!


Ask Your Current Vet for Recommendations

Just like with any career field, vets are made up of networks that can sometimes transcend localities. From conferences to annual educational training, there are lots of opportunities for vets to meet each other who practice miles and miles away.

If you’re moving across the country or far enough away that you can’t comfortably make the commute to your current vet any longer, ask them if they know of any vets near your new home.

Who knows?

They might be able to get you a spot in a highly-coveted vet’s office!


Find Out Whether Your Current Vet Is Part of a Chain

Some veterinarians are part of a chain of locations, members of a larger network that fall under the same business name. This can be a great way to find a new vet in your new city!

The transfer of notes and medical records for your dog actually doesn’t have to go anywhere.

Their shared system is accessible by any of the doctors in their network, so no matter where you take your dog, they should be able to see all the pertinent information.

You’ll still probably have to fill out the standard check-in form each time you visit the vet, but they should be able to easily access prior medical visits from the other location.

This also means you’re going to get a decent vet, too. Most larger networks have a strict system in place to ensure they hire only the best veterinarians.

Rather than taking a gamble with an independently-owned vet, you can have the security of a larger network of vets and assistants to ensure your furry friend is well taken care of.


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Schedule a Tour with Potential Vet Facilities

This is the place your pet will be at for hours on the days of the comprehensive exams. It’s important that you are taking them to a place filled with people who love animals and do a good job.

Asking to take a tour of the facilities prior to signing your dog up for their services will help you make the most informed decision possible. Get a feel for the vibe in the space. Are pet owners calm while waiting for their turn?

Do dogs and cats wait in different areas? How many exam rooms are there? Pay attention to how busy the space is (or gets) during your time there.

For animals who experience anxiety, it’s important they get to a calm environment very quickly. A waiting room filled with pets and their humans can be a potential disaster for a normally anxious pet.


Look for a Vet Who Offers a Lot of In-House Services

In-house services are a huge bonus at a vet office. From X-rays to lab work, your dog might need lots of services as part of their vet visit.

If you have to take your dog somewhere else to get all of those services, why even use that facility as your vet in the first place?

Constantly transporting your dog to various medical facilities can actually make your dog uncomfortable and anxious, which is not a good idea if they need to be observed and treated by a vet.

Anxious dogs can lash out if they feel unsafe, potentially causing serious harm to you, your family, or any of the vet staff.


Ask Your New Vet Lots of Questions

After deciding on a new vet, you’ll want to take some time to ask them lots of questions, especially if you’re bringing in a pet that has specific medical conditions.

Asking about available emergency services, specialist referrals, overnight stays and payment options are all important topics to get clarifications on.

Many vet offices have websites that explain some of this information, so consider visiting their sites prior to an office visit and make note of things you saw on the site that you want clarification on.


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Make Sure Your Dog Is Prepared

A new place can be overwhelming for a dog, especially one that suffers from anxiety or other medical conditions. Make sure your dog is prepared by following all the instructions your new vet’s office gives you prior to their appointment.

Some vet offices will prescribe some calming medication to dogs that have a history of anxiety, so make sure that all the medicines they’re supposed to take have been administered prior to their appointment.

Make sure your dog is fed well, or bring in a sample of their stool or urine if requested by their vet. Attach a trackable Tile dog tag to your dog’s collar so that you can keep track of where they are, especially if it’s their first visit.


Be a Good Patient

Yes, you’re a patient, too! It can be a tough experience when your dog isn’t feeling well, so vets sometimes have to calm humans down as much as they do animals.

Being a good patient is essential for finding a good vet. Show up early enough to do any needed paperwork, ask questions, be specific about your concerns and be patient at the office.

Emergencies happen, and the best part is that you’ll know there’s a team of people who care about your furbaby as much as you do.

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