How to Find the Best Veterinarian for Your Dog: Cheat Sheet

When a puppy comes into your family, you are responsible for it from that day and on wards. You need to care about its nutrition, safety, health and anything that occurs in between. Most of that stuff are well elaborated and can be quickly learned.

At the same time great veterinarians don’t fall off the sky and more importantly just because you ask Google, doesn’t mean you will find the most awesome vet in the world. Instead, you need to put your mind to it and find the best from the ones available.

Here we have assembled a small guide that should help you with that quest.

Visit an animal shelter

As with most stuff in life, making a list is where it all starts. The best way to start making your list is going to dog shelters and ask for vets that like to come often to help out and volunteer there. A vet that likes to help dogs that no one cares about is someone that cares beyond money. It speaks tons about his affection for dogs. The names you pick at the dog shelters should be on top of your list.

Next, ask friends, family, dog lovers online, everyone that is into dogs for a recommendation. Pick up as many names as you can. Make another list based on those recommendations.

Once you do that, compare the names from both lists and see if there are names that are on both lists. The odds are there will be few on both lists. One of them will be your dog’s vet.

Check out their credentials

The first thing to check is whether everyone on the list is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Does the pet clinic where they work has been approved by AAHA? Yes, some good pet clinics are not AAHA members, but having been member guarantees that their services are according to specific standards.

In addition to that, you should check out online reviews and communities for dog lovers, and see if there are notable complaints about some of the vets on your list.

Make appointments and visit their facilities

You might spend an entire day going from one pet clinic to another, but this is probably the most crucial step before choosing the perfect vet for your dog. Make sure that you bring your dog with you. That way aside your take on the vet and the clinic where they work you can see your dog’s reaction to it.

During the interviews, you can see if the vet is just a veterinarian or a dog lover also. You will know that the moment you and your dog set foot in his/her office.

Next, you need to make sure that the vet has:

  • Access to top medical equipment (x-rays, ultrasound, in-house lab tests, dentistry, etc.)
  • Open access to all of their facilities. A good pet clinic is going to be proud and more than happy to show everything they’ve got. Too many closed doors should raise few alarms that something weird is happening in the clinic.
  • Availability is another important factor. Make sure that you can call someone in case of need and that they will give you the best possible advice. Plus, make sure that their working hours are convenient for you.
  • Ask the vet about their philosophy. Sharing the same philosophy is often the determining factor when choosing a vet for your dog. It always helps to know that you and the vet are on the same frequency when it comes to your dog’s care.
  • Talk to the assistants and vet techs that work in the clinic. If they seem happy to work there and have been there for a quite a long time, then know that you are in a good place.


Finding a vet for your dog is pretty much as finding a family doctor. You do it once, and you want to do it right. Stick to what you learn here, follow your instinct and you will undoubtedly select a vet that will provide the best possible care for your dog.