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

Congratulations on your new puppy! Today, our West Salem vets share everything you need for your puppy's first veterinary appointment and what you can expect at this visit.

What To Expect At Your Puppy's First Vet Appointment

During your puppy's first visit, you can expect your veterinarian to do the following:

  • Palpate the abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Take your puppy's temperature
  • Weigh your puppy
  • Listen to the heart and lungs
  • Examine your young dog's skin and coat
  • Assess their eyes, ears, nose, feet, and genitalia
  • Check your puppy's teeth and mouth
  • A fecal exam to test for the presence of worms (you should bring a stool sample if you can)
  • Talk about your puppy’s history and designate time for you to ask any questions you might have about feeding, medical issues, and future care

Make sure you have a clear understanding of when and how to administer any medications or treatments that your vet has prescribed for your pet. Make sure to carefully follow the directions given by your vet and remember to schedule any necessary follow-up visits and vaccinations.

What To Bring To Your Puppy's First Veterinary Visit

If possible, try to bring the following items to your puppy's first veterinary appointment. The more information the vet has, the better they will be able to treat your puppy.

  • Any forms provided by your veterinarian that you have already filled out
  • Notes on how much and what types of foods and treats you feed your puppy at home
  • The veterinary records you received from the breeder or shelter
  • A written list of important questions or concerns that you might have
  • Your dog's leash and collar or harness
  • A dog carrier or crate lined with some old towels or shirts that smell like home
  • Small treats to reward good behavior
  • Chew toy to distract your pup
  • A stool sample that is as fresh as possible

Keep in mind that a crate provides a safer and more comfortable environment for small puppies. When you visit the clinic, it's important to keep in mind that carrying a wiggly puppy in your arms may not be feasible. Always keep puppies under control by using a leash and collar or harness. Consider incorporating a chew toy and some treats into your routine.

What To Ask Your Vet At Your Puppy's First Visit

Your veterinarian can provide you with all the necessary information to ensure your puppy's healthy growth and quality of life. If you have any questions or find the information provided confusing, feel free to ask for clarification. Your input is valuable and any overlooked details can be addressed.

That being said, a list of questions can assist you in maximizing the benefits of your puppy's initial veterinary appointment. Presenting a comprehensive list of insightful questions to ask your vet during the visit.

Health & Safety

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

Behavior & Training

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

Feeding Your Puppy

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

The Cost of Your Puppy's First Veterinary Visit

During a puppy's first vet appointment, routine procedures are typically performed. However, the total costs can vary depending on factors like the location, vaccines required, and any prescribed medications. Save money with veterinary wellness programs, vaccination clinics, and pet insurance. Get in touch with your vet directly for a more accurate quote to 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.

Contact our West Salem vets today and schedule your puppy's first appointment at West Salem Animal Clinic.

New Patients Welcome

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

Contact Us

Contact (503) 588-2903