When should I take my dog to the vet for the first time?
As a dog owner I have asked this question myself. When do we visit the vet for the first time, and what do we need to consider? We will explain everything you need to know.
The puppy’s first visit to the vet is crucial moment. Puppies health will be eveluated and the dates set for the start of the vaccination and deworming calendars. This is essential to prevent the appearance of any pathology.
In this first general review, the specialist will carry out a complete examination. It will be the right moment to resolve any doubts we may have about the care dog requires, its diet, and socialization. Do you want to know when to take your dog to the vet for the first time?
We will also explain what situations are considered a veterinary emergency and other questions regarding puppies. You can not miss this!
When should I take my dog to the vet for the first time?
When to take my dog to the vet for the first time? Puppy dogs, unlike adults, are much more vulnerable to changes in temperature, parasites, or viruses than adult dogs. For this reason, it is essential to be alert to any change in behavior and go to the specialist if we suspect that they might have any health problem.
Puppies that are born at home
The first visit to the vet should take place a few days after puppy is born and mother has recovered. The ideal would be to transport the mother and the puppies by car using a well-conditioned carrier, with a well-wrapped hot water bottle to maintain the temperature of the little ones.
This first visit is essential, since both the health of the little ones and the mothers, who are taking care of them, must be in good condition.
This point is crucial if the mother has not received care, deworming, and proper veterinary monitoring during pregnancy since there is a risk that she may have contracted a disease and therefore could infect the puppies.
In the cases where mum rejects her puppies and does not feed them, the veterinary visit will be much more urgent since a newborn puppy has to fed approximately every four hours. In this case, the specialist will explain how to provide nutrition to newborn dogs and offer artificial formula for optimal nutrition.
What the vet will evaluate in the first visit?
- Health status of the mother
- Puppies health status
- Possible malformations
- Mobility and reflexes
- Weight and growth
- Nutrition status
After this visit, you will be asked to return to the vet when the puppies are one month old to set the vaccination dates, internal deworming, and external deworming, together with the specialist, which usually starts around two months.
Puppies that have been adopted or rescued
It is advisable to go to the specialist before taking the puppy home, especially if you have other animals, since you could be introducing viruses and parasites into their environment without being aware of it.
If you have set a date for the adoption, book the visit to the specialist for the same day.
Note that abandoned and rejected puppies can be more vulnerable to illness. to ensure their wellbeing, see a vet straight away.
It will be advisable to consult, whenever possible, how the puppy has been cared for up to that moment, including her feeding, care, and habits. We recommend creating a log with all the feeding times, quantities, and care in general.
As in the previous case, when the puppy is four weeks old, we will go to the vet again to specify the vaccination and deworming schedule, which will begin at approximately eight weeks. (3)
What tests is the vet going to do?
The veterinarian must perform a complete examination of our puppy to ensure a good condition.
Your vet will most likely perform auscultation to ensure that both the heart and lungs are working properly. He will also check mucous membranes, teeth, temperature, ears, eyes, nose, and reflexes, as well as any other part of the body. It will be important to check, for example, that the testicles have completely descended.
In the event of any anomaly, the specialist may suggest additional tests, such as a blood test, a urinalysis, or X-rays. They can also suggest you carry out a monitoring table in terms of weight, to guarantee that the puppy is developing correctly. Don’t forget to ask any questions you may have!
During the first visit, your vet will explain to you when is the best time to start the puppy’s vaccination schedule, which is essential to prevent life-threatening and serious diseases, such as distemper, parvovirus, rabies, or infectious hepatitis.
The standard puppy vaccination calendar is:
- 6 weeks: primary vaccination or first multipurpose vaccine.
- 8 weeks: versatile.
- 12 weeks: a reminder of polyvalent and leptospirosis.
- Likewise, he will explain to you which are the ideal products for internal and external deworming, which should be specific for puppies. The same products should never be used for use in adults, as they could be potentially toxic. Both vaccines and deworming schedules must continue to be performed periodically in the dog so that it continues to be protected throughout its life.
Finally, remember that you should never walk a puppy without vaccines since he is susceptible to contracting any virus, bacteria, or parasite that resides in the environment. (4)
When to take a puppy to the vet? – Emergency situations
It may happen that the puppy shows some abnormal behaviors and, although they will not always be a symptom of illness, it is convenient to know the most alarming symptoms to know when to take a dog to the vet.
Here are some signs that indicate that you should go to the vet:
- Lack of appetite
- Does not urinate or defecate
- Nasal discharge
- Anomalous movements
What to do next
Also, as a general rule, do not forget to take your dog to the vet in the case of any unusual behavior, as signs of stress can develop in further issues which will lead to health issues
If you liked this article about when to take my dog to the vet for the first time, why ddon’tyou check How often should you take your cat to the vet?
Also, if you ddon’tknow what name to put to your new pup, Why ddon’tyou check this guide about the 50 greatest dog names? You will love it!