Vet Care for Full-timers
Getting vet care for our animals was not as big of an ordeal as I expected when we became full-timers.
Before we hit the road, we made sure all of our pets were up to date on their vaccines, we had our dog micro-chipped, and we got hard copies of their medical records from their previous vet. If you are considering becoming full-time RV'ers, make sure to find our your home-base state's rules on licinsing as your pets may have to be licensed in that state yearly.
In 2006, our first year of full-timing, we decided to bring another dog into the family and we needed to find a vet to get him checked out after we brought him home. We were working in Yellowstone National Park at the time, and one of our co-workers had a geriatric dog who needed regular vet attention. That co-worker recommended a vet who came to West Yellowstone twice a week, and gave us his number. We met him, thought he was the cat's meow, and we now consider him to be our vet. After we had left Yellowstone and were heading to our next Workamper job in 2007, we made a point to travel through Montana so we could visit with him again to get our pets rabies and such in order for the trip through Canada.
Over the years we had several such vets – doctors who were great with out pets and understanding of our unique situation. Not only can they take care of your furry friends when you are nearby, but they can also help out when you are on the road.
One time we needed to rush Willoughby to a vet while we were in New Mexico because she got into a scuffle with another dog. This is why we make sure to have an emergency vet number available wherever we are, just in case. You never know what's going to happen.
Another time we had to contend with running out of heart worm medication while we were in California. Because it's a prescription medication, we just couldn't order it over the internet. So what we did was we called our vet in Montana, and they were willing to mail us what we needed. They were also willing to call in a prescription to a vet in California, but unfortunately, the vets in our vicinity did not carry the brand of medication we use. It's just important to keep an eye on what medication you have so you don't run out when you're far from your vet.
The good thing about being a full-timer, if you find someone you like, you can make travel arrangements to get to them for your pet's yearly exams. If that's not feasible, be sure to get hard copies of medical records to transfer from one vet to another. And make sure to get business cards for each vet you use so that they can communicate with one another.
Take good care of those furry babies!