For most people, the term “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” refers to the holiday season. For us dog lovers, we often refer to the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as puppy season! The holiday season is often the time of year when a new furry member is introduced into the family. Not only are people bringing puppies home, but there is also an increase in dog shelter adoptions. We encourage you to help make a shelter dog’s holiday extra special this year.

Regardless if you are bringing home a 8 week old puppy or 10 year old “young at heart” pup, you’ll want to find a Veterinarian that you can take him to for checkups or illness. While your dog may be healthy now, you don’t want to be rushing around trying to find a Veterinarian if he were to suddenly become ill. It is important to find a Veterinarian that is not just close to you based on location, but someone who you are comfortable with. After all, you and your Veterinarian will be making important health decisions for your dog. We put together these 5 must ask questions when interviewing Veterinarians, so that you can be sure you find the perfect match.

1. Where did you attend veterinary school?

This is a basic question that any pet parent should be asking. This gives you insight into your Veterinarian’s education. This is also a good way to inquire about any continuing education that your Veterinarian may participate in and his surgery experience. Not all Veterinarians perform surgeries outside of routine spay and neuters.

Photo Credit: @skylakeanimalhospital

2. How many doctors are in the practice?

It is important to not only know how many Veterinarians are in the practice, but also who they are. There may be times when your Veterinarian is out of the office and you will need to see another Veterinarian within the practice.

In addition to knowing who the other staff Veterinarians in the practice are, it is a good idea to inquire about any services they may or may not perform and if they see emergency cases when your Veterinarian is out of the office.

3. What are your payment options/package deals?

It’s good to know if your Veterinarian’s office offers any type of payment plans or if payment is due up front. This can help you to prepare for unexpected Vet bills.

And while most practices require payment at the time of service, many practices offer puppy and/or senior packages. Puppies require frequent veterinary care, which leads to higher than normal veterinary bills. To offset this expense, many practices offer puppy packages, which give you discounts on exams during your puppies vaccination series and/or bundled vaccine pricing.

As for our “young at heart” senior dogs, many practices will offer discounts on certain days for senior dogs or offer a senior package that mimics the puppy discount package with discounts on annual exams and testing. It’s just as important for your senior dog to have routine blood work tests as it is for a young dog.

Photo Credit: @drscrewloose_toy
Photo Credit: @drscrewloose_toy

4. Who do you recommend during off hours/emergencies?

More than likely, your Veterinarian’s office is not open 24/7, 365 days a year. In addition to asking who your Veterinarian recommends in case of an emergency, ask if his practice has a magnet for the 24/7 pet hospital that he recommends for your home. While it may be unsightly, keep this magnet on the side of your refrigerator in case of emergency or better yet, add the animal hospital as a contact in your phone so you can easily access it. It can be hard to remember the name of an animal hospital that you do not regularly go to during a stressful emergency.

Along with this, you should inquire about overnight stays if your dog needs to have surgery at your Veterinarian’s office. Not all practices have staff members that stay overnight. This may require you to transport your dog to a nearby pet hospital for overnight monitoring.

Photo Credit: Blue Pearl Vet

5. Does your practice offer an on-site pharmacy?

Most of the time, it’s ideal for you to get any prescriptions your dog may need while your at your Veterinarian’s office. Ask your Veterinarian if they are able to give you same day prescriptions for any medications they may prescribe to your dog.

Photo Credit: Rolesville Pet Care

A cheaper alternative to buying your medications from your Veterinarian’s office for non-emergency prescriptions is to ask your Veterinarian for a written script for any prescribed medications. You can have your dog’s prescription filled at your local pharmacy. Unfortunately, you can’t use your insurance to fill these medications but they are often much cheaper than your Veterinarian’s office.

These are the basic starting point questions to help you decide which Veterinarian you are most comfortable seeing. Keep in mind that this person will be helping you care for and prolong the life of your dog, so you may want to go into further detail when interviewing for a new Veterinarian. (i.e. vaccine protocols, raw food stance or anything else that may be important to you as a dog parent!)  And don’t be shy, ask your fellow neighbors or local social media dog parents who they recommend.

Photo Credit: @drdanthevet

What are some of the questions you asked your Veterinarian when you first met or how did you decide on the Veterinarian that you are currently seeing? We’d love for you to share with other dog parents by leaving a comment below or tagging us on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts with #benebone!

Featured Image: @dr.evanantin


When you think about your family, if you have a dog, you probably think of your dog as a member of your family and not “just a dog”. There is no scarier feeling than a family member missing and not being able to locate them. But, what if we told you that if your dog goes missing, there is way to double your chances of being reunited with your furry bff! According to Petfinder.com, roughly only 22% of lost dogs that are turned into shelters are reunited with their owners. However, when a dog is microchipped the reunited percentage rate jumps to over 52%! A quick, minor procedure could help reunite you and your dog should your dog ever go missing.

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is exactly what it sounds like. It is a small, tiny transponder about the size of a grain of rice that is encoded with a unique code for your dog and your dog only. No two codes on a microchip are ever the same. This assures dog parents that there will never be any mixups when it comes to your dog. This code is then used to help identify your dog should they ever go missing, stolen or any other unfortunate event.

Photo Credit: My Mini Doxie

Veterinarians, shelters and animal organizations have a “scanner” device, which varies in size and shape, that can be waived over any dog to retrieve the unique code. Once the code is retrieved, the Veterinarian or staff member can then contact the microchip company that in turn contacts the registered dog parent.

Photo Credit: @pawsandclawspetshelter
Photo Credit: @vetmarianam

How is the Microchip Inserted?

A microchip should only ever be inserted by a Veterinarian. Ideally, you should have your regular Veterinarian insert your dog’s microchip. Having your Veterinarian implant your dog’s microchip assures your dog’s safety and you have peace of mind knowing that the microchip being inserted is trustworthy and legit. Another added benefit is that your dog’s microchip number is in your dog’s vet file and it is one less step you have to manage to keep your dog’s records up to date.

Most dogs are usually microchipped at the time of they are spayed or neutered, while the dog is already under anesthesia. However, a dog does not need to be under anesthesia to have a microchip implanted. This is a relatively quick and simple process that at most, can cause some mild discomfort. Having a dog microchipped is much like having your dog vaccinated. Microchips are inserted underneath your dog’s skin between your dog’s shoulder blades with a syringe. Once your Veterinarian has located the desired injection spot, your Veterinarian will then pinch your dog’s skin to help minimize any discomfort and inject the microchip.

Photo Credit: sacurrent.com

While the majority of dogs that receive a microchip have no side effects or experience any downtime, should your dog’s skin or injection site become red or irritated, it is important to contact your Veterinarian immediately.

Once your Veterinarian has implanted your dog’s microchip, you will receive paperwork regarding the company that your dog’s microchip belongs to. Completing this paperwork is of utmost importance and the information it contains is the how you are notified if your dog goes missing and someone finds your dog. If your Veterinarian’s office does not give you a form to complete with your contact information, be sure to ask the front desk staff before you leave the office. Some Veterinarian offices will complete your microchip registration for you, while some may give you a website to visit to complete your microchip registration. It is important to clarify whether you or your Veterinarian’s office will complete the registration so that your contact information is accurate.

What is the Price for a Microchip?

The current average price for your dog to be microchipped is $45.00. This is a one-time fee for the service of inserting the microchip and registering your information with the microchip company. Often, you can also have your dog microchipped at local government vaccine clinics or even at your local shelter for a discounted price. However, don’t forget to copy all the information and give it to your Veterinarian’s office to put into your dog’s file. For $45.00, should your dog ever go missing, you could potentially double your chances of being reunited!

How to Maintain Your Dog’s Microchip

Once your dog has been microchipped, you are set for the dog’s life. Your dog will never need another microchip and this is a lifelong service. However, it is the dog parent’s responsibility to keep his or her contact information up to date. A good idea is to bookmark the website of your dog’s microchipping company. Should your dog go missing, it can often be hard to remember the company of your dog’s microchip during that stressful situation. This will also make it easier for your to keep your contact information current should you move or change your phone number.

Photo Credit: @_miss_maggiemae

If you rescued your dog from a shelter or rescue organization, many times part of the adoption price includes a microchip. In some cases, a dog that has been surrendered may have a microchip that is linked to the previous owner. In these circumstances, call the company that the microchip is registered to and have your current contact information put in place of the previous owner’s.

At your dog’s yearly health exam, ask your Veterinarian to scan your dog’s microchip to make sure everything is working as it should be. A quick scan can help deter any problems that may have risen since your pet was microchipped. For instance, microchips can often migrate through your dog’s body. Most commonly, a microchip will “fall and migrate” around your dog’s underarm. If your dog is small, less than 20 pounds, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern, as the microchip scanner will still be able to pickup and read the electric scan. However, if you have a large dog, this could result in someone missing your dog’s microchip when scanned. Having your Veterinarian scan the back shoulder blades of your dog will tell you if your dog’s migrated microchip is still in working use or if you need to take other action. If further action is required, your Veterinarian will discuss your options with you.

Photo Credit: thenerdyvet.com

What to Do if You Find a Missing Pet!

If you find a lost dog without any identifying tags and are able to approach the dog, take the dog to your local Veterinarian or nearby shelter. Any incoming dogs that are not being surrendered by the actual owner are always scanned for a microchip. If you happen to find a dog during non-business hours, pet emergency hospitals are also equipped with a microchip scanner and can even keep the dog overnight in most circumstances. Regardless if you take a stray dog to your regular Veterinarian or emergency pet hospital, there is never a charge to you to perform a microchip scan.

We would love to hear any of your microchipping stories of being reunited with your dog! Comment below or tag us in your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts with #Benebone.

Photo Credit: friendshiphospital.com