Are you the owner of a new puppy? Our Snellville vets will tell you how to prepare for and what to expect from your puppy's first routine exam.
When to Take a Puppy for Their First Vet Visit
Breeders and puppy shelters take their puppies to the vet before they sell their little ones to new pet parents. When buying from a breeder or puppy shelter, you should receive paperwork that clearly states what type of veterinary care has already been provided.
You should schedule your puppy’s next veterinary visit once you bring your new furry companion home. This will allow the vet to review your puppy’s records and quickly provide any overdue care.
The doctor will perform a physical examination and run laboratory tests to identify any potential health concerns. It is best to learn about problems as soon as possible before any health guarantees the breeder provides expire.
Puppies should go to vet appointments every three to four weeks starting when they are six to eight weeks old and ending when they are four or five months old.
Most puppies start their vaccinations when they are six to eight weeks old.
Puppies who receive their first vaccinations when they are older than four or five months can get caught up in two visits scheduled three to four weeks apart. Your vet may adjust this plan based on your puppy’s particular history and needs.
Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit Checklist
Before your vet appointment, prepare all the information and items you need to bring, including:
- A stool sample, as fresh as possible
- Written list of important questions
- Notes on how much of what types of foods and treats you have
- Any forms provided by your vet that you have already filled out
- Any veterinary records you received from the breeder or shelter
- Small treats to reward good behavior
- Dog carrier or crate lined with some old towels
- Leash and collar or harness
- Chew toy for distraction
Small puppies will be more comfortable and safer if they can travel in a crate on the way to the vet. Don't assume you can hold your puppy in your arms when they experience all the new sights, sounds, and smells at the clinic. It is essential to bring a harness or leash to control your dog at the vet.
Find Out How Much Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit Will Cost
How much your puppy’s first vet visit will cost depends on where you live and the price range of the services offered by the vet clinic. The amount of data and various items that need to be checked also factor into this figure. Contact your vet to request a precise estimate for your puppy’s first exam.
What to Expect During Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit
Contact your vet to request a cost estimate for your puppy’s first exam. Veterinary staff will start the visit by asking you a series of questions about your puppy’s history and how they are doing at home, followed by a complete physical examination, which includes:
- Checking your puppy's weight
- Observing the puppy move around the exam room
- Looking at the whole body including the eyes, ears, nose, feet, nails, skin, coat, and genitalia
- Using a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs
- Checking reflexes
- Measuring temperature and pulse and respiratory
- Opening the mouth to check out the teeth, gums, and other structures
- Checking the eyes and ears
- Palpating the lymph nodes, joints, and organs within the abdomen
Throughout your puppy's first vet visits, the veterinary staff will discuss important aspects of puppy care with you, including:
- Dental care
- Grooming needs
- Flea, tick, heartworm, and internal parasite control
- Vaccination schedules
- Reproductive health, including the benefits and risks of spaying and neutering
- Behavior and socialization
- Pet identification, including microchips and tags
- Travel requirements
- Pet safety and disaster preparedness
- Diseases that can be spread from pets to people (and vice versa)
- Exercise and play requirements
What to Ask Your Vet During Your Puppy's First Visit
Look over the topics listed above to get ideas for questions to ask your vet. Your vet will provide you with all the information that you need to help your puppy thrive. If your vet forgot to talk about something or the information they provided was confusing, don’t hesitate to ask more questions.