Getting reliable veterinary services for dogs is essential to keeping them healthy as they grow. When you’re raising a puppy, its first vet visit is an important milestone in its young life. The first time your puppy visits the vet, they’ll get a comprehensive checkup, vaccines, and other preventative treatments to keep them healthy. If you’re planning on taking your puppy for its first vet visit soon, here’s what you should expect.
Getting your puppy vaccinated is one of the biggest reasons you need to take your puppy to the vet early on. Just like with humans, there’s a vaccination schedule you need to follow if you want to keep your puppy healthy. Your puppy should get its first shots at about six to eight weeks old, with a second round of shots at about 10 to 12 weeks old. Puppies receive several shots from when they first visit the vet until about 12 to 16 months. Even after your puppy has received all the shots they need at a young age, additional vaccinations are administered every few years.
Remember that your puppy may have received some of its shots before you got them. When getting a puppy, ask the owner about vaccinations and talk to your vet about the typical puppy vaccination schedule. You may not need to vaccinate your puppy immediately, and you don’t want to get them shots they don’t need.
When you take your puppy to the vet for the first time, your vet will usually weigh it to ensure they’re maintaining a healthy weight. The ideal weight for dogs varies based on breed and age, so it can be tough to figure out if your puppy is gaining too much weight due to their diet. Your vet can help you figure out if your dog is at a healthy weight, and they can help you change your puppy’s diet if they need to be at a healthy weight. In many cases, simply reducing the food your puppy eats is enough to get them back to a healthy weight. However, your vet may also recommend changing to a diet dog food if your puppy has a tough time losing weight.
You don’t have the expertise to decide if your puppy is healthy, but your vet can look at a few basic things to get a good idea of how healthy your puppy is. During a basic physical exam, your vet will look at several things to make sure your puppy is healthy, including their coat, skin, ears, paws, and more. Suppose a vet spots any potential health issues during this physical exam. In that case, they may use more advanced tests to confirm their diagnosis.
This basic checkup is also why you’re going to be taking your dog to the vet annually as they age. Medical problems in dogs are easier to deal with when you catch them early and get started with treatment, so taking your dog to the vet for regular checkups can help prevent long-term issues.
Oral health is incredibly important for dogs, but it’s something a lot of pet parents neglect. If you’re taking your dog to the vet for its first visit, expect your vet to look at your puppy’s teeth and gums. Simply looking at your dog’s mouth can tell your vet a lot about their oral health.
Talking to your vet about steps to promote healthy teeth and gums would be best. You can talk to your dentist about which toothbrush and toothpaste you should use for your dog. You can also ask about dental chews and other possible solutions. As a pet parent, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily to keep them healthy.
A physical exam can only do so much to tell your vet about the health of your puppy; your vet also makes their assessment based on the medical history of your puppy. Your vet at Rolling Plains Veterinary Corporation will talk to you about your dog’s breed, where you got them from, their age, and whether they’ve had any past medical issues. Understanding your dog’s medical history can help your vet determine if your dog is at risk for any particular disease.
Spaying and Neutering
When you take your puppy for its first vet visit, you should also talk to your vet about getting them spayed or neutered if that’s something you’re interested in. While you can’t have a puppy spayed or neutered when they’re too young, you want to get your puppy fixed before they’re hanging out with other dogs who aren’t fixed.
Generally speaking, you can spay or neuter a puppy at about six to nine months, although waiting until 12 to 18 months is recommended for larger breeds. When you take your puppy in for their first trip to the vet, make sure you ask about getting them fixed.
Keep Your Pup Healthy
If you want to keep your puppy happy and healthy, regular vet visits are a must. After you take your puppy for its first vet visit, you’ll need to bring them back for more vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and annual checkups. If your puppy is ready for their first vet visit, call Rolling Plains Veterinary Corporation at (204) 379-2374 for reliable dog and cat care today.
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