What is a Vet Reference

You have decided to adopt a pet? The story doesn’t end here. You need to go through the proper channel to have one. Now when you request an animal from a pet rescue,  they ask for a vet reference. A vet reference is basically a testimony from the vet that can confirm your good and caring behavior with pets.

Some rescues may not ask for vet reference if you can already provide proof of your good behavior like volunteer work at shelters etc. Also, many breeders allow the adoption to first-time pet owners without reference but vet reference is a good step to ensure the safety and proper care of pets.

Example of Vet Reference:


Here are some inputs for which you will see example vet reference. We have not built entire database but just to illustrate the meaning of vet reference above form is made.

  1. Breed: Labrador Retriever, Weight: 50
  2. Breed: Labrador Retriever, Weight: 60
  3. Breed: Bulldog, Weight: Not specified
  4. Breed: Bulldog, Weight: Not specified
  5. Breed: German Shepherd, Weight: Not specified
  6. Breed: German Shepherd, Weight: Not specified

What is a vet reference?

In simple words, you need to prove that you are a “fit” candidate to keep a pet. Animals who are not treated well in the first place are sent to rescue groups.  These groups are usually volunteering people who take care of neglected animals. If anyone asks for the adoption of these animals,  they need to confirm that those pets will be treated well after custody. Here comes “vet reference “.

A vet will confirm on your behalf that you will properly take care of this new pet. This is a type of “guarantee ” based on your previous behavior with pets.

What will be included in a vet reference? 

People are curious what a vet reference might include?  What are the things that a vet can say about you?  And what questions may be asked from a vet as a vet reference?

Well, a vet reference usually includes

  • In past, if you have vaccinated your pet timely. This shows that you are a responsible person for your pets.
  • If you take your pet to the vet in case of emergency. It shows how humane you are and how much do you care about animals. They must not suffer your negligence. An emergency not treated timely can result in pet fatality.
  • How regularly you take your pet to the vet?  This clears you are a caring owner who genuinely looks after his/her pet.
  • A vet reference usually doesn’t include your routine checkup stories and their details. Like if you took your pet to the vet for a specific case and what were the details and scenario of the incident etc.  A vet reference is a general overview of your behavior with your pet.what is a vet reference

Potential questions a vet reference form can include?

A vet reference form asks questions to the vet about the owner and their relationship with their pet.  The questions could be about

  • Their own position at the vet clinic.
  • Asking the vet about the name of a person who has applied for adoption.
  • How long they have known the applicant?
  • Information about the animal that is being treated at their clinic.
  • Asking if the pet regularly visits their clinic?
  • If these animals have been properly vaccinated and tested for rabies or worms etc.  And if not why?
  • If the client has neutered the pet.
  • Questions about if the vet has noticed anything suspicious about the client’s behavior with their pets.
  • If the vet is aware of the client’s decision of adopting a new pet?
  • Their personal opinion about pet owner and their behavior with their pet.
  • Any general comments or reservations against a client who has applied for a vet reference.

You can see such questions provide thorough information about a client who wants to adopt a pet. When a vet approves your behavior with your pet,  you get a vet reference.

Difference between pet adoption and pet rescue?

Adoption is different from a pet rescue. Adoption is simply adopting a new pet whereas, pet rescue is taking a pet out from unsuitable circumstances. These are Pets who were treated badly are taken out from toxic environments and hence are rescued. Mostly,  these pets were mistreated,  abandoned, or neglected.

As these pets were treated poorly in the past so now they need someone who can properly look after them. Here comes the adoption of these pets and before handing them over to someone else, a guarantee is needed to secure their future treatment.

A vet reference is important before giving such pets for adoption because it kinds of ensures that now these pets have found their true owners.

Vet reference for people who didn’t have pets before

A vet reference tells about your behavior with your pet but what if you have never kept a pet before?  This doesn’t disqualify you from keeping a pet or adopting a rescued animal. Your friend can still provide a reference for you.

If you did not have a pet before but your friend had then their vet can provide a reference for them. After clearance,  they will ask your friend if they trust you for keeping a pet.

You can say the “friends are alike” phrase applies here. If your friend is a good person and has a good history with pets then you can also have a pet based on their reputation. So always watch before making a new friend ;).

Also, you should register yourself at the vet because you will be seeing them after 2-3 weeks after adoption. So you can tell adoption agencies or breeders that you didn’t have a pet right now but you have enlisted yourself and will be seeing a one.

What if your vet has a strict policy for privacy?

There are areas,  where vets have a strict policy for privacy. They don’t release information about owners even to another clinic. This privacy of vets may seem selfish at times but you never know who is asking for your information. People can ask for this confidential information to use for other purposes and even against a client like divorce cases or domestic violence. In such cases,  your information should strictly be released with your consent.

This is a good thing generally but for a “vet reference” you need your vet to talk about your pet. To handle this, most vets ask for a simple procedure i.e. to fill out a form that proves your consent to release information about your pet.

What things can be a bad impact on vet reference?

Well,  you have taken your pet to the vet. This is not enough or the only thing needed. If you took your pet but it was injured or infected for a long time,  this is bad. This proves that you are still an irresponsible person and need to clear that.

A vet always knows if your pet is being treated badly. Simple things like a normal rash or small lumps can be ignored but obvious reasons for which the pet was neglected must be verified.

We hope,  we have provided you a piece of detailed information about vet reference. Now best of luck with your new pet!

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