Raising a puppy is most definitely not a one-person job. Novice and veteran pet owners alike rely on a team of supporters to help keep their dogs happy and healthy from puppyhood into their senior years. Your vet is your most vital pet care partner, supporting you throughout each stage of your dog’s development, but they can’t do it all on their own either. You can make their job a little easier by doing your part at home and coming to every appointment prepared. Make sure to ask these questions during your early vet visits.
Is My Puppy Healthy?
Ailments may be the last thing on your mind when you admire your spry, young dog, but looks can be deceiving. Mild or even serious health conditions could be hiding just below the surface. During your initial veterinary visit, your dog’s new doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure they’re truly in tip-top shape.
What Should I Feed My Puppy?
A dog’s nutritional needs will evolve as they age. Puppies require a different assortment of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients than adolescents, adults, and elderly dogs do. Dog food manufacturers offer a host of foods specially formulated for growing pups. Ask your veterinarian what types of food they’d recommend and how often you should feed your new pet.
Which Vaccinations Does My Puppy Need?
Most puppies require a number of vaccinations to protect their vulnerable immune systems and ensure they can safely interact with their four-legged peers. Your vet can inform you on the importance of each essential vaccine and help develop a schedule for return visits to get your puppy vaccinated.
When Should I Spay or Neuter My Puppy?
Unless you’re planning on breeding your pup, they’ll probably need to go under for surgery during their early months. The ideal time for spaying or neutering varies based on a dog’s size and breed. Trust your vet to guide you and help you make the right decision.
When Can I Walk My Dog?
Puppies are more vulnerable to infection and illness than older dogs. Discuss risk factors with your vet to determine when it’s safe to take a stroll with your dog and let them explore the outside world. You may not need to wait until they’ve undergone a full course of puppy vaccinations.
When Can My Dog Interact with Other Puppies?
As much as you may want to rush out to the dog park or schedule a puppy playdate, it may not be safe to socialize your puppy right out of the gate. Talk to your veterinarian about when and how you can safely introduce your puppy to other dogs.
What Types of Parasite Protection Does My Dog Need?
Pests like fleas, ticks, and heartworms are more than just a nuisance. They can seriously affect your dog’s health! Ask your vet about risk factors in your region to ensure you’re consistently doing everything you can to protect your dog.
How Can I Keep My Pet Healthy?
Providing for your dog’s health is a full-time job. Even without the assistance of your vet, there are plenty of steps you can (and should) take at home to ensure they’re always feeling their best. Make sure that topics like exercise, dental care, and nutrition factor into your early conversations with your vet.
Should I Purchase Pet Insurance?
A pet insurance policy offers peace of mind and financial reimbursement throughout a dog’s life. Though the industry is growing rapidly, a vast majority of dog owners still haven’t purchased policies for their pooches. Ask your vet about how insurance can help address the financial burdens of pet healthcare.