Even if your Pug is very healthy throughout his or her entire life, he or she will need to see a vet annually for a checkup. During the checkup your vet take your Pug’s temperature, listen to his heart, feel for lumps, check his skin for any signs of problems, look at his teeth for any developing problems, examine his ears and generally look at him all over. There will also be a fecal test for worms and a blood test to check for heartworms.
You should make sure that you have a vet that you can trust to care for your Pug. But how do you find a good vet? It’s not always easy. If you live in a rural area you may not have many vets from which to choose or you may have vets who specialize in large animals. They can do a fine job caring for dogs -- if they see dogs. Some large animal vets only see cows and horses and do not accept cats and dogs in their practice.
If you live in a city or town you probably have more veterinary options. It can still be difficult to find a vet that you like, though.
Where to Search
There are a couple of ways to start your search for a vet. One is by simply looking in your local telephone directory. Check under “Veterinarians” and “Veterinary Practices.” You'll find most of the veterinarians listed who practice in your area. There may be some ads, too, that give more information about hours and specialties. You can also check online by searching for “veterinarians” and the name of your town. If you find vets online, the search will probably give you the vet’s phone number, their address and the option of finding them on a map for driving purposes.
You can also check with the American Veterinary Medical Association to find your state veterinary medical association. Keep in mind that not all vets belong to their state veterinary medical association, but this will provide you with some choices.
You can also ask family and friends which vet they use. This is a great way to choose a vet since you are getting a recommendation from someone who is or who has been a client.
If you’re moving to a new area then you may also want to ask your current vet if they know a vet where you’re moving and if they have someone they would like to recommend.
Scoping Out the Place
Once you have gotten the names of a few vets who seem like possibilities, you should visit their offices to see what you think. You don’t have to make an appointment to drop by. Simply stop in to form an impression of the waiting room and to meet the staff.
Is the place hectic? How does the staff seem to treat the clients and their pets? How would your Pug react to this place? How do you react to this place? Are people friendly and knowledgeable?
While you are at each veterinary office, find out about their hours. Different veterinary offices keep different hours. Some may be closed on Saturdays, for instance. Some may be closed half days on a weekday. Will you be able to take your Pug to the vet when you take into account your own work hours?
How do the vet and staff handle emergencies? Will you have to take your Pug to an emergency clinic? Or does the staff have personnel who can care for your dog overnight and on weekends if there is an emergency?
Try to get to meet the veterinarian if possible so you can form an impression of him or her.
You may also want to ask about prices for routine things like vaccinations and office visits. These costs can vary widely from one vet to the next. You should also ask what the vet charges for heartworm preventives, such as Heartgard Plus. Is he or she willing to match prices found on the Internet? Will he or she write a prescription so you can buy the product elsewhere if you ask?
You should consider all of these things when you are deciding on your new vet for your Pug. If the staff is unfriendly then it can leave a bad feeling every time you visit the office. If you feel that the prices are too high then that can also ruin your relationship with your vet. If you just don’t click with the vet you may never be happy taking your dog to see him or her.
Your Pug’s vet care is a very important part of his life. Choose his vet carefully.