PetCoach.com: New Dog Survival Guide
- Establishing a relationship with a trusted veterinarian is key in raising a healthy, happy dog. AHS’ very own President and CEO, Dr. Steven Hansen, joins several trusted animal welfare experts in giving tips on veterinary care for a new pup.
- AHS’ Veterinary Clinics offer spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and other veterinary services for owned pets in the community.
New Dog Survival Guide: Tips for the Vet
One of the most important things you can do for your dog’s health is to establish a relationship with a veterinarian. In addition to treating illnesses, a veterinarian acts as a partner in your pet’s well-being, ensuring that your dog stays happy and healthy from puppyhood through his senior years.
But just as visits to the veterinary clinic can be stressful for dogs, the experience can also be daunting to new pet parents. When should you make your first appointment? What should you expect during the visit? What about the noisy waiting room? With a little preparation, both you and your new pup can feel more confident. Read on for expert tips to ensure a smooth, successful vet visit with your new best friend. By following these simple strategies, your dog may actually learn to look forward to check-ups.
When Should You Schedule Your Dog’s First Visit?
Within the first two weeks of adopting your new dog, you’ll want to schedule a meet-and-greet visit with your veterinarian.
“Even if they are up to date on dog vaccinations, it’s important to get a baseline so your veterinarian knows what’s normal for your dog,” says Melissa Pezzuto, a behavior consultant at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.
While your new pet should come home healthy, your veterinarian will make sure that the shelter or breeder didn’t miss anything. “They can address any potential or subtle health issues before they become a problem,” says Dr. Zenithson Ng, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
A timely appointment is even more crucial if you have other dogs at home. “You want to ensure that the new dog is not introducing any diseases or parasites to the house,” says Dr. Scott Neabore, a veterinarian with Cherry Hill Animal Hospital in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Before bringing your new dog home, research nearby veterinary practices and select a doctor that fits your needs. “Be sure to ask the office if they offer after-hours emergency care—and if not, be sure to locate the nearest emergency hospital in the occurrence of an unforeseen medical event,” advises Dr. Steve Hansen, president and CEO of Arizona Humane Society.