One of the most challenging aspects of taking care of your puppy is trying to determine if her behavior is normal (scratching, whimpering, whining) or if you should see the veterinarian. Unfortunately, this is something you’ll need to learn about your new dog. But either way, it’s still important to make sure you have a good dog vet picked out.
Finding a Veterinarian for Your Puppy
Shopping for a healthcare provider for your puppy is no different than searching for any other family doctor. It’s critical that you find a veterinarian that is not only an expert but is also someone you feel comfortable with. You'll want to do plenty of research and consider the following when choosing a vet to oversee your puppy’s health:
- Does the veterinarian have a good reputation? Ask friends and family about their experiences. Also, call the local humane society to see who they recommend. After all, those who provide care to so many animals will have a sense of which professionals are most compassionate and have good track records.
- Investigate whether the doctor has an area of specialty. Some might work only with dogs, for example, or have an in-depth knowledge of Golden Retrievers and the ailments common to that breed.
- Look into the clinic's location. Convenience matters and the easier it is to take your pet into the office, the easier it is to address medical issues in a timely manner.
After you find a provider you are comfortable with, visit the office for a one-on-one interview. You'll want to learn her philosophy on puppy rearing and discuss other matters unique to your circumstance.
Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit
We recommend taking your pet to the veterinarian within the first three days she's home to ensure she's fit. The visit will likely include:
- An external check including the examination of the puppy's coat, muscles, bones, eyes, ears and mouth.
- A fecal exam to check for internal parasites.
- A question-and-answer period and the scheduling of immunizations.