Toy dogs like Chihuahuas have special needs, and also specific problems. Therefore you need to choose a vet who likes and understands Toy dogs. You may have some excellent choices right in your town, or you may have to drive 50 miles to visit the veterinarian most of the Chihuahua owners in your community trust.
Here are some of the better ways to find a good veterinarian:
- Ask your Chi’s breeder. If the breeder lives within a reasonable distance, try his or her vet first.
- When you see people walking Toy dogs in your street, ask them who they use and if they’re satisfied with the quality of care.
- Call the nearest major veterinary hospital or the local or state veterinary association for recommendations.
After you choose a vet with an awesome reputation and make the first appointment for your Chihuahua, you must decide whether you’re satisfied with your choice. The right veterinarian will do the following:
- Handle your Chihuahua with professional proficiency. Whether your dog is everybody’s pal or shy with strangers, your vet should handle him gently but firmly. A complete physical examination needs to be performed carefully but with practiced ease. Stay away from any vet who seems rushed or rough or says or does anything that leads you to believe he or she may not like Chihuahuas.
- Weigh him and take his temperature and a complete history. This should include where you got him, how long you’ve had him, his age, diet, vaccinations, workings, activity level, appetite, and previous illnesses.
- Explain the examination and discuss the results with you. A good veterinarian may give you tips on how to improve your Chi’s condition or keep him healthy over the long term.
- Answer your questions thoroughly in language you understand. Any vet who purposely talks over your head doesn’t need you as a client. Good vets answer their clients’ questions in everyday language without talking down to them.
- Make provisions for emergency care during weekends, holidays, and the middle of the night. Some veterinarians handle emergencies themselves; others refer their clients to services that specialize in emergencies.
- Have a pleasant receptionist and staff and a clean waiting room.
- Have an organized and well-equipped facility.
- Discuss fees. Although most clinics expect you to pay for regular office visits right away, you may want to ask about their policies for unexpected, expensive emergencies.
- Be caring. If you sense coldness or indifference in the vet or his/her staff, your puppy is in the wrong place.
Being there for your Chi
If your Chi becomes ill or injured, it takes more than an excellent veterinarian to cure him. It also takes you – a responsible and composed client. A dog has the best chance if his veterinarian and his owner work together to pull him through the crisis. The following list explains how to become a responsible client a veterinarian is glad to have on his side:
- Calling and making appointments for routine visits, such as annual exams and booster shots.
- Arriving to appointments on time.
- Not asking your vet to diagnose your dog over the phone.
- Having an understanding attitude when the veterinarian runs late because he or she had an emergency with an another dog.
- Knowing your dog’s normal behavior and calling the clinic immediately if something doesn’t seem right. Write down your dog’s normal vital signs and keep them handy, in case of emergencies.
- Bringing along a written list of recent behavior changes, if any exist (for example: excessive thirst, change in activity level, loss of appetite, signs of aggression, and so on).
- Bringing the health and vaccination records the breeder gave you.
- Keeping your dog on leash on your lap or in his crate in the waiting room. Don’t let him play on the floor or sniff other dogs. It’s easy for pups to pick up germs.
- Being honest. When your veterinarian asks if your Chihuahua has been on any medication, don’t be ashamed to admit that you tried an over-the-counter medication from the pet shop. Admitting a mistake may make you to look like a fool, but your vet has to know exactly what your dog has ingested to make the correct diagnosis.
- Making a list of your dog-care questions and bringing it along. Your vet should be glad to answer appropriate questions about feeding a chihuahua, grooming, toenail trimming, and anything else related to your puppy’s health.
- Taking notes when the vet gives you some instructions.
- Following all instructions exactly as the vet explained to you. You must give medications at the right time and in the correct dosage or they won’t work. If you don’t understand how to administer a medication, ask. Your vet can explain or demonstrate.
- Staying as composed as possible, even during an emergency. The more serious the injury or illness, the more your vet needs you as a clear-thinking partner in your Chihuahua’s treatment.
- Not being argumentative or belligerent. Most vets care about their clients and understand how deeply people love their dogs. But no vet can do magic. They can’t guarantee that a badly injured or gravely ill dog will recover, no matter how skillfully they treat it
- Paying your bills on time.