Now that you and your four-legged friend have played a few rounds of fetch, found a food that works for both of you and gotten into the groove of a basic schedule, what could make life merrier?  Veterinary care is an integral component to the health and well-being of your pet.  Finding one that you and your new pal both like, however, can sometimes be trickier.  This week, Wisconsin Pet Care offers a few tips to make finding a quality veterinarian easier.  We’ll also take a look at a couple of things you can expect at your first few visits.


How to Find A Veterinarian That Will Work For You And Your Pet


*First things first: Ask friends and family members for referrals.  Chances are that when a veterinarian comes highly recommended from someone close to you, it will be a good lead.


*Ask if they are holistically minded or use both Eastern and Western modalities in their practices.


*Make an appointment, without your pet, to meet the veterinarian.  This is also a good time to take a look around the veterinarian’s office.  Is it clean?  How does the staff interact with the other pets?  Is the doctor willing to answer all of your questions (don’t be afraid to ask lots of them!) or do you feel rushed?


*If you decide that a potential veterinarian is a good fit, it is time to make an appointment with your pet.  Since you’ve already met the doctor, you will be more relaxed, and that will help make your dog or cat less anxious.


*If at first you don’t succeed….continue looking for a veterinarian until your pet is calm and you are happy with the care and beliefs of the veterinary practice.


*Remember: You can always leave a veterinarian if he or she isn’t working out.  Just remember to ask for your pet’s complete health care records and/or have them faxed to your new veterinarian’s office.


What Can You Expect At The First Few Visits With Your Veterinarian?


When you setup your appointment, you will likely be asked to bring in a fecal sample – which will be examined for worms – as well as any previous health records for your pet.  Next, the doctor will begin the physical exam – this will include checking the pulse, taking a look at her eyes and teeth, and then combing through her fur to check for fleas.  If your dog or cat has not had any vaccinations, the doctor will administer those.  Your pet friend will need to return to the veterinarian in a few weeks for follow-up booster shots.


For Kittens: In addition to the basic exam, it is also routine to test for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia (FeLV) – these tests will require a blood draw.


For Puppies: Breed-specific concerns, such as bite, head shape/size, nasal passage size.


This concludes our series on Pet Adoption.  We encourage you to continue reading the Wisconsin Pet Care Blog each week for the latest information on pet health and wellness.  Speaking of which, February is PET DENTAL HEALTH MONTH!  Next week  we have scheduled an article on the importance of good dental hygiene.