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What To Expect With Your Puppy's First Vet Visit & Checklist

Bringing home a new puppy is a very exciting time for you, but you shouldn't forget about the important health-related steps like bringing them to see the vet for a checkup. Today, our Rockland County vets share a handy checklist on what to expect during your puppy's first veterinary visit.

What Will Happen During Your Puppy's First Vet Visit

During your puppy's first visit to the veterinarian, they will have a complete exam. During your puppy's first vet visit you can expect the vet to cover the items on this checklist:

  •  Weigh your puppy
  • Take your puppy's temperature
  • Listen to the heart and lungs
  • Look at the puppy's teeth and mouth
  • Examine the puppy's skin and coat
  • Palpate abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Examine the eyes, ears, nose, feet, and genitalia
  • Examine the feces for the presence of worms
  • Discuss the puppy’s medical history/concerns
  • Provide you with any medications required

What should you bring to your puppy's first vet visit?

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

  • A chew toy for distraction
  • A leash and collar/harness
  • A stool sample, as fresh as possible
  • Small treats to reward good behavior
  • Any veterinary records you have
  • A list of important questions or concerns
  • Notes about food/treats provided at home
  • A dog carrier or crate

It's important to note that small puppies will be more comfortable and safe in their crate. Don't expect that you will be able to carry a squirming puppy in your arms when visiting the clinic. Puppies will need to be kept under control using a leash and collar or a harness. Because of this, treats or a small toy is a good idea.

What to Ask Your Vet During Your First Puppy Visit

Your veterinarians should be able to provide you with all of the information that you need to help your puppy grow and stay healthy. Based on the information provided above, if you have any questions that you think your vet has overlooked or if the information they gave you is confusing, feel free to ask for clarification. 

Having said that, a list of questions can help make the most out of your first visit. Here is a list of some good questions to ask your vet during the visit.

Health & Safety

Ask your vet the questions listed below, as well as any other health and safety concerns you may have.

  • Should I microchip my dog?
  • When should I spay or neuter my puppy?
  • How often does my puppy need to visit the vet?
  • How many times a day should my puppy poop?
  • What prevention measures are necessary?
  • Are there breed-specific health concerns?

Training & Behavior

Ask your vet for advice about any questions you have about behavior and training you may have, including those listed below.

  • Do you know any local trainers?
  • How do you potty train a puppy?
  • Do you recommend crate training? 
  • When can my puppy go to the groomer?
  • When can my puppy go to a dog park?
  • How long can she stay in her crate?
  • How much exercise does my puppy need?
  • How do I socialize my puppy with others?

Diet & Nutrition

Find out what type of diet your puppy should have by asking your vet the following questions:

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

Puppy's First Vet Visit: Cost

As with many other veterinary care services, the cost of your puppy's first vet visit will vary from clinic to clinic and from pet to pet. This is because several different factors contribute to the final cost.

This can be the location of the clinic and the expertise of the practitioner as well as the type of equipment used. The breed of your dog also plays a role in the final amount that you will pay.

Please speak with your vet to discuss the estimate of the cost for your puppy and a breakdown of the bill.

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 your new puppy due for their first trip to the vet? Contact our Rockland County vets to book an appointment.

We are now accepting new patients!

At Rockland Veterinary we are passionate about animals and enjoy helping cats and dogs feel well. Contact our vets in Hudson Valley, North Rockland or Pomona today to schedule your furry companion's first appointment!