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What Should You Look for in a Great Vet for Your Pet?

Did you know that about 68% of U.S. households now have a pet? In 47% of cases, this pet is "man's best friend," the dog. In total, U.S. owners spent about $53 billion on their pets in 2012, and the pet industry is a market that continues to grow as more people decide to make a cat, dog, or even a ferret a new member of their household.

An important part of taking care of your pet is taking it to the veterinarian on a routine basis. If you've just gotten a new pet, however, you might not know much about how to find a veterinarian.

Three Tips for Finding a Great Vet for Your Pet

  • Ask your family and friends for recommendations on local vets. They might have first-hand knowledge of which vets are great but hard to get an appointment with, and which vets have the right balance of quality care and availability.
  • Check out online reviews. Most local businesses have a presence online, and when people have either a really great, or really terrible experience, they often like to let other people know.
  • Although vets are trained to treat a variety of animals, most tend to specialize to some extent. Look for a vet who is qualified to work with your pet. Many purebred pets, such as the pug dog, for example, have a lot of breed-specific issues that would be better addressed by someone with breed experience.

Two Additional Services Vets May Offer

  • Going on a trip? Many vets double as doggy day cares. Before dropping off your pup for several days, though, you should double-check on the quality of care offered there. Ideally, doggy day cares will allow your dog out of their crate for multiple hours, and interact with them so your dog doesn't feel lonely.
  • Emergency veterinary care. Surprisingly, not all vet offices can help you during an emergency. In some cases, they will refer you to another local clinic, or veterinarian hospitals. If you want to make sure you know the veterinarian who would be in charge during an emergency, double check that your vet offers this.

The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that pets should visit the vet at least once a year for checkups and preventative care. Have you had luck finding a vet? Let us know in the comments.

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