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

Getting a new puppy is always an exciting experience, but pet owners should be aware of certain things before taking their furry companions to the vet. In this article, our veterinarians in Santa Rosa will go over what you should anticipate during your puppy's initial veterinary visit.

What Will Happen During Your Puppy's First Vet Visit

During your puppy's first visit to the veterinarian, they should do the following during their exam to help set your young dog up for success:

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

What to Bring to Your Puppy's Visit

If possible, please bring the following items to your puppy's first veterinary appointment. Providing your veterinarian with more information will enable them to treat your new puppy better.

  • 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

Small puppies will feel more comfortable and secure in their crate. You should not anticipate being able to carry a squirming puppy in your arms when you visit the clinic. You will need to control your puppy using a leash and collar or a harness. Therefore, bringing along some treats or a small toy is advisable.

What to Ask Your Vet During Your Puppy's First Visit

Your veterinarians should furnish you with all the necessary information to ensure the health and growth of your puppy. If you find any questions left unanswered by your vet or if the information they provided is unclear, do not hesitate to request clarification.

With that in mind, here's a list of valuable questions to pose to your vet during your first visit to make the most of the appointment.

Health & Safety

Ask your vet the questions listed below and any other health and safety concerns you may have.

  • 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

Ask your vet for advice about any questions you have about behavior and training you may have, including those listed below.

  • 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?


Find out what type of diet your puppy should have by asking your vet the following questions:

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

Cat Care in Santa Rosa

In addition to puppy care, we provide kitten care for those who have just welcomed a new kitten into their home.

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

Is your new puppy due for their first trip to the vet? Contact our Santa Rosa vets to book an appointment.

Caring for Pets in Santa Rosa

Montecito Veterinary Center is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (707) 539-2322