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Choosing the right Veterinarian

One of the most asked questions we get here at Ruffwood Labs is, "Can you recommend a good Vet?"

Face it, this is an important service we all must have.

This is a important decision for the health and well-being of your four-legged friend.

I could make recommendations, but since most of our pups no longer reside in the area, I should just pass along some tips to help with your selection.

Get Recommendations

Ask your friends and neighbors who they would recommend, especially if they have the same breed. If you are hearing the same information over and over, that is a good sign. Groomers and Pet Supply stores are another good resource for information. Ask questions about the treatment their pet received and interaction between the staff members. Ask if there was anything negative about the facility or staff. You should be comfortable with your choice, not have second thoughts.

Call and Visit

Call or stop by the facility to ask questions about their services. How long have they been in business? Is there more than one Veterinarian on staff? Do Techs administer treatment? Do you require an appointment or are drop ins welcome? Do you have Emergency Services (after hours and weekends)? What procedures are done on site and when would they recommend seeking a specialist? Do they also offer boarding services? Ask about their cleaning routine? Ask if there are separate exam and procedure areas? If it is important to you, then ask the questions.

Did they offer you a tour of their facility? If they are confident in their ability and take pride in their facility, this should not be a problem. Do be prepared to wait your turn, after all, you did drop in with out an appointment. The facility should be clean and well maintained and not leave you wondering if you should bring your pet here.


Of course, we all want something convenient. We are all busy and a local clinic normally fits into our routine best. But, sometimes that just isn't possible. Select a place where you feel your pet will receive the best care and treatment.

Know where the closest Emergency Facility is for your area. This is not something we plan on, but is very important information to have when needed. In our area, we do not have an emergency animal hospital, we do however have a co-op of veterinarians that fill this need. The way this co-op works, there is one phone number that we would call and be directed to the veterinarian on call. So, there again ask about Emergency Services.


Veterinary Services are normally consistent in pricing and you get what you pay for. Avoid deals that sound to good to be true. Ask about service fees, cost of procedures, vaccination cost and cost of medications such as flea treatment and heart worm treatments. Ask if they offer a wellness plan? Are you notified when it is time for those annual vaccination or regularly scheduled treatments? Ask about method of payment and when that payment is expected. Do they give written estimates for services.

We all want the best treatment and care for our pets. After all, they are a part of our family. We are responsible for their care and want what is best for them. We want our pets to be treated kindly and feel comfortable with those treating them. Animals are very quick to pick up on the signals and vibes put off by those treating them.

Do your homework and if you are ever in doubt, seek more information. I hope this has been insightful and helps in your decision.

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