Getting a new puppy should mean a trip to the veterinarian. It is best to schedule one as soon as possible after getting a new puppy so that the doctor can make sure the puppy is healthy as well as meet the little guy.
Good breeders will encourage you to have the puppy checked out by your veterinarian. In fact, your contract may require it. Those breeders who tell you there is no reason to make an appointment because your puppy already has its shots should not be believed!
Veterinarians are a great source of helpful information. Make sure to take a list of questions with you to the first visit. A good veterinarian will gladly take the time to discuss them with you.
Some questions you should ask are:
- What shots does my puppy need? (Puppies require vaccinations to insure their safety against several contagious illnesses.)
- What brand of food is best for my puppy?
- Should I feed dry or canned food?
- Should I feed a raw or cooked diet?
- What future checkups will my puppy need?
- When does my puppy get a rabies shot?
- Should I spay or neuter my dog? If so, when?
- Should I have my puppy tattooed or have a microchip implanted? (Tattoos and microchips are used as a means of identifying dogs in the event they become lost or are stolen.)
- At what age do I need to get a dog license for my puppy? (Note – this may not apply everywhere.)
- Is there anything about my breed of puppy that I need to know? (Every breed is different. Some are prone to certain illnesses and it can be helpful to know what signs or symptoms to look for.)
- Is it safe to give my puppy bones?
- Is it safe to let my puppy chew on rawhide treats?
- Why does my puppy need to be wormed?
- Can you recommend a good kennel or pet sitter?
- Can you recommend a safe dog park?
- What kinds of toys are best for my puppy?
- Will I need to take my puppy to obedience school? If so, do you have any recommendations?
- Do you have any recommendations on potty training this breed?
Build a rapport with your veterinarian. There should always be an open line of communication between you and your puppy’s doctor. If your veterinarian will not take the time to answer questions, you may want to look for one who will.
It can also be beneficial to build a rapport with the veterinarian’s staff. In some instances an assistant will be able to answer questions and concerns about your puppy’s health.
Getting the answers to questions and concerns about your puppy can put you at ease and allow you to be better prepared for the task of puppy rearing. Less time worrying means having more quality time to spend with your puppy.