Vet Visits with Your Pet

In this post:

  1. How to find a good veterinarian?
  2. What is a holistic veterinarian?
  3. When should you introduce your dog to the vet?
  4. Questions you should ask your vet on the first visit.
  5. How often should your dog see a vet?


When you first find a new vet, it is best to talk with the doctors and ask them questions about how things are run at their practice. You can also discuses many things with their staff. Getting to know your vet and their staff will make your visits with your pet smoother and easier for everyone.

How to find a good veterinarian?

When you first adopt a pet really you should be looking into is what type of veterinarian that you are looking for, what kind of services that are being offered, whether you are looking for just a clinic for vaccinations, whether you are looking for a long-term veterinarian. You really need to be looking for what their mission is on their websites. You can certainly call in, come in and meet a veterinarian or a veterinary clinic to get a better idea, a better feel for how the practice is laid out, how comfortable you feel in the environment because really what you are looking for is an environment and a clinic that you feel comfortable in.

Questions to ask about a veterinary practice:

  • Is your staff fear free certified?
  • Is the facility clean, comfortable, and well-organized?
  • Are appointments required?
  • How many veterinarians are in the practice?
  • Are dog and cat cages in separate areas?
  • Is the staff caring, calm, competent, and courteous, and do they communicate effectively?
  • Do the veterinarians have special interests such as geriatrics or behavior?
  • Are X-rays, ultrasound, bloodwork, EKG, endoscopy, and other diagnostics done in-house or referred to a specialist?
  • Which emergency services are available?
  • Do fees fit your budget, and are discounts for senior citizens, military, or multi-pet households available?

Online Veterinary Services

Online pet care and veterinary services fill in the gaps of pet healthcare by providing quick access to advice and treatment options via video consultations, phone calls, and live chats. Many also provide other types of care including nutrition counseling, behavioral training, and medication. OnlineDoctor reviewed several online pet care and veterinary services to recommend the best of the best, for you and your furry companions.

What is a holistic veterinarian?

Holistic medicine, by its very nature, is humane to the core. The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy, and respect.

by American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

A holistic veterinarian combines both conventional and alternative therapies to deal with any veterinary dog issues. They focus on taking in the dog’s environment, the disorders patterns, and our relationship with the pet as a whole. The holistic practitioner is interested not only in medical history, but also genetics, nutrition, environment, family relationships, stress levels, and other factors.

When looking for a veterinarian you may want to consider one who also does holistic medicine as well as traditional medicine. This way your dog can get the best of all options for them.

When should you introduce your dog to the vet?

One recommendation most vets have for any client with a new pet would be to just simply bring in their pet to get a feel for the clinic before their first exam. Whether that is just simply to come in to become familiar with the surroundings, to simply get a weight on your pet. Just for them to get a feel for what is going on in the clinic, what may be expected of them when they come in. Versus the first time they are coming in, they are coming in to get shots, or they are coming in because they are sick. It is just a good idea to get them as comfortable as they can with the surroundings prior to coming in for their first exam.

What should you know about meeting a vet with your dog?

You should meet your vet as soon as possible. You want to make sure that the visit is a positive and fun experience for both of you. Bring lots of treats and have your dog say hi to as many people as he is comfortable with. Do this couple of times so that your dog is not afraid to go to the vet. Most vets will have treats to give your pet to also make it a fun environment.

Questions you should ask your vet on the first visit:

  • Is My Pet at a Healthy Weight?
  • Could I be providing more appropriate food?
  • Is That [Insert Odd Behavior Here] Normal?
  • Is My Pet Up to Date on Shots?
  • Does My Pet Need a Dental Cleaning?
  • Does My Pet Need a Blood Test?
  • What Flea/Tick Meds Do You Recommend for My Pet?
  • What are these Lumps and Bumps?
  • Does My Pet Need a Rectal Exam?
  • Can You Please Explain my Bill?

How often should your dog see a vet?

Unfortunately, most vets only tend to see pets when they are having problems and not when they are just going through their regular day-to-day basis.

From a veterinarian standpoint, the more that we can evaluate a pet, the more that we can get used to their behavior, to their problems they may have, to get used to what’s normal and what’s not normal with them as well as to build a rapport with our clients as well. Because when we are seeing a patient maybe once or twice a year it is really difficult for us to establish a baseline.

So as far as the frequency your general minimum is once a year which in comparison that may be representative of five to six years in dog years. Most vets would prefer to see a patient three to four times a year so they can really get an idea both for an examination on a pet as well as to really start to understand what their clients are looking for as well.

Please note, that some dogs do need to visit a veterinarian more often. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s individual needs.

Final Thoughts

When you first visit your vet, make sure that you, the vet, and your staff all understand your goals for your dog. By establishing a relationship with your vet and staff, you will be set up to keep your pet healthy and happy. Working with your vet on what they recommend to feed and ways to help prevent many problems will keep your pet well. Even if your dog is not sick a quick trip to the vet’s office for a treat will help keep them use to and always happy to go to the vet office.

Special thanks to:

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Patrick Miles, DVM

Patrick Miles, DVM is owner and veterinarian at Priceless Pet Clinic in Normandy Park WA. He has worked in emergency medicine since graduating from veterinary school and spent seven years at Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services.

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Dr. Pamela Fisher, DVM

Dr. Pamela Fisher, DVM is the owner and holistic veterinarian at Holistic Veterinary Practice and Natural Pet Store in North Canton, OH. Dr. Fisher has practiced holistic veterinary medicine for 15 years and is a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Association, Ohio, and American Veterinary Medical Associations.

Aly DelaCoeur, UW-AAB
Aly DelaCoeur, UW-AAB is one of the founders of Wag Enabled (originally Why Does My Dog). Aly has a certificate in applied animal behavior through the University of Washington and is a certified veterinary assistant and AKC Evaluator. She aims to provide an unbiased perspective on dog training by providing practical, intelligent, and caring advice for people to impart on their canine companions