Your young dog's first visit to your veterinarian's office is incredibly important to help ensure their life-long health and well-being. Here, our Torrance vets explain the checklist of what checks and exams we conduct and what treatments we administer at your puppy's first vet visit.
The First Vet Visit For Your Puppy or Kitten
If you ask any veterinarians, they will tell you that bringing your dog to the vet for the first time, and the subsequent appointments throughout your puppy's first year, are some of the most important things you can do to help your pet remain healthy and safe throughout their life. These first visits give your veterinarian a chance to provide critical preventive care to your dog, check them for signs of potential health issues down the road, and diagnose any conditions they may already have.
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 Torrance Companion Animal Hospital team explains more.
What is involved in your puppy's first vet visit?
Just like with any other "first" for medical appointments, the first steps of your puppy's veterinary visit will need some paperwork to be filled out. This will help to ensure your vet has all the info about your new pet that they need on file like their name, breed, age and lineage. Your vet may also ask you some questions about how your pet is doing so far, including their temperament and any hereditary health history.
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 vet will give your puppy a total physical exam. This includes checking their coats and skin condition, level of alertness, internal health, face condition, signs of swelling and more. If your dog is of a breed that is predisposed to certain congenital defects, your vet will also specifically check for those too.
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.
Lastly, your vet will speak with you about scheduling a spay or neuter for your dog in order to prevent unwanted litters as well as a host of problematic behaviors and serious diseases that may develop as they grow up. They may also suggest microchipping as a way of helping you find your pup 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 veterinary professional finds any health issues in your young pet, it will be their top priority to ensure they are definitively diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Illnesses or conditions that may be non-threatening to an adult pet can be quite serious 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.