Post # 1
I posted recently about how FI and I want to adopt a dog in the next three years. You can find the thread here.
I’ve come up with a mock budget of how much a dog might cost, looked into which breeds (or mixes with certain breeds) might work well for us, and I started looking into shelters or rescues that we could work with eventually. FI and I still need to talk things over and figure out our current budget to figure out when getting a dog is possible, but he is 100% on-board with getting a dog.
The problem? Every rescue group or shelter I’ve looked up all seem to want some sort of Vet Referral. I understand why it’s important and that it helps place the dogs in appropriate homes, but we don’t own a dog currently. Neither of us have ever owned our own dog (I had two as a kid, but those were my parents’ dogs). . . which means we don’t have a Vet.
Which leads to a new question: How are we supposed to get a referral when we don’t have a Vet? How do first time dog owners go about working with a rescue group or shelter? Do you just call a Veterinarian and ask for a referral or do you need to set-up an appointment to meet with someone first?
Any advice would be very welcome!
Post # 3
I’d ask around to see who your friends/family/acquaintances use as their veterinarian. Go meet them, check it out, ask about fees or policies, etc. Kind of like interviewing for a pediatrician before you have a baby.
Tell them that you’re looking into adopting and you’d like to have a vet lined up right away. Once you chosen them, let them know that you would like to list them as your veterinarian on the adoption application (so when the shelter calls to ask if they are your vet they don’t wonder what they’re talking about since you don’t even have a pet!)
Also, I must say KUDOS to you for looking into everything, being prepared, anticipating issues, and I just know that you’re going to be a great pet parent 🙂
Post # 4
@LoggerHead91207: They’re just looking into making sure that if you already have a dog, that they’re well taken care of, that you’re not a hoarder, and that you’re financially capable of adding another member to your family.
Post # 5
Can you inquire at the shelter what they want? You’re probably not the first time owner trying to adopt from them. I’m sure they can tell you if you’re supposed to just list who you plan to use or if you need to meet with a vet first.
Post # 6
@LoggerHead91207: Oh yeah…I remember this part. When we rescued our greyhound, holy shit, getting a mortgage was easier! Three personal referrals, a vet referral, an in house interview whre they met with us and our dogs to evaluate our awesomeness and THEN….we could have possible dogs matched to us.
I complain a lot about it now, but it was totally worth the hassel. Just interview a few vets, make an appointment to speak with one, let them know what you’re looking to accomplish and they’ll be more than helpful with the referral because they want you to get the dog as much as you do!
Post # 7
@LoggerHead91207: When we adopted we asked that question to the shelter (a national adoption agency for greyhounds) and they said so long as you had at least found a vet and alerted that vet that you would be bringing your dog to them for treatment, they were fine with that. Call the shelters and agencies and ask. Most are very reasonable
@Nona99: I said when we adopted our greyhound girl, adopting a baby from China was easier…
Post # 8
We were in the same boat when we adopted our dog. Most likely they just want to know that you are prepared. In our case I contacted the vet ahead of time to let them know we’d be coming to them once we adopted our dog (and to make sure they were taking new clients). Then we let the rescue group know that we had a vet lined up.
Post # 9
Thank you everyone! It’s busy season for FI right now, so we aren’t planning on adopting immediately. I like to be prepared though (I’m kind of really anal about being prepared; it can be really annoying sometimes) and since FI is so busy, I figured it would make thing easier to start researching.
@DaneLady: Your suggestion of speaking with a Vet ahead of time is a good one – I wasn’t sure if that would be possible, but it is definitely something to look into. I’ve been looking into the SPCA in my state and it appears that they don’t require a Vet referral, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.
@beeintraining: Lol! Definitely not animal hoarders here.
@Kit_Kath: Good idea!
@Nona99: Thanks! It does seem like a hassle, but I understand why they have that policy in place. I’m sure that once we do have a dog it will be well-worth the extra effort.
Post # 10
@james79: Perfect! Thank you for the advice!
@the_newlymintedmrs-s17: I figured that would be the case, but I wasn’t completely sure. Thank you!
Post # 11
@LoggerHead91207: Not a big deal. I’d just call the vet office you’re likely to use and say that you are looking to adopt your first dog and would like to eventually use them as a vet. I doubt you need to meet them first, but I’d check with the shelter to make sure.
Post # 12
Everyone has been really helpful with this so far. The advice I’ve gotten has really helped to make FI and I feel a bit more prepared and relaxed about the idea (can’t wait until we’re TTC – I’m positive that I will be blowing up this forum).
I showed him the budget I came up with last night (as well as the various rescue groups I’ve come across) and he seemed surprised that the estimates were so low; he was expecting it to cost at least 4K a year to own a dog, but my estimates are a little less than half that number. We’re still not completely sure about when we will be adopting in the next three years, but he said we could start to seriously consider adding a furry buddy this fall.
@kenziemt: Thanks for the advice!
Post # 13
@LoggerHead91207: Adopt a dog from your local (or closest) SPCA. Most have in-house vets (called Wellness Clinics) open to the public so they don’t even bother asking for one–just tell them you plan on using theirs.
Also, dogs adopted from the SPCA are microchipped, have all of their shots, are spayed/neutered…and best of all, when you rescue one, you are saving TWO lives–theirs, and the dog who will be taken in to live in his empty room.
I work for an SPCA, if you have any questions or need any kind of general dog advice, feel free to PM me.
Post # 14
@ChicoryCreek: Thanks! Our state’s SPCA is actually one of the first groups I bookmarked last night, along with several rescue groups (specific to breeds we like) and local animal shelters. I showed FI some of the dogs on the pages and he is still really drawn to Pugs – he just loves their adorable squishy faces – but I do think he is coming around to the idea of mutts and other types of dogs as well. I did tell him that we could always adopt a younger pug a few years down the road when I’m staying home with the kids, so that might have helped a bit.
Post # 15
LoggerHead91207 It’s great that you are preparing so well for when you will have a dog….we didn’t anticipate the cost until we got our little guy, but he’s been an absolute dream….nothing what we were originally going for….my husband wanted a Corgi and I wanted a boston terrier, we ended up with a Pekingnese mut and now a Chi/Pug mix….I was later told that you don’t choose your dog, your dog chooses you and in both cases I say that is one true statement.