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

With a new puppy comes great responsibility. You will need to love it and ensure that you do everything you can to keep them healthy. Here, our vets in Southern Wisconsin share a checklist of what to bring to your puppy's first vet visit, along with what to expect and questions to ask.

What happens during my new puppy's first vet checkup?

If you have a new puppy that is in need of their first vet checkup, you may wonder what this visit will entail. During your puppy's first visit and exam, the vet will:

  • Weigh your puppy.
  • Listen to their heart and lungs.
  • Take your puppy's temperature.
  • Examine the eyes, ears, nose, feet, and genitalia.
  • Take a look at your puppy's skin and coat.
  • Look at your puppy's teeth and mouth.
  • Palpate the abdomen and lymph nodes.
  • Examine the feces for the presence of worms (the vet may ask you to bring a stool sample).
  • Discuss your puppy's health history and any questions you might have about feeding, medical issues, and future care.

If you are going home with medications or treatments, you will need to understand when and how to give them. Follow directions exactly and set up a schedule for follow-up visits and vaccinations.

Your Puppy's First Vet Visit: Checklist of What to Bring

There are certain things that you should bring with you to your puppy's first vet visit. Generally, the more information you provide, the better your vet can treat your pup.

  • Record from the breed or shelter
  • A list of questions or concerns that you have
  • Notes on how much of what types of foods and treats you offer at home
  • A dog carrier or crate lined with some old towels or shirts that smell like home
  • Leash and collar or harness
  • A chew toy to keep them busy
  • Small treats to reward good behavior
  • Any forms requested by our vets at the time of booking your visit
  • A stool sample, as fresh as possible

If you're planning a trip to the clinic for your puppy's first visit, don't expect to be able to carry them in your arms. Puppies can be very wiggly. You should control them using a leash, collar, or harness. You can also bring your dog in a crate if he is small enough.

What to Ask the Vet on a Puppy's First Visit

Your vet will be integral to keeping your puppy healthy throughout their life. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you ever need further information or clarification.

To make the most of your first visit, preparing a list of questions in advance might be helpful. Here are some examples of questions for your vet during your puppy's visit.

How to Keep Your Puppy Safe & Healthy

  • How often does my puppy need to come to the vet?
  • When should I spay or neuter my puppy?
  • Should I microchip my puppy?
  • How often should my puppy poop?
  • Are 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 Your New Puppy

  • When can my puppy go to the pet store/dog park/groomer?
  • Is crate training recommended?
  • How long can she stay in her crate?
  • What is the easiest way to 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?

What You Should Feed Your Puppy

  • What kind of food should my puppy eat?
  • How many times a day should my puppy eat?
  • When do puppies switch to adult dog food?
  • Are there any foods that I shouldn't give my puppy?

Cost of Your Puppy's First Vet Visit

The cost of your puppy's first vet visit can be affected by factors such as the clinic's location, the types of vaccines administered, and any prescribed medications.

Going to vaccination clinics can save you money. However, it is recommended that you contact the veterinarian directly for a more accurate estimate of costs. This way, you can 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.

Is it time to schedule your new furry friend for their first veterinary checkup? Contact our vets at Badger Veterinary Hospital today to book an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Badger Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients. Our team is passionate about the health of animals from across Southern Wisconsin. Contact our closest location to book your first appointment today!

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