How Did You Choose Your Vet?

How did I choose Eko’s first vet?  It was easy, I didn’t. My family has a vet in NJ who all our dogs have gone to, so there was never of question where I would take Eko.

I felt right at home, and judging by the way he smooched the techs, so did Eko

While Eko and I traveled, keeping Eko in top shape was a coordinated effort.  We saw a vet in Tennessee for an ear infection, one in Portland for a rash and another vet in Colorado for an annual physical.  I kept all medical records along the way and checked in with my vet at home with any follow up questions.

After our trip, Eko had another exam at home and received his updated vaccines. When we moved to Chicago I had no vet for Eko.  I knew the location of an emergency clinic in our area, but that was about it. Then Eko slipped at the park last autumn and broke his toe.

Eko checking out his busted wheel

Without much thought, I booked the first appointment at the closest vet.

The receptionist had her own body gaurd

I felt the care and treatment for Eko’s paw were good and the price reasonable. However, I chose the vet based only on proximity so I felt it was worth researching other options in the area for the next time Eko got himself into trouble.  Eko was happy to oblige on that front.

This photo should be next to “How dogs get ear infections” in vet textbooks

Since it was not an emergency, I did not have to rush to the nearest vet.  I booked an appointment at a different practice that is well-reviewed on

No practice is well-reviewed by Eko when he realizes he’s there for ear medication

The facilities and services at the second vet were top-notch but the baseline cost seems more expensive than the first vet we visited.  We had a quick follow up visit at the second practice and saw a different vet than we saw the first time.  At final count for our time in Chicago, Eko has seen three vets at two different practices.

Eko is an active, healthy and happy pup.  That would not be possible without the help of my vet from home and all the vets Eko has seen since then.  However, I don’t have one vet in Chicago who I’m completely comfortable with and who knows Eko.  Nor would I expect to have such a vet since I’m new(ish) to the city.

So who is Eko’s vet in Chicago?  I don’t know for sure, but I would like to figure that out. There are a lot of different considerations when choosing a vet, so I am very interested to hear from other people about their experiences.

There are adventure to be had, we can’t have Eko bedridden!

If you have any suggestions, recommendations or advice about choosing a vet, I would really appreciate your input. Thanks for any help or insight you can offer!

39 thoughts on “How Did You Choose Your Vet?”

  1. With much trial and error, and with an aging dog who had constant health issues, we found a vet in a smaller practice where we were guaranteed that the same vet would see Cooper every time. It made a huge difference as he aged. He trusted Dr. Custer and didn’t have to adjust.

    On important thing learned with Goliath’s vets is to take him to vets who don’t lie:

  2. Well my pups have had 2 vets as we are newish (3 years) to the area- the first one had us in their waiting room for hours and the prices were never constant – one time a heartworm test was $10 and the next time a month later it was $46.00 – the people at the vet’s office were great but i could no longer work with them because my appointments would be hours long and too expensive. The second one i went to was recommended to me by a woman who booked our carpet install. She has been bringing her pets there for years. The second vet had a much better waiting room (not prettier or nicer but arranged with nervous dogs and cats in mind) so the dogs like it better, better hours so i can schedule my appointments when its convenient for me and not the clinic, prices that remain constant so i can plan for the expenses, a great groomer to help me keep both dogs looking and feeling good and front office ladies who are super. I don’t get to see the same vet normally unless its a serious affliction and then the clinic seems to schedule me back with the same one. But all the vets seem on top of their game. All in all – we like our second choice – its certainly better for Rigs and Muffin (and Zephyr and Toots are cats) and me. My suggestion ask folks you deal with daily. When at the grocery store you go to all the time ask a checker if they have a dog and where they take their dog – or something along those lines.

  3. We thought a vet was a vet but after Mom had a friend that was a vet and several bad vet experiences we knew better. We went to four different clinics in six years before we found out current vet that we love. It is a hour drive but well worth it. On a fluke a Kuvasz breeder saw us out walking one day and Mom got to talking with them about Katie and they recommended we go to our current vet. We could not be happier. Not only are they over the top friendly and helpful, they are super knowledgeable and they look out for our money…meaning not shoving stuff at us we don’t really need. It is trial and error unless you have a good referral. Good luck – there are a few bloggers in your area, maybe they will have suggestions.

  4. there are some bloggers in your area…one in particular is Rosalyn from Sugar The Golden Retriever, you might want to ask her……off the top of my head I can’t think of anyone else in Chicago but I know there are more.

  5. It is so very hard to find a vet. I say this personally not from mom or dad. You see, we the pet have to bond with the possibly doctor. It’s kind of like our interview. If we don’t respond well to them, NEXT. Mommy went through two doctors until she found one that “I” liked. She is great to this little oinker. Good luck on your mission my friends! XOXO – Bacon


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