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Puppy’s First Vet Visit: Checklist & What to Expect

Getting a new puppy is always exciting, but pet owners should know some things before bringing them to the vet. In today's blog post, our Kittrell vets share how you can prepare for your puppy's first visit to the vet.

Your Puppy's First Trip to the Vet

During your puppy's first trip to the vet, they should perform a thorough exam to help ensure your pet's health is on the right track. This examination may include:

  • Weigh your puppy
  • Take your puppy's temperature
  • Listen to the heart and lungs for abnormalities
  • Look at the puppy's teeth and mouth
  • Examine the puppy's skin and coat
  • Palpate abdomen/lymph nodes
  • Examine the eyes, ears, nose, feet, and genitalia
  • Fecal Examination
  • Discuss the puppy’s medical history/concerns
  • Provide you with any medications required

Puppy's First Vet Visit Checklist

The more information you can provide your vet, the better they will be able to treat your puppy. If possible, the following items can help your puppy's first veterinary appointment go smoothly:

  • A chew toy for distraction
  • A leash and collar/harness
  • A stool sample, as fresh as possible
  • Small treats to reward good behavior
  • Any veterinary records you have
  • A list of important questions or concerns
  • Notes about food/treats provided at home
  • A dog carrier or crate

Keep in mind that small puppies will feel more comfortable and safe in their crate. Carrying a squirming puppy in your arms when visiting the clinic is often easier said than done. Puppies will need to be kept under control using a leash and collar or a harness. Because of this, treats or a small toy is a good idea.

What to Ask Your Vet on Your First Puppy Visit

Your veterinarians should be able to provide you with all of the information that you need to help your puppy grow and stay healthy at home. If you have any questions that you think your vet has overlooked or if the information they gave you is confusing, feel free to ask for clarification. 

That being said, a list of questions can help make the most out of your first visit. Here are some good questions to ask your vet during the visit:

Health & Safety

Ask your vet the following questions regarding their health and well-being:

  • Should I microchip my dog?
  • When should I spay or neuter my puppy?
  • How often does my puppy need to visit the vet?
  • How many times a day should my puppy poop?
  • What prevention measures are necessary?
  • Are there breed-specific health concerns?

Training & Behavior

If you questions have about your puppy's behavior and training, consider asking your vet the following:

  • Do you know any local trainers?
  • How do you potty train a puppy?
  • Do you recommend crate training? 
  • When can my puppy go to the groomer?
  • When can my puppy go to a dog park?
  • How long can she stay in her crate?
  • How much exercise does my puppy need?
  • How do I socialize my puppy with others?


Asking your vet the following questions will help you find the right diet and nutritional needs for your puppy:

  • What should my puppy eat? 
  • How many times a day should my puppy eat?
  • When do puppies switch to adult dog food?

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets.

Looking to bring your new puppy to the vet for the first time? Contact our Kittrell vets to book an appointment for your canine companion.

Welcome to Our Veterinary Clinic!

At Kittrell Animal Hospital we operate as a walk-in clinic for cats and dogs, so if you require veterinary care, call us to inform us you are on your way. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!

Book Online (252) 438-1294