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Find a local vet and emergency clinic (U.S.)

Of course you know where to go in your hometown when your dog is suddenly, seriously ill, but where would you go in Phoenix? Do some research before you leave, and identify a good veterinarian and emergency clinic in the cities you’ll be visiting. It’ll give you peace of mind, even if you never have to use the info.

Emergency vet

Finding an emergency clinic is, it turns out, surprisingly easy: the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS) has an on-line emergency clinic directory that’s pretty extensive — I was pleased to see that it includes all the emergency clinics I’ve located for our various trips, and the two we’ve used in Seattle.

Other resources include the list of emergency vets in the front of The AAA Petbook: Traveling With Your Pet (11th Edition) and a new book called Pet E.R. Guide. I haven’t bought Pet E.R. Guide, since I’m comfortable with the VECCS directory and my AAA Petbook, so I can’t report on its contents.

Amazon listings:
The AAA Petbook: Traveling with Your Pet (11th Edition)
Pet E.R. Guide: A Directory of 24-Hour and After-Hour Veterinary Facilities in the United States

Local vet

It’s trickier to identify a good local veterinarian open during normal business hours, since there are a lot of veterinarians out there and you don’t always have local contacts to give you recommendations. If you do have a local contact, ask them for advice (even if they don’t have pets themselves, they may have co-workers or friends who can point you to a good veterinarian). Otherwise, a good resource is the American Animal Hospital Association’s searchable directory of AAHA-accredited veterinarians.

Also consider taking a look at user-evaluation websites like Yelp, or Citysearch (towards the top of the homepage, click on “Change City or Neighborhood” to get a list of states; click on a state to find cities), or Yahoo! Local. The quality and reliability of the reviews vary, but you get a more personal view of the vets’ offices and services than a listing can give.

Special mention

24-hour emergency pet ambulance in NYC
Ambuvet’s site has a helpful list of after-hours NYC vets, by neighborhood