There is a dizzying amount of tasks that need to be taken care of when moving home – from packing up your belongings and changing your address to organising removals and paying conveyancing fees.
So, when you’re that busy dealing with all the other stuff, it can be quite easy to forget about finding and registering with a vet in your new area. After all, you’ll likely need your electricity and water working the day you move in, but your dog might not need treatment straight away.
Still, it’s important to resist the urge to put registering with a vet off – your pet needs a vet you can count on for both routine and emergency cases. This is particularly crucial if you’re moving with your cat or dog – with so much chaos around moving, accidents are much more likely.
To help you transfer your pet to a new vet when moving house, here are the steps that you need to follow to find and register with a vet.
Registering with a vet is a fairly simple and quick process. It means giving your details, such as your name, address and contact information, plus your pet’s name and age.
Here is the entire process of how to find and register with a vet when moving home:
Every town has a vet – or multiple veterinary practices. You can find the details of your local vets using the RCVS Find a Vet search facility. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is the UK’s governing body for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.
When it comes to choosing a vet, there are various factors you might want to consider, such as:
As soon as you know that you’re moving, you should notify your current veterinary practice. They’ll then be able to tell you everything you need to know and do in order to transfer your pet’s files and ensure they get the continuity of care they need.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – if you’re not sure about how to transfer your documents to a new vet or you need help finding a reputable vet in your new area, your current vet’s office should be able to help you out.
Make sure you do plenty of research on the vets available in your new area, taking into account location, reviews, rates, services offers, specialisms, business structure and any recommendations that you’ve received. You should consider all these factors to ensure you register with the right vet for you and your pet.
Once you’re well informed about each service in your new area, you can start the process of registering with your new vet.
First, simply give them a call and ask them about the process for registering. It may be the case that you need to schedule a general wellness check up before they can become a regular client. If so, you’ll need to schedule that appointment soon after you move in.
One of the most critical parts of transferring your pet to a new vet is sending over their medical records. These days, most veterinary practices keep their files digital and will likely email them over to your new vets without any effort required on your part.
If you do want a copy of your pet’s records for your own purposes, you can request to have them printed out for you.
When you register with a new vet, there’s always the chance that important communications will get disrupted. So, to ensure that your pet doesn’t miss out on anything crucial, it’s a good idea to ask your current vet for a copy of their vaccination schedule, including when they last received their key vaccines and when they’re due again.
This way, you can be certain that you’ll never miss anything when it comes to your precious pet’s medical needs.
Allow a couple of days for your current vet to transfer your pet’s documents over. Then, give your new vet a call to ensure they’ve received everything they need to complete your registration.
It’s your responsibility as the pet owner to make sure the vet registration happens and that there are no important missing pieces.
Ask if there is anything else you need to provide before your pet’s first appointment. It’s not uncommon for a key document to be left out of the transfer or for there to be incomplete information they need clarifying before registration can be complete.
Most veterinary practices require a check-in visit for all newly registered clients. But, even if they don’t, it might be worth taking your pet in anyway so you can both meet your new vet.
This could be especially helpful if your pet gets nervous about visiting the vet. If you own a nervous cat or dog, consider taking them to the vet a few times just to give them a treat, then leave. This way, they’ll hopefully start to associate the new practice with positive things and have less fear when their first appointment comes around.
Yes, all pets need to be registered with a veterinary practice, where you can take them for routine health care and advice, as well as any emergency treatment.
If, however, there is a delay between you moving house and registering with a vet, you should be able to drop into a practice in an emergency. But, you should note that you might have to pay an ‘emergency supplement’ for this.
For more routine checks and queries, you will usually be required to register with the vet before making an appointment.
Ideally, you should aim to register with a vet near your new address before moving out of your old house. It’s best to do this before moving so that you leave plenty of time for all your pet’s documents to be transferred to the new practice and for the registration to be completed.
If you procrastinate and wait until after moving house to register your pet with a vet, you are risking an accident and nowhere to take your pet for help. In fact, the period of moving house is more prone to accidents, with strangers coming in and out, doors being left open and heavy furniture being moved.
So, make sure you register with a vet around two weeks prior to moving and let your previous veterinary practice know you’re changing address a couple of days before.
No, registering with a new vet is free of charge and can normally be done online or over the phone.
However, once you’re registered with the vet, you will have to start paying treatment and check-up fees every time your pet needs to visit.
Vets’ fees are not standardised in the UK, and can vary from one practice to the next. Veterinary costs can vary based on a number of factors, such as where you live, the size, breed and age of your pet, and the severity of its condition.
But, veterinary fees are on the rise, so some treatments could make a pretty big dent in your finances. According to Animal Trust, vet costs range from £57.50 for neutering a cat, to £235 for an x-ray, right up to £3,940 for a dog’s hip replacement.
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