The best way to find a good vet is by recommendation of other local pet owners or friends.
It’s not always the biggest premises, or even sometimes the nearest – and it’s not even the vet with the highest (or lowest) fees who may be the best.
You want to find someone who genuinely cares about your dog, and hopefully who is familiar with Cavaliers.
If you are new to an area, get to know a few dog owners and ask them who they take their dogs to, and if they are happy with their vet.
Then – go to the surgery – and have a look. Most vets have cards giving the hours, and times of surgeries and state if the surgeries are open surgeries, or appointment only, and what are their arrangements for 24 hours service.
They should give phone numbers and emergency numbers to call.
ALL vets by law must provide a 24 hour service – although not necessarily staffed by themselves. This can occasionally cause problems – especially in big cities, when stand-in vets don’t always have access to your pet’s records and you may have to travel quite a long way to see an out-of-hours vet.
Some practices however do try to staff their own 24 hours service at their own premises with their own vets.
Premises should be welcoming, and clean although obviously with animals in and out all day – sometimes 100% cleanliness is impossible all the time.
Find out if they can do x-rays, blood tests, laboratory tests and operations on the premises. Find out if you are likely to see the same vet all the time, although this is not so likely these days .
It is best if you can find a practice you like, that does this.
If you have any transport problems, ask if the vet will do home calls – in some big cities this is simply not practical, but some vets may even provide transport, to get you and your pet to the surgery.
Once you have chosen your vet – don’t ‘chop and change’ unless you have a very real reason to do so.
Vets are NOT allowed to treat patients registered with other practices. This is not a cunning scheme to make vets rich – it is for the safety of the animals – accurate case histories, records of medication and boosters etc.
Any vet is allowed to treat your pet in a genuine emergency, or if you are on holiday in another area.
You do have the right at any time, to ask for a second opinion – but please ask first, and don’t just turn up at another vet practice. You also can ask for a specialist opinion – there are specialists in most veterinary areas these days – cardiology, orthopaedics, haematology, oncology and ophthalmology.
Most vets are competent ‘all-rounders’.
If you need to search for a vet – here is a good web-site to put your post code in and it will give you a list of vets in your area – BUT – again personal recommendation is nearly always the best way of finding a vet.