You have just adopted a shelter pet and have given that pet a forever home. Congratulations! Now what? How about a pet vet?
The #1 Item on your “To Do” list (after food, water and fun toys) is to find a veterinarian.
It’s important that we humans ensure that our new pet’s health and well-being are looked after because they sure can’t do it on their own.
This may sound obvious to those of you who have had pets in the past, but a new pet owner may not know the importance of finding a veterinarian (vet).
A visit to a veterinarian for a wellness exam should be set up within the first week of coming home.
This will help you and your new shelter pet establish a positive relationship with the veterinary practice of your choice.
Your vet will check to make sure your pet is healthy or alert you if there is a problem.
This is very important.
I have a wonderful veterinarian staff at Coastal Animal Hospital in Jensen Beach, Florida.
The entire staff is incredible and has taken care of several of my shelter cats throughout the years.
Here’s What Should Happen at Your First Visit with a Kitten or Puppy
1. Review Medical Records
The first visit allows the veterinarian to take time to get to know your pet’s medical history, do a thorough examination, and discuss ways to keep your pet healthy.
Remember to bring their records from the shelter, if you have them.
2. Physical Exam.
Every pet is unique.
A baseline exam will help with future vet visits.
3. Lifestyle Talk
Your vet will talk to you about your new pet and how best to take care of them.
Ask any questions you have about your new adopted pet.
It might be good to write them down before your appointment and, if children are involved, have them write down their questions.
It’s fun to get everyone in the household involved.
4. Parasite Prevention
Your vet will recommend how to prevent parasites.
5. Diagnostic Testing
Your vet may want to test your pet’s poop for signs of intestinal parasites like worms, and other icky things.
The vet staff will let you know if you should bring a poop sample to the appointment.
According to one source, a sample the size of your thumb should be enough.
Good to know!
I guess some people bring in TMP (Too Much Poop).
Your vet will let you know for sure.
Depending on what vaccinations your pet received before getting adopted, your vet may recommend additional vaccines to protect them from disease.
Again, it’s important to get medical records from the shelter.
7. Spay or Neuter Discussion
If your pet wasn’t neutered at the rescue or shelter, or if they are too young, your vet may discuss when to schedule the procedure.
This is important.
We don’t want to add to the problem of overpopulation.
Another Word about a Puppy’s First Vet Visit
A puppy’s first vet visit may also include discussion about socializing and training, in addition to the general items above.
The vet should talk to you about vaccines, socialization, and training.
A Few More Words about a Kitten’s First Vet Visit
The first kitten vet visit is a great time to start getting them used to their carrier and helping them have a positive experience at the vet.
This visit may also include kitten-specific items in addition to the general list above.
Vaccines are dependant on your kitten’s age and how many types of shots they’ve already received.
Blood tests for FeLV (feline leukemia virus) or FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), will likely be recommended.
Socialization discussions will help your new kitten adapt to new people, animals, and environments.
Adult Dog or Cat’s First Vet Visit
Here’s what will happen when you take an adult pet in for a first visit with the vet:
1. Oral Health Discussion
A dental cleaning procedure, depending on your pet’s oral health may be needed.
2. Diagnostic Tests
Depending on your pet’s age, health status, or medications, additional blood or pee testing may be recommended.
3. Weight and Diet
If your new pet is not at a healthy weight, your vet may discuss steps to get them to a healthy weight.
Talk to your vet if you’re thinking about changing your pet’s diet,
I hope this information has been a help to those who could be going through a “first pet” experience and a refresher for those of us who have experienced new pet situations in the past.
Information in this article was provided by several veterinarian sources.
The vet you choose will have the best guidance for you and your new, very grateful, adopted pet.