Vet Checklist: Your Dog's First Visit

One of our responsibilities as pet owners is making sure our pets are kept healthy. Keeping up with vaccinations and vet check-ups are crucial to your pet's well-being. Below is a checklist of what you might want to keep in mind when choosing and visiting your vet.

  • First, find the right veterinarian, based on referrals from friends and family or online research.
  • Call the vet's office to make an appointment and to find out what the fees are for various procedures so you're not shocked when the bill comes.
  • Write down all your concerns so you're ready when the vet asks if you have questions.
  • Bring a fecal sample with you so the vet can examine it for worms.
  • Arrive on time for your appointment, because many vets' offices are quite busy. If you have a small dog, have him in his carrier. If you have a large dog, make sure he is leashed.
  • If you have health and vaccination records, bring them with you and have the receptionist start your dog's health file with them.
  • During the appointment, let the vet handle your pet on her own - any physical interference by you can be a distraction. Take this time to ask your questions.
  • When you're satisfied with your visit and feel confident you can complete any actions the vet wants you to take, it's time to wrap it up.
  • Pay your bill and be sure to ask the vet when she thinks your pet's next appointment should be. If you have a puppy, it may be as soon as a few weeks, but older dogs may not need more than an annual check-up.
  • Re-crate your dog and transport him home.
  • When you get home, comfort your dog and reward him with treats after the experience.

Download this checklist as a printable pdf file.

Photo: Jon-Eric Melseter


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