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A Checklist For Your Puppy's First Vet Visit

If you're a new puppy parent, our Rock Springs veterinarians will guide you through everything you need to know for a successful first vet visit. Get ready with a comprehensive puppy first vet visit checklist.

When should you take your puppy for its first vet visit?

Schedule a first vet visit for your new puppy within a few days of bringing them home.

The vet will review their records, perform a physical exam, and check for health concerns. Puppies typically have appointments every 3-4 weeks starting at 6-8 weeks old, and ending at 4-5 months old.

At 6 to 8 weeks of age, babies typically receive their first vaccinations. If your puppy is older than 4-5 months, they can receive their shots in two visits separated by 3–4 weeks. Based on your puppy's requirements, your veterinarian may modify the plan.

Before your appointment, you should collect as much information as possible.

Puppy’s First Vet Visit Checklist

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

Small puppies will travel in a crate more safely and comfortably. Don't assume that when your puppy is experiencing all the unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells at the clinic, you will be able to hold them in your arms. Bring a leash or harness so you can control your dog if they start acting out under stress.

If you're curious about the cost of your puppy's first vet visit, contact your veterinarian directly. They should be able to give you a more accurate estimate.

What to Expect During Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit

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 weight check
  • A complete physical examination, which includes
  • 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 all the new puppy vet visits, the veterinary staff will discuss many important aspects of puppy care with you including

  • Dental care
  • Grooming needs
  • Nutrition
  • Flea, tick, heartworm, and internal parasite control
  • Vaccination schedules
  • Exercise and play requirements
  • Behavior and socialization
  • Pet identification, including microchips and tags
  • Reproductive health, including the benefits and risks of spaying and neutering
  • Travel requirements
  • Pet safety and disaster preparedness
  • Diseases that can be spread from pets to people (and vice versa)

Questions to Ask the Veterinarian on Your Puppy's First Visit

Your vet will provide all the necessary information to care for your puppy, but be sure to review the important topics. If you have any questions or need clarification, don't hesitate to ask.

You probably have many questions if you have just got a new puppy, and it is time for their first appointment. Feel free to contact our Rock Springs vets with any questions or concerns about your first appointment.

Looking for a vet in Rock Springs?

Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rock Springs cats and dogs. Get in touch today to request an appointment for your pet.

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