Finding a New Vet for Your Pet

Among the myriad of tasks that accompany every move whether big or small, it can be easy to overlook the family member that can’t speak up for themselves.  Transferring your pet’s records and care to a new veterinarian may seem like it can be put off, but finding a doctor you can trust for both routine and emergency care should be a priority for a beloved member of the family.  

To make the switch to a new vet, here are some suggested steps to streamline the process:

1. Talk to your current veterinarian

Once you know you’re moving, speak to the front desk at your current vet’s office.  They have been through this situation before, and can advise you on how to transfer your pet’s files and ensure that your dog, cat, hamster, bird, snake, etc. continues to get the best care.  If you have an opportunity to speak to the veterinarian directly, they may be able to recommend an associate in your new hometown. Ask as many questions as you need, as the more information you have, the more comfortable your pet may be with their transition into their new home.  

2. Choose a new vet and introduce yourself

When doing research on vets in your new area, be sure to use all avenues available to you.  Many cities and suburbs have social media groups full of locals who love to give their recommendations based off of personal experiences.  Take into account the proximity of the office to your new home, if they offer weekend or late night appointments, rates and special services offered.  Once you find a good fit, call the office to inquire about becoming a new patient and what the process may be. They may require a general wellness visit prior to registering your pet with their office.

3. Transferring medical records

Most veterinary offices keep digital records, and can either email or fax them to your new vet’s office with ease.  It can be beneficial to request a paper copy, for emergency or just-in-case situations that may arise when transporting elderly or high-risk animals.  In addition, requesting your pet’s vaccination schedule, including when they last received a vaccine and when they are due again, can make sure your pet doesn’t miss any crucial doses.

4. Prescriptions and preventatives

Prior to your move, stock up on any prescriptions, flea/tick medications, heartworm treatments, or other medications your pet may take.  To be safe, medications should be packed with your “carry-on” items, and not in your moving truck to avoid mishaps due to shipment delays.  

5. Setting up with your new vet

Once you verify that your new vet’s office has received your pet’s records, you will want to schedule your first appointment with them.  It’s important to bring your copy of your pet’s records with you to verify the veterinary office has everything they need. This is also helps your pet transition to the new office, prior to the possibility of needing an emergency visit.  

If you are not able to find a vet prior to moving, the steps to do so would be the same once you are in your new home.  However, only you can determine the amount of urgency finding a new vet should take based on your pet’s medical needs.