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

Getting a new puppy is always exciting, but pet owners should know some essential things before bringing it to the vet. Today, our vets in Mount Vernon will explain what you can expect during your puppy's first visit.

What Will Happen During Your Puppy's First Vet Visit

During your puppy's first visit to the veterinarian, they should do the following during their exam to help set your young dog up for success:

  • Weigh your puppy
  • Take your puppy's temperature
  • Listen to the heart and lungs
  • Look at the puppy's teeth and mouth
  • Examine the puppy's skin and coat
  • Palpate abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Examine the eyes, ears, nose, feet, and genitalia
  • Examine the feces for the presence of worms
  • Discuss the puppy’s medical history/concerns
  • Provide you with any medications required

What to Bring to Your Puppy's Visit

Please bring the following items to your puppy's first veterinary appointment to ensure your veterinarian has all the necessary information for optimal treatment of your new puppy.

  • A chew toy for distraction
  • A leash and collar/harness
  • A stool sample, as fresh as possible
  • Small treats to reward good behavior
  • Any veterinary records you have
  • A list of important questions or concerns
  • Notes about food/treats provided at home
  • A dog carrier or crate

Please note that small puppies will feel more comfortable and secure in their crate. When visiting the clinic, don't anticipate being able to carry a squirming puppy in your arms. It's essential to keep puppies under control using a leash and collar or a harness. Therefore, it's advisable to have treats or a small toy on hand.

What to Ask Your Vet During Your Puppy's First Visit

Your veterinarians should be able to provide you with all of the information that you need to help your puppy grow and stay healthy. Based on the information provided above, if you have any questions you think your vet has overlooked or if the information they gave you is confusing, feel free to ask for clarification. 

A list of questions can help you make the most out of your first visit. Here is a list of some good questions to ask your vet during the visit.

Health & Safety

Ask your vet the questions listed below and any other health and safety concerns you may have.

  • Should I microchip my dog?
  • When should I spay or neuter my puppy?
  • How often does my puppy need to visit the vet?
  • How many times a day should my puppy poop?
  • What prevention measures are necessary?
  • Are there breed-specific health concerns?

Training & Behavior

Ask your vet for advice about any questions you have about behavior and training you may have, including those listed below.

  • Do you know any local trainers?
  • How do you potty train a puppy?
  • Do you recommend crate training? 
  • When can my puppy go to the groomer?
  • When can my puppy go to a dog park?
  • How long can she stay in her crate?
  • How much exercise does my puppy need?
  • How do I socialize my puppy with others?


Find out what type of diet your puppy should have by asking your vet the following questions:

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

The Cost of Your Puppy's First Veterinary Visit

Routine procedures are typically performed during a puppy's initial veterinary appointment. However, the total cost may vary depending on factors such as location, required vaccinations, and prescribed medications.

Utilizing veterinary wellness programs, attending vaccination clinics, and investing in pet insurance can help mitigate expenses. It is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian directly to ensure transparency and accuracy in cost estimates.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets.

Is your new puppy due for its first vet visit? Contact our Mount Vernon vets to book an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Mount Vernon is accepting new patients! Our vets are passionate about the health of Mount Vernon cats, dogs, and horses. Get in touch today to book your animal's first appointment.

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