Your veterinarian will play an important role in maintaining a happy, healthy and playful puppy. Here are some questions you want to ask your veterinarian regarding vaccinations, record keeping, spaying and neutering, along with other helpful suggestions.
Spaying or neutering your new puppy has many benefits. Spaying or neutering reduces the chance that your puppy will develop various diseases later on in their life. Having this procedure decreases the risk of your dog developing unwanted behavior and their desire to roam causing them to run away from home. Spaying or neutering also eliminates the chance of your dog having unwanted offspring which contributes to the pet overpopulation problem in North America. This procedure will lead to a healthier life for your puppy. Ask your breeder and your veterinarian when your pet should have this procedure done.
Vaccinations are essential in preventing infectious diseases in puppies. Your veterinarian can help you decide the most appropriate vaccination program for your puppy. The most common diseases your puppy will need vaccines for are Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Parvovirus Infections, Bordetellosis, Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis and Rabies. One of the vaccines often given to puppies is a combination vaccine. This combination vaccine protects against four diseases including Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Adenovirus, Parainfluenza and Canine Parvovirus.
It is important for you to keep up to date records for your puppy. These records would include things like veterinary and licensing records, adoption or breeding papers and photographs. This information is often mandatory for kennels, pet sitters, moving or relocating to a different country and new veterinarians.
Things to Ask Your Veterinarian
Here are some things you should ask your vet on your first visit. Don’t be afraid to ask anything that comes to mind! After all, they will be the one looking after your dog for their entire life.
- Ask about the clinic hours. If your puppy gets in a tussle with a porcupine at 11pm on a Saturday, what are your options? Having a vet that is open reasonable hours that don’t completely conflict with your work schedule is a valuable asset.
- What situations are they equipped to deal with? Surgery, X-ray and anesthetic capabilities are all important things to have at a vet office and should definitely be discussed.
- Which parasites (if any) are prevalent in the area that you live in, and what can be done to prevent them from infecting your pet? Some areas may have new or ongoing issues that your vet will most likely know about and have solutions for.
- Which vaccines should the puppy receive, and what schedule would they recommend? It is crucial to get your pet immunized against things like Pavrovirus, so make sure you have a schedule set. Also ask about deworming and when they recommend this take place.
- If you are interested, ask your vet about pet insurance. Many of them are educated on the matter and may be able to direct you to a good provider. Also ask what type of insurance they accept.
- Training and behavioral questions. Your vet not only knows the physiological aspects about dogs, but many of them are very open to discussing training and behavior. Pick their brain!
- At what age do they recommend getting your puppy spayed or neutered? This is extremely important for your puppy to receive for both health reasons and the obvious issue of your female dog having a potentially unwanted litter.
- Ask about 24 hour pet hospitals. Ask your veterinarian or breeder where the closest 24 hour pet hospital is. This is very important information should your pet need emergency medical care.
- Can they recommend a pet sitter, should you need one? These contacts are very handy to have, and having a pet sitter that comes with a solid recommendation is key.
- What checkup schedule do they recommend? Much like people, it is recommended that your puppy be taken in at set intervals to make sure their health is in check.