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

Congratulations on your new puppy! Today, our Oklahoma City vets share everything you need for your puppy's first veterinary appointment and what you can expect at this visit.

What To Expect At Your Puppy's First Vet Appointment

During your puppy's first visit, you can expect your veterinarian to do the following:

  • Palpate the abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Take your puppy's temperature
  • Weigh your puppy
  • Listen to the heart and lungs
  • Examine your young dog's skin and coat
  • Assess their eyes, ears, nose, feet, and genitalia
  • Check your puppy's teeth and mouth
  • A fecal exam to test for the presence of worms (you should bring a stool sample if you can)
  • Talk about your puppy’s history and designate time for you to ask any questions you might have about feeding, medical issues, and future care

If your vet is sending you home with any medications or treatments, ensure you understand when and how they are supposed to be given. Follow your vet's directions carefully, and schedule any required follow-up visits and vaccinations.

What To Bring To Your Puppy's First Veterinary Visit

When you take your puppy to the veterinarian for the first time, consider bringing the following items with you if at all possible. In order to provide the best possible care for your puppy, the veterinarian will need as much information as possible.

  • Any forms provided by your veterinarian that you have already filled out
  • Notes on how much and what types of foods and treats you feed your puppy at home
  • The veterinary records you received from the breeder or shelter
  • A written list of important questions or concerns that you might have
  • Your dog's leash and collar or harness
  • A dog carrier or crate lined with some old towels or shirts that smell like home
  • Small treats to reward good behavior
  • Chew toy to distract your pup
  • A stool sample that is as fresh as possible

Note that small puppies will be safer and more comfortable in a crate. Don't plan on being able to carry a wiggly puppy in your arms when visiting the clinic. Puppies must be kept under control at all times using a leash and collar or harness. This is why a chew toy or/ and a few treats are a good idea.

Questions To Ask Your Vet At Your Puppy's First Visit

Your veterinarian should be able to give you all of the information you need to help your puppy grow and live a quality life. Based on the information detailed above, if you have any questions that you believe they have overlooked, or if the information they have supplied is confusing, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.

In spite of this, bringing a list of questions with you to the first veterinary appointment for your puppy can help you get the most out of the experience. I have compiled a list of some questions that you should ask your veterinarian during the appointment.

Health & Safety

  • Are there any health concerns specific to my puppy’s breed(s)?
  • How often does my puppy need to see the vet?
  • Should I microchip my dog?
  • When should I spay or neuter my puppy?
  • What is heartworm disease and why is prevention important?
  • How many times a day should my puppy poop?
  • Does my puppy need flea and tick prevention?

Behavior & Training

  • Do you know any local trainers?
  • How long can they stay in their crate?
  • Do you recommend crate training?
  • When can my puppy go to the pet store/dog park/groomer?
  • How do I socialize my puppy with other humans and dogs? 
  • How much exercise does my puppy need?
  • How do you potty train a puppy?

Feeding Your Puppy

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

The Cost of Your Puppy's First Veterinary Visit

Most of what happens during a puppy's first vet appointment are routine, however, the costs can be determined by various factors such as location, vaccines, and prescribed medications. Veterinary wellness programs, vaccination clinics, and pet insurance can all help you save money. You can contact your vet directly to get a more precise quote so there are no nasty 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.

Contact our Oklahoma City vets today and schedule your puppy's first appointment at Putnam North Animal Hospital.

Welcoming New Patients

Putnam North Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our team is passionate about the health and well-being of dogs and cats from across Oklahoma City. Get in touch today.


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