Puppy First Visit

Puppy First Visit to the Vet: A Comprehensive Guide

Preparing for a puppy’s first visit to the vet is a positive step in ensuring their health and wellbeing. Follow these detailed tips to get ready for this important milestone:

Before the Visit

Checklist of Things to Bring:

  1. Health Records: Bring any health records from the breeder, shelter, or previous owner. Include information about vaccinations, deworming, and other medical treatments.
  2. Details About Your Pet’s Diet: Write down the brand and quantity of the food you feed your pet. This helps the vet assess your pet’s nutrition and provide tailored recommendations if necessary.
  3. Carrier or Car Harness: Use a secure carrier for kittens and puppies, or a car harness, leash, and collar for puppies to ensure their safety during transport and within the veterinary clinic.
  4. Comfort Items: Bring a favorite blanket or toy to help your pet feel more at ease in a new environment.
  5. Treats: Pack some treats to reward good behavior during and after the visit. Don’t worry if you forget; we have plenty for your furry friend!
  6. Emergency Contact Information: Provide your contact details and any emergency contact information.
  7. List of Questions: Prepare a list of questions or concerns about your pet’s health, behavior, or care to ask the vet.

Prepare Your Puppy:

  • Acclimate to Handling: Help your puppy get used to being handled by gently touching their ears, mouth, and paws.
  • Familiarise with Carriers and Travel: Get your puppy used to carriers, leads, and traveling in the car.
  • Stress-Reduction Products: Consider using an Adaptil collar, which helps reduce stress and anxiety by releasing calming pheromones. Zylkene, a natural supplement, can also be useful for managing stress, especially in new environments or routines.

Prepare a List of Questions:

  • Write down any concerns or questions you have about your puppy’s health, diet, behavior, or care.

Day of the Visit


  • Use a Pet Carrier: Line it with a familiar blanket or toy for safety and comfort. To prevent car sickness, avoid feeding your puppy right before the trip.

Arrival at the Vet:

  • Arrive Early: Come a few minutes early to complete any necessary paperwork.
  • Secure Your Puppy: Keep your puppy on a leash or in a carrier to ensure they are safe and secure off the ground.

During the Visit

Health Examination:

  • Physical Exam: The vet will perform a thorough physical exam from nose to tail, checking your puppy’s eyes, ears, teeth, skin, coat, and overall body condition.
  • Provide Information: Be prepared to discuss your puppy’s diet and behavior.

Vaccinations and Preventive Care:

  • Vaccinations: The vet will discuss and possibly administer vaccinations.
  • Preventive Care: Recommendations for deworming and flea/tick prevention may also be given.

Nutrition and Training Advice:

  • Diet Guidance: We will provide advice on a balanced diet suitable for your puppy’s breed and size.
  • Training Tips: Ask about specific training tips or behavior issues.


  • Microchip Check: We will scan your pet’s microchip to ensure it’s working and that your contact details are correct. If your pet isn’t microchipped, we will microchip them so they can be easily identified and reunited with you if they ever get lost.
  • Microchipping Laws: In Queensland, cats and dogs aged between 8 and 12 weeks must be microchipped. It is the seller or giver’s responsibility, and microchipping can only be performed by an authorized person.


  • Insurance Discussion: If your puppy is not already insured, ask about the 30-day No Obligation Insurance Cover by Trupanion Insurance. A good insurance policy means you will never have to worry about affording treatment for your puppy if the worst happens.

Questions to Ask the Vet

  • What’s the ideal diet for my puppy, and how often should I feed them?
  • How frequently should we schedule vet visits?
  • Are there any breed-specific health concerns I should be aware of?
  • Which vaccinations does my puppy need?
  • Does my pet require parasite prevention?
  • When should I consider desexing my pet?
  • Do you recommend crate training?
  • What’s the best way to toilet train my puppy?
  • Which teething toys are best?

Scheduling Future Visits

  • Plan Follow-Up Visits: Schedule follow-up visits for booster shots and check-ups.
  • Spaying/Neutering Timeline: Discuss a timeline for spaying/neutering if applicable.

After the Visit

Monitor Your Puppy:

  • Vaccination After Care: Watch for any reactions to vaccinations such as lethargy or mild swelling at the injection site. Contact the vet if you notice anything concerning.

Our guide to caring for your pet after a vaccination here.

Follow Vet’s Instructions:

  • Medication and Care: Administer any prescribed medications and follow dietary or care recommendations.

Positive Reinforcement:

  • Reward Good Behavior: Reward your puppy with praise and treats for good behavior during the visit to make future vet trips easier.

Additional Tips

Stay Calm: Your puppy can sense your emotions, so staying calm and positive will help them feel more at ease.

Frequent Short Visits: Consider taking your puppy to the vet for brief, non-medical visits to get them accustomed to the environment.

Puppy Preschool: Book in for our puppy preschool if they’re less than 16 weeks old. Our program encourages your puppy to become a well-socialized, relaxed member of your family and provides you with the information needed to raise a happy, healthy dog. Online bookings are available here. If your pup is older than 16 weeks, talk to us about our training options for older pets.

Regular Check-Ups: After the initial visits, our vet should see your dog at least once a year, and more frequently if they have special medical needs or breed-specific issues. Regular visits play a huge part in the “prevention is better than cure” approach.


If your puppy is not already insured, discuss this too, as policies have different advantages and disadvantages. Some can be very cheap but may not cover everything you need. Others can be expensive but provide comprehensive coverage. Research and consult with your vet to make the best decision for your puppy.

We are GapOnly and Trupanion partners.

Find more about these here.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your puppy’s first vet visit is smooth and stress-free, setting the foundation for a healthy and happy life.