Puppy getting a physical at a veterinarian.

Choosing a Veterinarian

This is an exciting time for you, but it can also be a frightening time of adjustment for your new puppy. The puppy will be leaving the security of his mother and littermate, and experiencing a multitude of new sights, sounds and smells. 

Choosing a Veterinarian

It is important to have an initial checkup after obtaining your puppy, so selecting a veterinarian before your new puppy comes home can save time. If you don't have a veterinarian, friends or family members with pets can make recommendations. 

  • Preference - The most important factor is to meet the veterinarian and see the facilities. Are the veterinarian and staff friendly and helpful?
  • Proximity - Is the veterinarian's office close to your home? This is not only an issue of your convenience, but will allow you to get there quickly in case of an emergency.
  • Hours - In the first few months, you will be visiting the veterinarian often, so it is important to make sure your veterinarian's hours of operation coincide with your schedule. Many veterinarians have extended evening or weekend hours to accommodate your work schedule.
  • Emergencies - Does the veterinarian answer after-hours emergency calls, or do they refer emergencies to a local emergency clinic? How far away is the referral clinic?


  1. Ask family and friends for veterinarian recommendations.
  2. Schedule a veterinary visit soon after bringing your puppy home.
  3. Keep emergency veterinary clinic numbers handy.
  4. If you worry about anything with your dog, visit the veterinarian right away. If you wait to long and there is a problem after hours, you might have to visit the emergency clinic, which can be expensive. 
  5. Most veterinarians will offer you a free 3-6 weeks trial for pet insurance with your first check up. This is usually a great idea to try it, as it will cover even accidents.