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Health | How to Choose a Vet |
When to Call The Vet

When choosing a vet, try to find someone who is sociable with both you and your dog. Make sure you feel you can trust his/her judgments and decisions about your dog’s care. Ask questions. A good vet will be prepared and willing to answer your questions or refer you to someone else if he/she doesn’t know. Be as choosy about your vet as you would be in choosing your own doctor. It is important to establish a relationship with a vet as soon as your bring your puppy or dog home so he/she will become a trusted partner in your dog’s upbringing. Regular visits to your vet should begin soon after you bring your dog home.

Learn to recognize the signs of illness and what is normal and abnormal for your dog. Any persistent change in your dog's behavior such as listlessness, depression, loss of appetite, traces of blood in the stool, a dull coat, or a pot bellied look are all indications of illness and warrant a trip to the vet. A dog’s temperature will vary depending on the time of day, their emotional state, the amount of recent activity or the environment, such as riding in a hot car. The normal temperature of dog is 100.5° to 102.5°F. If your dog shows signs of fever (lusterless coat; a dry, hot nose; dull eyes; apathy; a noticeable rise in body heat) take his temperature. If it is over 103°F, you should consult the vet. To take your dog’s temperature, use a rectal thermometer, which has a rounded tip. Shake down the thermometer and apply Vaseline or mineral oil to the bulb. If necessary, restrain your dog, lift it’s tail, and gently slide the thermometer two-thirds of its length (about 1 to 1 ½ inches) into the rectum. Hold it in for two to three minutes. While you wait, it is advisable to hold the back end of your pet with one hand and the tail and thermometer with the other so that your pet cannot move and break the thermometer. Try to keep the dog calm by talking to him and reassuring with praise for staying still. Remove the thermometer and read it as you would normally do.