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When Do Puppies Need to Go to the Vet?
Puppies should see a vet as soon as possible, even if they just had an exam. If you have other pets, that should be before you get your puppy home. Even healthy looking puppies can carry diseases that can easily be passed to a new family, so your vet can start treatment immediately.
If it is not possible to get your puppy to the vet the day you get her, your puppy’s first vet visit should be scheduled within the first few days of taking her home.
Your puppy will see the vet several times over the next few months after the first visit. When your puppy is at least 16 weeks old, they will be given a vaccine against the common infectious diseases. Depending on your puppy’s breed and lifestyle, the exact timing and number of doses will be different.
Pre-Visit: How to Prepare in Advance
Before your puppy’s first vet visit, there are a few things you can do to prepare.
Find a doctor.
If you don’t already have a vet, the first thing to do is pick one. Friends and neighbors will often have a vet for their pets. You can check out reviews on websites like Facebook and look for a vet who is certified as Fear Free. If evening or weekend appointments are important to you, consider the hours of the clinic.
Paperwork and medical records should be gathered.
If you want to share your puppy’s information with your veterinary team, be sure to gather all the paperwork when you schedule the appointment. If you can, ask the vet who has seen your puppy in the past to give you the previous medical records. If you take a picture of your puppy’s food and treats, you can give your vet that information.
Pull together questions.
Bring a list of questions with you to your veterinary team. Questions should be specific to your puppy and any of your concerns, but we have prepared some questions to consider.
Prepare your pup’s food for exam day.
Feed your puppy for several hours before the exam on the day of the appointment. Bring her food and snacks with you. The food can be used during the exam to reduce stress and encourage cooperation.
If possible, pick up a poop sample.
Bring a sample for your vet to test if your puppy poops within a few hours of your appointment time.
What to Expect from Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit
Your puppy’s first vet visit can be overwhelming. Your veterinary team can offer recommendations based on their experience, education, and current guidelines for the highest level of care.
You can expect a lot from the first visit.
Your puppy’s history and intake.
A veterinary assistant or veterinary technician will be the first person you meet. He or she will inquire about your puppy’s history. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know. You should bring any medical and vaccination records from the breeder, shelter, or rescue group.
Basic testing for vital signs.
The veterinary assistant will take your puppy’s vital signs and collect a fecal sample to test for parasites. At some clinics, the assistant or technician is the one who talks to you about vaccines, parasites, and flea and tick control. The veterinarians will discuss important topics in other clinics.
There is a physical exam and vaccine.
Next, the veterinarians will do a complete physical exam on your puppy. The physical exam includes looking at the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, listening to the heart and lungs, palpating the abdomen, and checking for normal movement of the joints. Your pet’s health will be assessed by your vet, who will also check for birth defects. He or she will give your puppy vaccines.
There is a discussion.
Important milestones for the puppy, including potty training, spaying or neuter, and behavior training, will be discussed by your vet after the exam and vaccines. The time is right for you to ask any questions or address any concerns.
Your puppy’s first vet visit is likely to last one hour or more and cost between $100 and $200, though costs can vary depending on geographic location, selected vaccines, suggested medications, and other treatments. The vaccine booster visit is likely to cost between $75 and $150. Your puppy will be given a single dose of flea and tick control until she is an adult.
Questions to Ask At Your New Puppy Vet Visit
You can make the most out of your puppy’s first vet visit if you prepare a list of questions. There are some suggestions for discussing puppy topics.
There is a What should my puppy eat? How many times a day should puppies eat adult dog food?
Socialization, behavior, and training are related.
There is a When can my puppy go to the store? Do you think crate training is a good idea? There is a How long can she stay in her crate? How much exercise does my puppy need? Do you recommend puppy classes or trainers?
General health and safety.
There is a How often does my puppy go to the vet? How many times a day should my puppy poop? Are there any health concerns specific to my puppy’s breed? Does my puppy need to be flea and tick free? Why is prevention important? Is it a good idea to buy pet insurance?
Post-Visit: Reminders for New Pet Parents
As you take your new puppy home, keep in touch with your vet. You can have your questions answered even if you have left the clinic.
You can call or email your doctor. A knowledgeable team member will call back to answer your questions if you leave a message.
Your doctor made a plan for you. Start incorporating crate training, potty training methods, and feeding styles into your puppy’s day.
Put your puppy’s next appointment time in your calendar as well as a recurring reminder to give your puppy her flea and tick and heartworm prevention on the same day every month.
Enjoy time with your puppy as you get to know each other.