Congratulations on getting your new, furry, four-legged friend! There’s nothing more exciting than the thrill of a new dog in the family, forging a lifelong bond with a loyal creature that will guard, entertain, soothe, and support.
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To keep that loving relationship for as long as possible, you’ll want to make sure you protect your furry family members in all the same ways that you’d protect your two-legged ones, and that includes regular health checks.
- Dog Vet Schedule
- Puppy First Vet Visit
- How Often Should Your Dog Get Shots
- How Long Does a Vet Appointment Take
Dog Vet Schedule
Regardless of whether you rescue an adult dog from the shelter or adopt a puppy from a breeder, the first thing you should do when you pick up your new friend is take them to the vet. If you have no record of vaccinations, microchipping, or preventative treatments, you should assume they have not been done.
Following the initial appointment, booster or top-up vaccinations are given every six, twelve, or three years.
Your dog should head to the vet at least once per year for an all-around checkup. If you have a senior pup, seven or eight years of age or older, checkups every six months are advised.
Any concerning symptoms should be investigated, either by a vet online or in person. This includes changes to eating or drinking, behavioral changes, changes to their appearance or coat, increased fatigue, or anything else that feels unusual.
Puppy First Vet Visit
Your puppy’s first vet visit is one of the most important ones because it sets them up for the rest of their lives. Ideally, you’ll book the appointment before you get your four-legged family member, especially with high-rated and reputable veterinarians.
You should take your new pup to the vet as soon as you get your hands on its cute little body. The minimum age at which puppies should be removed from their mothers is eight weeks. Regardless of whether the breeder or shelter has already vet-checked the puppy, you should do your own health checks.
They will also perform the following:
- Height and weight;
- Body temperature;
- Oral and dental check;
- Worm check;
- Listen to the internal organs (lungs and heart);
- Stool check;
- Physical body examination;
- Coat check;
- Eyes and ears checked;
- And more.
These will allow your vet to spot potential warning signs for genetic conditions and other medical problems. At the same time, you will likely get recommendations for food types and amounts and advice on how to care for your pet, especially if you’re the proud owner of your very first fur baby.
Don’t underestimate the advice! You’ll be super thankful for that interactive camera recommendation when it helps you spot unusual activity related to a medical condition.
How Often Should Your Dog Get Shots
At approximately ten weeks of age, puppies should have their very first vaccinations. The specific shots your pooch needs will depend on where you live and the canine diseases present in your town or state.
Core vaccinations are given to all dogs. These protect against rabies, hepatitis (canine adenovirus 2), parvovirus, and distemper. Boosters are usually administered up to three years later, but this will vary.
Non-core vaccinations protect against canine flu, Lyme disease, canine parainfluenza virus, leptospirosis, and kennel cough in areas where they’re present. These require more frequent boosters, often annually but sometimes six months apart. To ensure you don't forget about regular vaccination and check-ups for your dog, we recommend filling out a vaccination planner
Canine vaccination schedules can be a bit confusing, but Petcube’s expert vets are on hand 24/7 if you have any questions. That’s just one benefit you can expect from the Emergency Fund Service. For less than $1 per day, you’ll also get $3,000 of emergency care per year, covering up to six pets in your household.
How Long Does a Vet Appointment Take
Different veterinary surgeries will have different appointment allocation times, but they’re usually 15, 20, or 30 minutes. Once you report the issue to the receptionist or vet, the correct time slot will be assigned to it. That’s why it’s important, to be honest and open when booking. If you need more time, they will provide it.
A puppy’s first visit will take longer than your average vet appointment because it’s more comprehensive. Annual dog checks will also take longer.
You should allocate at least 30 minutes in your personal diary for vaccine-related appointments. Extra time should also be allowed for anxious or aggressive pets or for more than one medical concern.
What to bring to a first vet visit?
Along with your pet, you should take every piece of paperwork that the breeder or rescue facility provides. This will contain details of procedures, treatments, and vaccinations already administered. You may also need to take a stool sample. It’s recommended to take photos of the food you’re serving, make note of any ‘weird things you’ve noticed, and make a list of questions if you have them.
What to expect at a puppy’s first vet visit?
This visit is a big one for both you and your puppy, but you should relax. The first vet visit is a process that must happen and usually goes without a hitch. You should feel comfortable enough to ask questions, not just about your pet but also about treatments and recommendations. Your puppy is likely to be more nervous than you are, so don’t worry too much if they cry, wail, bark, or hide.
Regular vet appointments are essential for keeping your furry family members happy and healthy. Those annual checkups might seem like a pain, but taking half an hour out of your day could potentially save your cherished companion’s life.
If you can’t bear the thought of life without your favorite furball, don’t skip the vet appointments.
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