Have you just brought home a new puppy? One of your first priorities is likely to schedule the first vet visit. In this post, our Doraville vets share tips on finding appropriate care and a checklist of items to bring with you. We also discuss what to expect when you bring your puppy in for its first vet appointment.
How to Find a Vet For Your New Puppy
Type 'vet for puppies near Doraville' into your favorite search engine and you are likely to receive a list with numerous results. To find the right vet for you, consider the location of the clinics you're looking at, as well as their current availability.
Since puppies are always getting into mischief and can experience unanticipated health issues at any time, you'll want to check whether they offer a range of services, such as in-house diagnostics and urgent care. If you have other pets, you might consider checking whether they have the ability to care for cats and dogs of all ages, as they develop and eventually require senior care.
When to Bring Your Puppy to the Vet For the First Time
Many puppies will see a vet for the first time before they leave their breeder or shelter for their permanent home with their new family. The shelter or breeder should give you paperwork that clearly states what type of care has been provided, when it occurred, and when to schedule your puppy's next visit to the vet.
That said, regardless of what the breeder or shelter has already done, it's a good idea to book a new puppy vet visit within a few days of picking up your new four-legged friend. This will give the vet a chance to look over your puppy's records and quickly provide any care that may be overdue.
The veterinarian will also give your puppy a complete physical examination and may conduct some laboratory tests to find potential health issues. It's best to discover any problems as early as possible, before any health guarantees provided by the breeder have expired.
A typical vet schedule for puppies is for appointments to be booked every 3 to 4 weeks, starting when puppies are 6 to 8 weeks old and ending when they are 4 or 5 months old.
Most puppies start to receive their vaccination between the 6 to 8-week mark. Puppies who receive their first vaccinations when they are older than 4 or 5 months of age can typically be caught up in two vet visits scheduled 3 to 4 weeks apart. Your vet may adjust this plan depending on your puppy's specific history and needs.
Please collect as much information as possible about your new puppy before your appointment.
Puppy's First Vet Visit Checklist
- Veterinary records received from the breeder or shelter
- Notes on types of foods and treats you are feeding your puppy, and how much
- List of important questions
- Any forms provided by your vet that you've already filled out
- A stool sample, as fresh as possible
- Collar and harness or leash
- Chew toy for distraction
- Small treats to reward good behavior
- Dog carrier or crate lined with old towels
Small puppies will be safer and more comfortable if they travel in a crate. Since they'll be experiencing all the new sights, sounds and smells at the clinic, they may be more excitable than usual and not content to be held in your arms in the waiting room at the vet clinic. It's important to bring a leash or harness to control your dog if they are feeling excited or stressed.
What to Expect During Your Puppy's First Vet Visit
Veterinary staff will kick off the vet visit by asking you a series of questions about your puppy's history and how they are doing at home, followed by:
- Watching your puppy move around the exam room
- Checking your puppy's weight
- Examining the entire body, including the ears, eyes, nose, nails, skin, coat, feet, 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
- 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
Your vet should provide you with all the information that you need to help your puppy thrive, but look over the topics listed above. If your vet forgot to talk about something or the information they provided was confusing, don’t hesitate more questions.
Kitten & Puppy Veterinary Care at WellPet Humane
If you are the proud owner of a new puppy or kitten and are looking for a veterinary clinic in or near Doraville, you can trust our dedicated veterinarians and support staff to provide considerate and effective veterinary care for your furry friend.
We are always happy to address any questions or concerns you may have leading up to and following your pet's first appointment.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.