How to Survive Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit

ImageThe shelter gave us a voucher for a complimentary vet visit in SF, so I had to call around the East Bay to see if anyone would honor it. After checking reviews on Yelp, I finally found one that would. We still had to pay for the shot and pills but hey, every bit helps.

Here’s what you need to know for your puppy’s first checkup.

Bring a copy of the paperwork. The shelter gave us a copy of the health records that showed that our puppy had received all of his shots. Even so, our vet recommended that our puppy get vaccinated against a waterborne bacteria that was prevalent in our area. Good thing because our puppy has definitely taken a few gulps of brackish puddle water.

Ask the vet’s office for what to bring. If I hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have known that the vet recommended saving some stool samples. I put the poop bags in an Amazon box, which got some laughs from the vet and vet assistant. Apparently not everyone delivers the samples with such flair.

Know what brand of dog food your pet is eating. Having just gotten the puppy, I didn’t know the exact name of the food off the top of my head. I did think to take a picture of the bag though. Our vet reminded us to mix a dog’s food if we ever decided to change the brand.

Let the vet handle the pet. Our vet’s office had posted signs reminding owners that office staff should be the ones to handle/restrain the animal. We lucked out in that our puppy loves meeting new people, so there was none of the shaking/whining/barking that my other dog had.

Be honest about your budget. We asked our vet about the most effective flea control methods out there. We’d already tried to apply K9 Advantix, a topical treatment. Our puppy has longer hair, so we felt like we wasted most of the tube. Our vet said her clients have been happier with monthly oral medication like Trifexis. Rather than buying 6 months of the pills right away, however, we opted to pay for one pill and then consider getting the rest at Bedford’s follow-up appointment. I also asked for a price quote just so I knew what we were looking at. (Bedford wasn’t allergic to Trifexis so we went ahead with it at the second appointment.)

Look away if you have to. My puppy was so fixated on the treats that he didn’t yelp when he got the shot. I, on the other hand, couldn’t watch him get the shot.

Understand the warning signs for allergic reactions. We were told that if our puppy started itching or vomiting, he was likely allergic. Our vet gave us the number for an emergency care pet hospital, just in case.


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