It always is a special feeling, this. The first day when we bring the new member of the family home has to be a remarkable sight. Dog mommas and daddies never forget the day they finally brought their little squishy fur-ball of joy home. Ah, the warmth it’s treated with and how loved does it feel—it’s safe to say that it’s almost like a newborn baby being welcomed into the house for the first time.
The excitement levels are incomparable to anything else, and this day is forever inscribed into our lives. But there’s one more essential, rather minute detail that we miss on. While we’ve prepared the pup’s bed, crib, crate, and food, we are just one errand short of making this bond last for years to come—we are talking a visit to the Vet, or the first visit, to be more specific.
When you get your new friend home, you make specific promises to the people you get it from. These people, who might be part of a local shelter, a pet shop, or just somebody you know, make you sign a contract. This contract includes an essential and inexorable clause which says that you’d have to take your little fur friend to a vet in as soon as first three days of adopting them.
If you’ve been feeling that keeping a dog is friendly and smooth, then you’re right. But your fur-ball deserves some pampering, and it starts with the first vet visit. This carries on with annual physical checkups and vaccination schedules that are entirely consuming for Dog Fathers and Mothers.
Although visiting a vet for the first time is compulsory, in some cases it should be done earlier than the rest. For instance, with rescue dogs or dogs adopted from the shelter, the vet checkup should be done as soon as possible because there’s a risk of exposure to contagious diseases. When you get a pup from animal shops, however, they’ll provide you a medical report with it. But in that case, too, you can’t avoid a visit to the Vet.
The American Animal Hospital Association believes that a vet’s visit is not just needful for the initial checkup, but to establish a long term bond between you and your dog. There’s something called the “Veterinary Client Patient Relationship” that builds on every baby step you take. The principal is pretty simple—if you want your pet to stay in good health, it needs to be ready to hit the Vet’s office whenever required.
If you take your dog to the Vet from a very early age, it’ll get accustomed to it, and the Vet can easily comprehend what the dog is feeling. This long term fix makes it easy for them to figure out what the fur-ball is feeling and if it’s in pain. Also, the vet visits form an essential part of your dog’s life, so it’s always better if it’s accustomed to taking these trips so much that it looks forward to it. In that way, your dog will never be demotivated on its next vet visit.
The First Vet Visit Shenanigans
If you’ve ever driven by a vet’s office, you know how much of a hubble-bubble it’s in. Veterinarians are busy peeps and taking care of little fur-babies isn’t an easy task. So if you are wondering how to gear up for your first visit to the Vet with your fur mate, start with getting an appointment (don’t know who’s the best Vet for your dog? More on that later). Don’t just walk into the Vet’s office for the first time with your fur-friend without an appointment.
Let us tell you a fun fact—your doggo won’t be courteous enough to raise a pup-emergency from nine to five. That is why you should enquire about the clinic’s after-hours and doctor availability in advance. Also, transportation can be a real bummer, and now that many vet clinics are offering transportation services, it’s best to ask for them.
The First Vet Visit
We’ve seen dog mommies and daddies getting more nervous about the first vet visit than the poor little thing itself. But it’s just a balloon filled with the air of doubts and confusion, and there’s no big deal about the first visit to the Vet. Here’s what should happen during your pup’s first visit to the Vet:
Firstly, the Vet caresses your little pet and gets comfortable with it. Once it is at ease, it starts with measurements and weigh-ins. The Vet weighs the puppy, checks heart rate and breathing with a stethoscope, note its body temperature through the rectum—the usual stuff. The physical examination continues with eyes, ears, nose (boop-boop!) and genitalia.
Your dog’s fur and skin might be a potential source of the problem, and that is why surface and hair are examined throughout. Then there is an oral examination which is followed by abdominal and lymph node checkup. Your Vet would probably notify you in advance to bring a feces sample of your pupper to check for roundworms.
Don’t forget to clear up your doubts about eating routine, medical problems, and medications. If you’re entirely unaware of dog-petting, ask your Vet about dog care procedures like microchipping, spaying, and neutering. Also, bring the paperwork related to purchasing or adoption for a better understanding of the Vet.
Follow up checkups are generally scheduled in the next week for small pups and sometimes in a fortnight for adult dogs. Don’t miss the first few checkups and follow the schedule religiously—it’s what’s best for your cute little fur buddy.
When do I take My Puppy to the Vet?
Come to think of it, and vet visits sound so reasonable, eh? Just take the first few regular visits and go for the regular checkups and that should be that. Well, it’s not that easy. This majestic creature goes through lots of ups and downs throughout its life. When it comes to pups, especially, they’re all kinds of happy go lucky.
Puppies eat stuff they shouldn’t be eating, jump from heights they shouldn’t jump from and do things that even an adult dog dreads from doing. These acts from innocuous puppers leave them prone to ailments and injuries. That’s why you’d have to take your pup to the Vet more times than just regular checkups.
How Do I Choose the Best Animal Hospital for My Pup?
Choosing the right animal hospital is just like choosing your doctor. Some pointers that we need to follow are:
– AAHA should accredit the hospital
– The hospital should be hygienic, clean and animal-friendly
– The doctors and support staff should be qualified and friendly enough to take care of our pets
– The clinic should have a name for itself and an experience to show for it
The Pharr Road Animal Hospital in Atlanta is the best veterinary clinic, and it checks all these boxes. If you are looking for a vet clinic that takes 360-degree care of your dog, this has to be it. Good luck to you and your dog on your first visit!