Puppy’s First Vet Visit: Tips, Checklist & Expectations

Puppy’s First Vet Visit: Tips, Checklist & Expectations

Having a puppy at home is a wonderful thing. However, puppies are susceptible to a lot of diseases and illnesses. Their immune systems aren’t developed completely and they have a lot to adjust to in a new home. Hence, your puppy’s first vet visit is something you must plan even before you bring the puppy home.

Talk to fellow pet parents who have prior experience going to vets in your area. Having a trustworthy vet nearby your home is always the best option. Similarly, let’s learn about all the other things to consider while visiting the vet for the first time.

Choosing a good vet for your puppy

A good vet is someone who you can trust and your puppy is comfortable with them. You need to assess if the vet has a good deal of experience, what services they offer, and if their values align with you.

A vet is going to be an integral part of your puppy’s life and yours. For any problem, your puppy faces, your first call would be to them. Hence, you need to carefully assess the clinic you’re going to choose for your puppy’s first vet visit.

Here are some questions you should ask to assess your puppy’s vet:

  • Did the vet make you and your puppy feel comfortable?
  • What are the veterinarian's qualifications and credentials?
  • How long has the vet been practicing veterinary medicine?
  • What services does the clinic offer for puppies apart from regular check-ups and vaccinations?
  • What should the pet owner do in case of a medical emergency after the clinic's regular hours?
  • Does the vet have a referral hospital or emergency service they recommend?
  • Is the vet available by phone, text, or video calls in case of emergencies?

Have an open and transparent conversation with your vet and ask questions that reassure you. If you’re not comfortable asking the vet some questions directly, you can ask people who have been to that vet.

Puppy’s First Visit to the Vet: When to Go?

You should visit the vet for the first time as soon as possible. Book an appointment with the vet before or after you bring the puppy home.

While deciding when to go to the clinic, ensure that you go at a time when it is less crowded and there is less number of visitors. A crowded environment can be stressful for the puppy on the first visit.

You also need to go at a quieter time as it is important to ensure minimal interaction with other animals at the vet. Since your puppy hasn’t received any vaccinations yet, it is prone to a lot of diseases and illnesses.

Checklist For The First Vet Visit

If you’re too nervous about the first vet visit, take a round around the clinic alone before taking your puppy. You being confident will help you support your puppy better. Check out the clinic’s location, how the staff is with you, what other pet parents feel like, and more.

When you’re assured enough that it’s a nice place to take your puppy to, you can take it along. While at it here are some things you must remember:

  • Carry all the medical records provided by the breeder.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask your vet.
  • Have your puppy on a leash or a carrier.
  • Carry tissues and poop bags for emergencies.
  • Have a pet water bottle handy.
  • Have your puppy’s favorite treats with you.

What to expect from your puppy’s first vet visit?

When the vet calls you in, introduce yourself and the puppy. Let them know how long has it been, what breed it is, the age, and all other details.

During your puppy's first visit, the vet will conduct a comprehensive examination to ensure your furry companion's health and well-being. Here's what you can expect:

  • Physical Examination: The vet will perform a thorough physical exam, including weighing the puppy, listening to their heart and lungs with a stethoscope, and taking their temperature (rectally).
  • Head-to-Tail Assessment: The vet will examine the puppy's eyes, ears, nose, feet, genitalia, skin, coat, teeth, and mouth to check for any signs of abnormalities or health issues.
  • Abdominal and Lymph Node Palpation: They will palpate the puppy's abdomen and lymph nodes to check for any irregularities or signs of discomfort.
  • Fecal Examination: You should bring a fresh stool sample for the vet to examine for the presence of worms or other parasites.
  • Medical History: The vet will discuss the puppy's medical history, vaccination status, and any previous or ongoing treatments. You can also ask any questions you might have about feeding, worm medications, and future care, such as microchipping, spaying, and neutering.
  • Medications and Treatments: If necessary, the vet may prescribe medications or treatments. Ensure you understand how to administer them and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Vaccination Schedule: The vet will provide a vaccination schedule tailored to your puppy's age, breed, and health status.
  • Health and Behavior Advice: You can expect the vet to offer advice on maintaining your puppy's health, behavior, and basic training tips.
  • Follow-up Visits: Set up a schedule for follow-up visits and booster vaccinations as needed.
  • Parasite Prevention: The vet may recommend and discuss fleas and ticks prevention and deworming measures.
  • Microchipping: If not already done, discuss the importance of microchipping your puppy for identification and safe return in case they get lost.

Puppy Health Checklist and Questions For the Vet

Here is the must-have health checklist you should discuss with your vet:

  • Vaccinations
  • Deworming
  • Tick and Flea Control
  • Diet
  • General Health
  • Socialization
  • Day-to-day routine

Apart from these, if you have any questions related to your puppy, ask your vet without hesitation. To make things easier, here are a few questions from our side:

10 Questions for the vet with a new puppy:

  1. How many times should my puppy be fed?
  2. What type of food should the puppy get: Home-made or kibble?
  3. When is the right time to neuter the puppy?
  4. When can the puppy have its first outside walk?
  5. Do you have any training advice?
  6. What treats are safe for puppies?
  7. When should I give my puppy its first bath?
  8. How often to wash my puppy?
  9. Do you recommend pet insurance, and what coverage options are available?
  10. Are there any potential health risks or breed-specific issues I should be aware of as my puppy grows older?

Vet Visit Cost In India

Private veterinary clinics in India charge a consultation price of around Rs. 300-500. The cost of medicine would be extra.  
Government Vet Hospitals are comparatively cheaper options. They charge around Rs. 60-100 for consultation with extra cost for medicines.

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