Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit: What To Expect

If you have recently adopted a dog, one of the first things that you'll want to do is to reach out to your local veterinarian to schedule a puppy wellness visit. This first veterinary visit is an important one, and it helps to set the stage for all of your puppy's future veterinary care throughout its adult dog life. Here's a look at some of the things that you can expect from that first puppy wellness veterinary visit to help you be prepared.

Overall Examination

One of the first things that you can expect to happen as part of your puppy's first veterinary visit is a general examination. The vet will check your puppy over, including their muscle tone, coat condition, eyes, teeth, gums, and weight. All of these factors contribute to a puppy's overall health, and the results of this examination are an important place to start to know that your new pup is getting a healthy start.


Your puppy will also begin getting vaccinations at this visit. Depending on where you got your puppy from and how old it is, you may be continuing shots. Vaccines for things such as parvovirus, distemper, Lyme disease, and rabies are all essential and will be given to your puppy between 8 and 12 weeks old. Then, at 16 weeks, booster shots will be required for some of those vaccines.

Don't be surprised if these shots leave your pup a little bit sleepy, with lower energy, and more laid back than usual for a day or so. You may even notice a lump under the skin where the vaccines were injected. This is normal, but don't be afraid to call the veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Fecal Examination

Depending on your puppy's age and veterinary history, your first puppy wellness visit may also include a fecal examination. You may be asked to bring a stool sample with you when you bring your puppy in. In most situations, this is to check your dog for worms. 

Most puppies are born with intestinal worms, and the deworming process that is conducted during the puppy stages eliminates them. This exam will tell your vet whether you need to take an aggressive approach of deworming every couple of weeks for a month or two, or if your puppy can start a dewormer monthly maintenance dose.

Overall Behavior

During this visit, while it may not seem like it, the vet will also evaluate your puppy's overall behavior to see how well-adjusted your pup seems to be. Puppies that show signs of anxiety or difficulties can benefit from some early veterinary intervention. And, your vet will typically ask about your puppy's diet, including how much and what the puppy is eating. You may be given a puppy food sample as well.

Bringing a puppy into your home is exciting, and should be an enjoyable experience. This is what you can expect from your pup's first vet visit, so reach out to the veterinarian to schedule that appointment.