Your Puppy's First Vet Visit: More Than Vaccines
Puppies need to begin visiting the vet early so they can be vaccinated for various contagious diseases. However, vaccinations are not the only thing that happens at your puppy's first vet appointment. Here are some other important things that vets will check for and do during your puppy's first visit.
Measure Weight and Height
Your vet will weigh your puppy and also take some measurements. This is to ensure your puppy is within the healthy range for its breed and age. The vet will use their weight and size to make recommendations for feeding. They'll also use these initial measurements for comparison when you bring your dog back for later appointments. This way, they'll notice if your puppy is growing too slowly or gaining weight too quickly.
Check for Parasites
There are a number of internal parasites that can easily be passed from the mother dog to her puppies. Puppies can also pick up external parasites, like fleas and mites. The vet will check for any signs of these parasites so that if they are present, you can treat them early and prevent any negative consequences to your puppy's development.
Something else the vet will do during this first appointment is move and flex all of your dog's joints. They will note any joints that are stiff, painful, or difficult to move. This can tell them whether your dog may have any genetic joint abnormalities that you should watch out for as they age. If your vet does notice anything worrisome, they may recommend X-rays to find out more, or they might just tell you to observe how your puppy walks and moves as it grows older.
Examining Teeth and Mouth
Puppies have baby teeth, which they will later lose as their adult teeth grow in. The vet will take a look in their mouth and make sure all of these baby teeth are properly placed and healthy. If your puppy has any teeth that have erupted in the wrong place, this is something the vet will want to keep an eye on since it can affect the placement of the adult teeth. The vet may also show you how to brush your puppy's teeth. It's important to get them used to this early.
Your puppy's first vet appointment is important in order to detect any issues early and to establish records with your vet. It's not all about the vaccines, although vaccines are really important, too.
Visit a local veterinarian clinic to learn more about your puppy's care.