When should you first take your puppy to the vet? Here’s What to Expect

When to Take a Puppy to the Vet for the First Time

Many dog shelters and breeders start vet visits for puppies before they release their little ones to new pet parents. You should receive paperwork that clearly states what type of care has already been provided, when that occurred, and when you should schedule your puppy’s next veterinary visit.

But regardless of what the shelter or breeder has already done, it is always a good idea to schedule a new puppy vet visit within a few days of picking up your new canine companion. This will allow the veterinarian to review your pup’s records and quickly provide any overdue care. The doctor will also perform a complete physical examination and perhaps run some laboratory tests to identify any potential health concerns. It’s best to learn about problems as soon as possible before any health guarantees the breeder provides expires.

A typical vet schedule for puppies is for appointments to occur every 3 to 4 weeks starting when puppies are 6 to 8 weeks old and ending when they are 4 or 5 months old. Most puppies start their vaccinations when they are 6 to 8 weeks old. Puppies who receive their first vaccinations when they are older than 4 or 5 months of age can usually be caught up in two visits scheduled 3 to 4 weeks apart. Your veterinarian may adjust this plan based on your puppy’s particular history and needs.

How to Prepare for Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit

Collect as much information as possible in the days before your puppy’s first vet visit. Has your puppy traveled from a different part of the country or world? Are you starting to notice behavioral problems as your pup settles in? Does your puppy have a good appetite with no vomiting or diarrhea? Is potty training proceeding as you expected?

While it is, of course, fine to answer a vet’s question with “I don’t know” (you can always call back with the answer), the more information you can provide during the appointment the better.

Coughing, Sneezing or Breathing Issues

Persistent coughing or sneezing is a reason to call the vet. Schofil reminds us to also look for any signs of difficulty breathing which may include wheezing, rapid breathing, a bluish tint to gums and lips, and/or open-mouth breathing not related to strenuous exercise. An allergic reaction can cause swelling around the nose and mouth that can also result in trouble breathing. Brachycephalic or ‘flat-faced’ breeds are often more likely to experience respiratory distress than longer nose breeds. It is important to discuss what is normal for your puppy with your veterinarian when it comes to breathing and know the signs of distress.

Is Your Puppy Ready For Their First Vet Visit? – Bringing Home A New Puppy Episode 4

Your puppy’s health is your first priority, so it’s important to schedule their first vet appointment in a timely manner. Going to the vet can be nerve-wracking for pups and owners alike, but these tips from the Embark veterinary team will help make it a positive experience.

You should schedule the first vet appointment for your puppy as soon as they’re eight weeks old. If you brought home a puppy older than that, schedule an appointment within your first three days with them. Even if they’ve seen a veterinarian before, you need to find a local vet for ongoing care.