New Pet? Now What?….Top 10 Things To Know About Your First Vet Visit
Did you get a new fur baby for Christmas? Looking for what you need to know, as a new pet parent? We are here to help! Below is a list of SOME of the topics that will be discussed during your first four-legged family member’s vet visit and ways to prepare for your visit, so our team can make sure your pet has the best care possible!
Previous History: Bring any and all records on your new family member, whether from a previous veterinary hospital, a breeder, or a shelter. You can NEVER bring too much information! This is super important as we try to see what immunizations have been administered, and determine if your pet has had any health issues prior to visiting our hospital. Also, any history or records pertaining to your new pet’s biological parents, helps give us clues on what to look for in the future. Genetics can be amazing, but can also bring unwanted traits. Better to be prepared for potential issues!
Diagnostic Testing: Bring a fresh stool sample for us to screen for parasites (remember, some can cross species to cats, dogs, and even humans). The most common ones we see are hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and coccidia spp.
Daily Life: Plan to discuss making changes to your home, and your routine to better accommodate your new pet. What is the best method for house training? Where will your new baby sleep? How will you keep them from becoming bored, and possibly destructive, when you are not directly playing with them? Litter pans, placement, and numbers, oh my! Safe and appropriate toys, types of food and water bowls, and where to place them! We will walk you through it all!
Socialization– Most socialization in puppies and kittens is completed before they ever get to see us! Let’s talk safe socializing, with other vaccinated pets, in a registered training class. Are there other pets in your household? How will you introduce your new pet to them?
Physical exam– some congenital (meaning from birth) issues are already apparent and we can tell you if your pet is healthy or not. Each time you come in we will do a thorough nose to tail exam looking for any specific issues to catch them early before they become clinically apparent.
Training: Basic commands are understood early, and repetition is the key! Training is a lifetime endeavor, for both you and your pet!
Nutrition: Puppies and kittens have very different needs at this life stage. Their gastrointestinal tract is not completely developed and the added stress of a new environment, food, or parasites can cause disruption in their systems. The quantity of the hand-selected foods will be adjusted based on age and weight at each visit. Let us help you pick a diet that will help them maintain a healthy gut and growth pattern by feeding nutrients, not ingredients.
Oral Health: Just like human babies, these little ones are teething! Chew, chew, chew is all they want to do, it seems. Sometimes, that chewing may be directed at you (ouch)! Start now, with gently brushing the gum line, to soothe irritated tissue. We will set you up with a complimentary starter pack, complete with finger-brush and pet-friendly toothpaste.
Pet insurance: Yes, this is a great idea! Getting coverage before there is an issue, is the way to go. There are many competitive companies out there. Nationwide, Trupanion, and Embrace are just a few options out there.
Vaccinations and Procedures: What vaccinations does your pet need? How often will your pet need to receive boosters? Oftentimes, breeders or adoption programs have not completed the puppy or kitten vaccine courses. We will continuously customize a protection plan for them, up to 18-20 weeks of age for these little ones. When do we spay or neuter them? This will be a discussion we will have at each visit. Some pet’s may need to have this procedure delayed, or the sooner the better in other cases. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered every step…err…paw print of the way!