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Choosing a vet

When choosing a vet for your dog, there are several factors to consider. First, you should look for a vet who is experienced and knowledgeable about the specific needs of dogs. This means that they should have experience treating a wide variety of health conditions, and be up-to-date on the latest developments and treatments in veterinary medicine. Most vets do see a lot of dogs, in this post-COVID era, but do check if your vet takes care of more companion or farm animals.

A recent study stated there were 3,222 veterinary practitioners in Ireland in 2021 [source]. Note: veterinary practitioners include vets and vet nurses.

Of course you should also look for a vet who is compassionate and caring, and who takes the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. This will help you feel confident that your dog is getting the best possible care. Don’t forget to ask them about how many staff they have, if they offer out of hours care, an emergency phone number, etc.

In addition, you should look for a vet who is conveniently located and who offers a range of services, such as routine check-ups, vaccinations, and emergency care. This will ensure that you can easily access the care your dog needs, when they need it. Perhaps a neighbour who has dog can give you some recommendations too.

Finally, you should look for a vet who you feel comfortable working with and who you trust. This will help ensure that you and your veterinarian can work together to provide the best possible care for your dog. Most people keep the same vet for the life of the dog, as their medical history is all stored in one place.

Vet fees and costs

It’s always a good idea to understand vet fees before you purchase a dog. You can ask your vet for a services cost list, some typical services include:

  • Routine check-ups and physical exams
  • Annual vaccinations and preventative care costs
  • Surgery and other medical procedures – it’s a good idea to understand any hereditary conditions your poet may have a higher risk to.
  • Dental care and oral health services
  • Nutritional and dietary counselling
  • Training services – most vets don’t offer this, but they may have referrals to share.
  • Emergency and critical care
  • Hospice and end-of-life care
  • Microchipping registration services

If you are considering pet insurance, check with your vet to make sure they accept your pet. insurance, what terms and conditions go with it (e.g. what’s covered, what’s not, if there is a minimum claim fee, etc.). We strongly recommend you consider insurance for your dog from the moment you purchase the dog.

Pet insurance in Ireland

Pet insurance can help cover the costs of unexpected veterinary care, such as treatment for illnesses or injuries. This can help protect you from the financial burden of unexpected veterinary bills, which can be very costly. It can also help provide peace of mind, knowing that your dog will be covered in case of an emergency or unexpected illness.

Note: All of these companies have different types of insurance offerings, from what’s covered, to annual premiums. In all cases your premium goes up during the live of the dog, it’s important to look at the total cost of insuring your dog over it’s life, e.g. at least 10 years, some providers have are low year 1-3 and then prices increase steadily.

More information on dog insurance

Please see https://dogs.ie/insurance.

Vet chains in Ireland

In recent years there has been a small start of an amalgamation of independent vet practices in Ireland joining local and international conglomerates. Examples of these chains include:

  • IVC Evidensia – www.ivcevidensia.ie – Unknown number of practises in Ireland. 2,600 locations across 20 countries.
  • XL Vets – xlvets.ie – 47 locations around Ireland, based in Tipperary.
  • CVS Group – www.cvs-equine.com – 15 in Northern Ireland, 2 in Ireland ,
    • Gilabbey Vet Cork, closed 03/2023
  • Village Vets – www.villagevets.ie – 17 locations mostly in Dublin
  • Highfield Veterinary Group – www.highfield.ie – 9 locations
  • VetPartners – www.vetpartners.ie – 6 locations around Ireland as of April 2023 {source}
  • Linnaeus Veterinary – www.linnaeusgroup.co.uk – 5 locations mostly Dublin & Kildare
  • Anicare Vets – www.anicare.ie – 4 locations in Dublin
  • VetCare – www.vetcare.ie – 4 locations around Ireland, Kildare, Carlow, Laois & Dublin.
  • MyVet – www.myvet.ie – 3 locations in Dublin & Kildare
  • These chains of vets can offer a wider range of services across their network.

Find a vet in Ireland

Browser our vet listings with vets from all around Ireland at www.dogs.ie/vets

Veterinary Council of Ireland

In Ireland, veterinary practitioners are regulated by the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) www.vci.ie. Since 2006 VCI is a Statutory body under the Veterinary Practice Act 2005. All vets are legally required to register with the VCI before doing any veterinary work in Ireland.

The VCI is responsible for setting and enforcing standards for the education, training, and practice of veterinarians in Ireland. This includes establishing and enforcing rules for veterinary education and training programs, issuing and renewing veterinary licenses, and investigating and disciplining veterinarians who violate the standards of the profession. The VCI also provides information and guidance to veterinarians, and works to promote the welfare of animals and the advancement of the veterinary profession. The VCI runs a number of Continuing Veterinary Education (CVE) programs for new and experienced vets.

Reports or suspicions of veterinary misconduct should be directed to the VCI.

Updated on June 14, 2023
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