A veterinarian will likely have examined your puppy before being adopted. Typically the first visit is between 2 and 3 weeks of age for their first health check-up and deworming. By 6 to 8 weeks, your puppy will be ready for their vaccinations and flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. Soon after your puppy gets home (generally at the eight-week mark), it is a good idea to schedule a puppy visit appointment with your veterinarian.
How to Prepare for Your First Puppy Vet Visit
To help prepare your puppy for its first visit, spend lots of time gently handling your puppy’s ears and paws, checking their teeth, rubbing their bellies, lifting their tail, etc.! This can make them feel more comfortable during an exam, while the vet will also have an easier time assessing your puppy’s health during the checkup. Immediately ahead of the vet visit, make sure to let your puppy out to go potty to avoid potential accidents during the visit. Your vet may also ask to bring a stool sample to them either before or after the visit.
What to Bring to Puppy’s First Vet Visit
It is essential to bring any medical/vaccination records you received with your puppy to your appointment. This helps your veterinarian to see what has already been done so that they can make a plan going forward.
We recommend bringing a fresh stool sample to your pup’s first visit so your veterinarian can do a microscopic examination to look for any intestinal parasites.
Make a list of questions you have for your veterinarian. Whether you have questions about your puppy's behavior, training, when to spay or neuter, diet, etc., this appointment is a great time to get these questions answered.
Your puppy should be leashed or in a crate when arriving for your first vet visit. This first vet visit may be overwhelming or even scary for your new puppy! We want to ensure that they are safe and secure at all times.
You should also bring treats to the appointment for positive reinforcement. Your veterinarian and staff members will likely be loaded with treats ready to spoil your puppy, but bringing along some of your puppy’s favorites can be helpful to take their mind off of the new environment.
Bring your puppy’s favorite toy! Like her Snuggle Puppy! A toy can be a great way to keep your puppy happily entertained. Your puppy might get bored in the waiting room or when you and your veterinarian are busy discussing your puppy’s care plan.
What to expect:
At your puppy’s first visit, your veterinarian will weigh your puppy and give them a nose-to-tail examination. Your veterinarian will check their nose, mouth, eyes and ears, listen to your pup’s heart and lungs, take their temperature, and so much more.
At this visit, your veterinarian will discuss what vaccinations your puppy needs. There are core vaccinations that every puppy should receive, and there are optional vaccinations that may be recommended depending on where you live and what activities your puppy may be participating in. Your veterinarian will administer the vaccinations your puppy is due for and will create a schedule for boosters or additional vaccinations needed over the next several weeks.
Your veterinarian will discuss many other topics, such as:
Permanent identification, such as a microchips
Having a puppy is a big responsibility but it’s also so, so rewarding! The first few vet visits with your puppy may feel overwhelming with so much information being discussed. Don’t be afraid to take notes or ask your veterinarian for a written visit summary. Typically your puppy will be seeing their veterinarian every 3 to 4 weeks for the first few months of their lives and then annually after that. If you have questions between visits, you can always reach out to us for help. Our care team is available 24/7 for all your puppy-related questions 🙂