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Puppy's First Vet Visit: Checklist & What to Expect

Wondering what to ask your veterinarian during your puppy's first visit? Worried that you might forget to bring along something you'll need? Our Corpus Christi vets have a checklist of items you can review to help you prepare for your puppy's first trip to the vet, along with important questions to ask. 

What to Expect at Your Puppy's First Vet Appointment

If it's time to take your puppy to their first vet appointment, you may be wondering exactly what this trip to the vet will entail. You can expect your veterinarian to do the following during your puppy's first visit: 

  • Weigh the puppy 
  • Listen to the puppy's heart and lungs 
  • Take the puppy's temperature 
  • Examine the puppy's ears, eyes, nose, feet, and genitalia 
  • Examine the puppy's coat and skin 
  • Look at the puppy's mouth and teeth 
  • Palpate the abdomen and lymph nodes 
  • Examine the puppy's feces for the presence of worms (bring a stool sample if you can) 
  • Discuss the puppy's history and any questions you may have about feeding, medical issues, and care as your puppy develops 
  • If you are sent home with medications or treatments, confirm that you understand when and how they are to be given. Follow directions to the letter, and set up a schedule for follow-up visits or vaccinations. 

Your Puppy's First Vet Visit Checklist 

When heading to your vet for your puppy's first examination, it's a good idea to bring the following items. The more information you're able to provide your vet, the better they will be able to treat your puppy. 

  • Any veterinary records you received from the shelter or breeder 
  • A written list of any important questions or concerns 
  • Notes on how much of what types of foods and treats you offer at home 
  • A dog crate or carrier lined with old towels or shirts that small like home (this may comfort your puppy in the waiting room and during the appointment) 
  • A leash and collar or harness 
  • A chew toy to distract your puppy 
  • 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 

Keep in mind that small puppies will be more comfortable and safer in a crate. Don't expect to be able to carry your wiggly puppy, and all of the items you'll bring with you, in your arms when visiting the clinic. 

Puppies must be kept under control at all times using a leash and collar or harness. This is why it's a good idea to bring a chew toy and/or some treats. 

What to Ask During Your Puppy's First Visit to the Vet 

Your veterinarian should be able to provide all the information you'll need to help your puppy grow. Based on the information above, if you have any questions you believe the vet has overlooked, or if any of the information they've given is confusing, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. 

Having said that, keeping a list of questions handy can help you make the most of your vet's time. Here is a list of some good questions to ask your vet during the 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?

Food

  • What should my puppy eat? 
  • How many times a day should my puppy eat?
  • When do puppies switch to adult dog food?

Factors That Determine the Cost of Your Puppy's First Vet Visit

The majority of what happens during a puppy's first vet appointment is routine, but costs can be determined by a variety of factors like location, vaccines, and prescribed medications. Vaccination clinics, and pet insurance can help to save you money. You can contact your vet directly for a more precise quote so there are no nasty 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.

Contact our Corpus Christi vets today to book an appointment if you suspect your dog is in pain.

New Patients Welcome

Everhart Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Corpus Christi companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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Book Online (361) 854-1439