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

Are you a proud owner of a new puppy? In this blog post, our Astoria vets will share everything you need to know for a successful first visit with the vet. Here's your comprehensive checklist for your puppy's first vet visit.

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

Book a first vet visit for your new puppy within the first few days after you bring them home. 

The vet will review their medical records, conduct a physical exam, and check for health concerns. Puppies typically have appointments every three to four weeks, starting when they are between six and eight weeks old and ending when they are four or five months old. 

First vaccinations typically begin when your puppy is between six and eight weeks old. If your pup is older than four or five months, they can receive their vaccinations in two visits, spaced three to four weeks apart. Your vet may alter this plan based on your puppy's individual requirements. 

Collect as much information as possible before your appointment. 

Puppy's First Vet Visit Checklist 

Here is a list of items you might find helpful to bring with you to your puppy's first veterinary appointment:

  • Any written records you've received from the breeder or shelter 
  • A list of important questions 
  • Dog crate or carrier lined with some old towels 
  • Notes about which types of foods and treats your puppy eats 
  • Leash and collar or harness 
  • Chew toy for distraction 
  • Small treats to reward good behavior 
  • Any forms provided by a previous veterinarian that you've already filled out 
  • A stool sample, as fresh as possible 

Small puppies are typically safer and more comfortable travelling in a crate. Do not assume that you'll be able to hold your puppy in your arms when they experience the array of new signs, smells, and sounds at the vet clinic. It's important to bring a leash or harness to control your pup if they are feeling stressed or anxious. 

What to Expect During Your Puppy's First Vet Visit 

Veterinary staff will start your visit by asking you a series of questions regarding your puppy's history and how things are going at home. They will then check your puppy's weight and perform a complete physical examination, which includes:

  • Examining your puppy's entire body, including the eyes, ears, nose, feet, skin, nails, coat, and genitalia 
  • Using a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs
  • Checking reflexes 
  • Palpating the lymph nodes, joints, and organs within the abdomen
  • Measuring temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate
  • Opening the mouth to check the teeth, gums, and other oral structures
  • Watching the puppy move around the exam room 

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)

What to Ask the Veterinarian During 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. Here are some specific questions you might consider asking:

  • Could my puppy have any illnesses or diseases?
  • Is my puppy at a healthy weight?
  • How often should I bring my puppy in for a vet exam?
  • How can I prevent my puppy from getting injured or becoming ill?
  • How much barking or howling is normal? When does barking at night typically stop?
  • How often should I feed my puppy?
  • Is there a specific type of food I should feed my puppy? What should I know about proper nutrition? 

Of course, the questions you ask might vary depending on your concerns. Never hesitate to ask your vet any questions you might have about your puppy's health and development during your visits. 

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.

If you've just brought your puppy home and need to book its first appointment, you likely have many questions. Contact our vets at Steinway Court Veterinarian with any questions and concerns you have about your first appointment.

New Patients Welcome

At Steinway Court Veterinarian, we are always accepting new patients. Our vets are dedicated to keeping pets healthy and happy in our Astoria clinic. Contact us today to book your first appointment.

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Contact (718) 728-2822