There’s nothing more exciting than getting or giving a new pet for Christmas. Memories are made starting with the big surprise — that moment when a playful little bundle of joy bounces into your life. Your new arrival is sure to bring years of love and companionship to your household, but a new pet is also a big commitment.
After the wrapping paper stops flying and the last of the eggnog is gone, it’s time to think about starting off your new pet on a healthy path. Like they say about an ounce of prevention, it goes a long way – so it’s a good idea to schedule your new pet’s first vet visit as soon as possible to establish a baseline for future reference.
If your new family member is a puppy or younger dog, a lot of future problems can be avoided by establishing good health habits early on. And older dogs will benefit as well from preventative and proactive vet care. For your first visit, you’ll want to bring any records you were given from the shelter, breeder or previous owner, plus a leash or crate and a fresh stool sample if possible. Also be sure you know the exact name of the food and treats you are feeding at home.
You can expect a routine puppy visit or well check to include a physical exam, weight check and review of your puppy’s teeth and gums. Blood work may be recommended, as well as checking to make sure a microchip is in place and the information is recorded properly. If spaying or neutering hasn’t been done yet, you can have the procedure scheduled. You’ll also want to discuss flea, tick and heartworm control measures, which are usually administered at home on a monthly basis.
Taking steps now to establish a healthy routine is money well-spent and can prevent potentially serious (and more expensive) health problems from developing later on. All of us here at Dugan’s Veterinary Hospital look forward to providing all of your furry family members with the best of care in the new year. Call us today at (901) 460-2600 to book your first vet visit, and you’ll be starting off on the right paw with your new Christmas pet!