First Vet Check: Top Questions to Ask

Now that you’re a new parent of a bundle of furry joy, it’s your responsibility to take care of your pup’s health needs. It’s crucial to do your research when choosing your veterinarian. Visit a few in your area, get recommendations from friends or neighbors, and make sure you’re comfortable with the physician’s medical philosophy (for example, some vets may be more aggressive in prescribing medications whereas others may prefer a holistic, natural treatment method).

thumbnail-first-vet-visitThe best vets have busy schedules, so make sure to schedule your new puppy’s health exam as soon as you know his/her arrival date. Plus, PuppySpot requires all new pups complete a new puppy exam within 48 hours of arrival in order to lock in our 10-year health guarantee.

Once you’ve scheduled your first visit with the vet of your choice, you’ll want to come prepared with questions to get the most out of your checkup. Print this list to use as a guide. You’ll thank us later!

  • What types of parasites are common in our area, and what can I do to prevent them?
    Your veterinarian will likely administer deworming medication to
    ensure your pup stays healthy and parasite-free. It’s important to understand the types of parasites are common in your area and what symptoms to look for should your pup contract any of them.
  • Where can I find emergency care for my pet during evenings, weekends or holidays?
    Most vets are not open late during the week or at all on weekends and holidays. Your vet will have a preferred emergency care facility and/or hotline to refer you to.
  •  What are the office’s medical capabilities/offerings?
    Some vets have a clinical surgery center on site, but most do not. Ask what type of procedures, testing or exams they’re able to perform at this location and for which procedures they will refer you to another provider.
  •  Which vaccines are necessary and which are optional based on my puppy’s lifestyle?

    There are standard vaccinations all puppies should receive: distemper, adenovirus-2, canine parvovirus-2, and rabies. However, based on your geographic location, your pup may require additional vaccinations such as leptospirosis, Lyme disease and Bordetella. 
  • What flea/tick medication do you recommend?
    Even if you live in an urban city, there is still a risk for fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can live in most environments and can frequently travel with other pets or wildlife to new regions in the country.
  • What is considered a healthy weight for my dog’s breed?
    This goes along with how often you should be feeding your pup. You’ll want to work with your vet to ensure your new pup maintains a healthy weight to avoid other associated health issues in the future.
  • Is pet insurance right for my pet, and what should I look for when choosing an insurance plan?
    Pet insurance can be vital in helping keeping care costs low, especially if your pet requires an expensive procedure or surgery down the line. It’s best to get your puppy covered as soon as he or she arrives. Ask if your vet accepts health insurance and what their policy is. For example, PuppySpot offers comprehensive insurance plans through Trupanion which provides 90% coverage of new injuries and illnesses, including hereditary and congenital conditions. Usually this requires a vet visit, but PuppySpot puppies can (and should) be insured from day 1.
  • How often should my puppy be examined?
    Work out a convenient schedule with your vet to make sure your pup is being seen on a regular or as-needed basis.
  • When should my puppy be spayed or neutered?
    Spaying or neutering your puppy provides numerous health benefits and should be considered if you are not planning on breeding your dog.
  • What is typical wait time and do you take walk-ins?Unfortunately, unless it’s a routine checkup, there will be times when you urgently need to see your vet. Ask these questions to have realistic expectations on how quickly you’ll be able to see the doctor in an emergency.