Your puppy's first veterinary visit is an incredibly important step in helping to ensure that they retain their lifelong health and well-being. Here, our Gilbert veterinarians explain a checklist of what is involved in your young dog's first appointment, from exams to preventive care, and what treatments we may administer.
The First Vet Visit For Your Puppy or Kitten
If you ask any vet, they will confidently tell you that bringing your dog to see the vet for the first time, as well as any subsequent appointments during your dog's first year, are some of the bets things that you can do to help your companion remain healthy and safe all throughout their life.
These initial visits give your veterinarians the chance to provide your pet with critical preventive care and examinations for signs of issues down the road, and health problems that may already be present in your pooch.
Puppies should generally have their first veterinary appointment at the age of 6 weeks. Your vet will give you information about how frequently you will need to bring your companion in to see them throughout their first year.
But, what is actually involved when taking your dog to the vet for their first visit? And what kinds of health conditions are commonly found through these checkups? Here, our Crossroads Veterinary Hospital team explains more.
What is involved in your puppy's first vet visit?
Just like with any other medical "first," the first steps of your puppy's first veterinary visit will require that some paperwork be filled out. This will help to ensure that your vet has all of the info they need about your companion on file, including their name, breed and age. Your vet will also ask some questions about how your pet's health is thus far, their temperament and any hereditary health predispositions that you may know about.
This initial discussion is a great opportunity for you to not only give detailed answers to your vet's questions to ensure they know everything they can about your pet's health, but also to ask questions of your own!
Next, your veterinarian will give your dog a physical exam. This includes checking their skin and coat for any abnormalities, testing their alertness, the condition of their face, and looking out for signs of swelling anywhere on their body. If your dog is a breed that is predisposed to any congenital defects, our vets will also check for those specifically.
After your puppy gets their physical exam, your vet will use all of the information they have gathered in order to advise you about a suitable preventive treatment plan for the first year and a half to year of your puppy's life.
Preventive care for pets includes starting them on a course of parasite preventive treatments for ticks, fleas, heartworms and more when they are of the proper age. It also involves planning out a year of vaccinations and boosters against common conditions that affect dogs and cats.
Finally, your veterinarians will speak with you about scheduling a spay or neuter for your dog to help prevent unwanted litters. These procedures can also curb a whole range of problematic behaviors and serious diseases which may develop over the course of their life. Microchipping may also be suggested as a means of helping you to find your dog if they ever become lost.
Treatment of Common Conditions
This final step may not always come during your puppy's first veterinary visit since it will depend on whether or not your vet finds emerging or fully developed health conditions in your pet during their assessment.
If your vet finds any health issues in your young dog, they will make it their priority to ensure that your companion is definitively diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Health issues that may be non-threatening to an adult pet may pose a very real risk to your puppy's weak immune system.
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.