If you have a new little furry friend then one of your first stops will be the veterinary clinic for a checkup. Here, our vets in San Angelo have prepared a checklist explaining what to bring to your puppy's first vet visit and talk about what to expect and suggest questions to ask.

What happens during my new puppy's first vet checkup?

If it is time to take your puppy to their first vet appointment, you may be wondering what this visit will entail. During your puppy's first visit and exam, the vet will:

  • Weigh your puppy
  • Listen to their heart and lungs
  • Take your puppy's temperature
  • Examine the eyes, ears, nose, feet, and genitalia
  • Take a look at your puppy's skin and coat
  • Look at your puppy's teeth and mouth
  • Palpate the abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Examine the feces for the presence of worms (the vet may ask you to bring a stool sample)
  • Discuss your puppy's health history and any questions you might have about feeding, medical issues, and future care
  • If you are going home with medications or treatments, make sure you understand when and how to give them. Follow directions exactly and set up a schedule for follow-up visits and vaccinations.

Your Puppy's First Vet Visit Checklist

There are certain things that you should bring with you to your puppy's first vet visit. Generally, the more information you provide, the better your vet can treat your pup.

  • Any veterinary records you received from the breeder or shelter
  • A written list of important questions or concerns that you might have
  • Notes on how much of what types of foods and treats you offer at home
  • A dog carrier or crate lined with some old towels or shirts that smell like home
  • Leash and collar or harness
  • A chew toy for distraction
  • Small treats to reward good behavior
  • Any forms provided by your veterinarian that you have already filled out
  • A stool sample, as fresh as possible

You should be sure to put your puppy in a crate when traveling to the vet. If you're planning a trip to the clinic, don't expect to be able to carry a wiggly puppy in your arms. Puppies should always be controlled using a leash, collar, or harness. Having a chew toy or some treats is a good idea to keep them occupied.

What to Ask a Vet on Your Puppy's First Vet Visit

Your vet's advice will go a long way in helping your pup to grow up to be healthy and happy. If you have any questions or doubts regarding the information provided by the veterinarian, do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

To make the most of your first visit, it might be helpful to prepare a list of questions in advance. Here are some examples of questions that you might want to ask your vet during your visit.

Health & Safety

  • How often does my puppy need to come to the vet?
  • When should I spay or neuter my puppy?
  • Should I microchip my dog?
  • How many times a day should my puppy poop?
  • Are there any health concerns specific to my puppy's breed(s)?
  • Does my puppy need flea and tick prevention?
  • What is heartworm disease, and why is prevention important?

Training & Behavior

  • When can my puppy go to the pet store/dog park/groomer?
  • Do you recommend crate training? 
  • How long can she stay in her crate?
  • How do you potty train a puppy?
  • How much exercise does my puppy need?
  • How do I socialize my puppy with other humans and dogs?
  • Do you know any local trainers?

Diet & Nutrition

  • What should my puppy eat? 
  • How many times a day should my puppy eat?
  • When do puppies switch to adult dog food?
  • Are there any foods that I shouldn't give my puppy?

How much will my puppy's first vet visit cost?

During a puppy's first vet visit, the costs can be influenced by various factors such as the clinic's location, the types of vaccines administered, and any prescribed medications.

Pet owners can consider going to vaccination clinics or purchasing pet insurance to save money. For a more accurate estimate of costs, it is recommended to contact the veterinarian directly. This way, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking to book a checkup for your new puppy? Contact our vets at Western Veterinary Hospital today to make an appointment.