What Your Puppy Needs at Each Stage of Life

If you just got a new puppy, congratulations!

You’re beginning an adventure with a new furry family member. This is going to be a fun and exciting time with your new best friend.

But when do you need to take them to the vet? What happens on their visit appointment?

Read on to find out.

How Often Does My Dog Need to Go to the Vet?

This depends on a couple of different factors. How old is your dog? Do they need any vaccinations? Do they have any health conditions? A brand new puppy will need to see the vet more than an adult dog, but once they reach geriatric age, they may need more vet visits depending on how healthy they are.

According to Veterinarian Vivian Carrol, Within the first week, you get your new puppy, you should take them to the vet, ideally after their first day or two at their new home. However, it is ok if you bring them to the vet straight from the breeder/rescue center.

The First Vet Visit

When you take your dog in for their first vet visit, the vet will likely:

  • Do an external exam, checking the head, eyes, ears, nose, coat, genitalia, paws, and tail.
  • Weigh your pup
  • Check their temperature (generally done rectally)
  • Listen to their heart and lungs
  • Vaccinations may happen now or in the near future
  • You can ask any questions about how to care for your puppy at home
    • Feeding, bathing, nail trimming, exercise, etc.

It’s important to bring any and all medical records you received from the shelter or breeder so the vet can have a better understanding of what your dog may need moving forward.

When Should I Call the Vet?

It can be hard to determine when you need to take your dog to the vet, so here are some signs it might be time for another visit. One sign is significant eating habit changes like if they’re consistently missing meals or always asking for more food. However, some breeds depending on their lifestyle require more/less food so it’s important to know what your dog needs.

Some breeds depending on their lifestyle require more/less food. Dogs that are more active are less likely to skip meals than more relaxed “couch potato” dogs. Also, if your dog is drinking a lot of water, depending on the temperature and how much exercise they’ve had recently, this could be an indicator of kidney problems or diabetes. 

Vomiting is also a sign your dog may need to go to the vet. If they vomit a couple of times within five to ten minutes it’s likely they’re all good and probably just ate something they shouldn’t have. If they throw up multiple times within the span of a couple of hours, then you probably want to call the vet because this can dehydrate your dog and cause other problems.

The American Kennel Club has a great list of other examples on this topic.

How We Can Help

After your puppy has their first two sets of puppy shots, including Bordetella and canine influenza vaccinations, you can bring them to our puppy program. Here your furry friend can meet and interact with other dogs to develop good social skills and other important habits. We also offer dog daycare, boarding, and grooming services.

You can call us at (517) 657-4300 or contact us on our website.