Taking the puppy to the vet

With the body warmth of the mother and between the siblings, your little puppy feels very comfortable during the first weeks of its life: it is supplied with antibodies through its mother's milk. But soon its exciting life will begin with you. And although puppies are well protected, you should not wait long to make an appointment with the vet for your new four-legged family member. The vet should carry out a basic immunisation and do a check-up to make sure your pelt-nose is healthy and that nothing stands in the way of its development. We have the most important answers to questions about your pet's first visit to the vet.

Frequently asked questions and answers about visiting the vet with puppies

When should you take a puppy to the vet?

As soon as your puppy has moved in, you should make an appointment with the vet - even if your puppy is perfectly healthy. It's important that your dog gets used to the practice and the examination so that he can be treated by the vet if he gets sick.

You can also have your puppy chipped on your first visit if he hasn't yet been microchipped by the breeder or shelter. It's also time for your puppy's first vaccinations. Don't hesitate to go to the vet if you suspect that your puppy is suffering from diseases such as kennel cough or is infested with parasites that can also be passed on to humans:

  • Worms:

There are different types of worms that can torment your pet. They can, for example, infest the gastrointestinal tract or the lungs. Puppies are given their first worming treatment at the breeder in the second week of life. Puppies can often become infected from their mother if she is infested with worms; this can occur through birth and via the milk. Sniffing the faeces of other dogs is also sufficient to become infected. If your furry friend suffers from worms, this can lead to diarrhoea and loss of appetite. A vet can examine the faeces to determine which type of worm it is and give a worming treatment. As a preventative measure, we recommend that you give your pet regular worming treatments. You should also bear in mind that humans can also become infected with the parasites!

  • Mites:

If your puppy itches a lot or his coat is flaky and dull, it is possible that he is suffering from mites. The vet will prescribe medication or sprays to get rid of the mites in a few weeks.

  • Fleas:

These parasites can easily be seen on your pet's coat and skin as small black dots. Fleas make your pet very itchy and cause changes in the skin. Treatment can take several months, because you also need to make sure that your puppy's environment, such as his dog blanket, is free of fleas.

  • Ticks:

If you notice them on your pet's skin, you should be quick to remove the tick as it can transmit bacteria such as borrelia. There are special tick hooks for this purpose. If a tick is in a sensitive spot such as the ear or eye, it is best to consult a vet so that you do not injure your four-legged friend when removing it.

Our tip: In order not to endanger the other patients in the waiting room in case of contagious diseases such as kennel cough or parasite infestation, it is best to call the practice before you leave home. As long as your pet is not fully recovered, avoid taking him for walks if possible so as not to infect other dogs, or keep a large distance from other animals. Instead, you can exercise him in the garden or in the flat by playing search games.

How often should you take a puppy to the vet?

Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, you should take your pet to the vet once a year - and not only when your young four-legged friend has symptoms and is ill. It is important that you keep your pet's vaccination record up to date and update the vaccinations annually.

Our tip: plenty of exercise will keep your dog - and his owner - fit into old age. If you otherwise pay attention to a good feed and preventive measures such as regular deworming, you can certainly save yourself some vet visits and thus costs!

First visit to the vet with a puppy: What costs can arise?

Your puppy is protected by natural immunisation after birth, but this protection only lasts a few weeks. That's why it's important to get your puppy vaccinated. A vaccination at the vet costs about 25 to 40 euros. If your four-legged friend needs to be microchipped, you will have to pay another 25 to 50 euros.

Our tip: Have you ever thought about dog health insurance or dog surgery insurance? For a small monthly amount, you are financially protected in the event of an accident - the costs for the medical care of your four-legged friend are then covered by insurance.

Getting puppies used to the vet

When you visit the vet for the first time, your puppy will be exposed to many different things. Your puppy may feel insecure and anxious in the unfamiliar surroundings at first. To make the visit to the vet a relaxed experience for your puppy, you should get him used to the practice and the treatment. In this way, you can prevent problems during the examination and prevent your pet from becoming anxious during a visit to the vet's practice. Get your puppy used to the vet with these 3 tips:

1. Practice:

Show your pet that he doesn't have to be afraid of the vet's examination. Regularly lift your four-legged friend up on a table at home and look at his ears, paws and skin. You can also open his mouth and look at his teeth and gums. Reward him with treats after each examination so that your puppy knows this behaviour and it becomes a positive experience for your pet.

2. Routine:

Go to the vet regularly, even if your puppy is healthy. This way he can get used to the new environment and unfamiliar smells without anything bad happening. This good experience will help you when your four-legged friend needs real medical care.

3. Safety:

Be there for your puppy during the examination and offer him protection in the exciting situation. You can stroke his belly or ears to calm him down, reward him with treats during the treatment or praise him with your voice. You should be relaxed yourself and not unnecessarily text the dog. He won't understand and will become insecure as a result.

Important: Puppies should be kept on your lap in the waiting area at the vet's if possible and should not have any contact with dogs. The immune system is still underdeveloped and dogs become infected more quickly.

Vaccinations for puppies: Which are important?

To ensure that your young furry friend is optimally protected, the vet should carry out a basic immunisation. The vital basic immunisation consists of two to three vaccinations, which are administered by the vet approximately every four weeks.

The most important vaccinations include:

  • Parvovirose:

This serious disease mostly affects puppies and young dogs. Infected dogs have severe vomiting, watery, bloody diarrhoea and are therefore powerless. The virus can attack the heart and is transmitted through direct contact with the faeces of infected animals. This disease is usually fatal for the puppy.

  • Canine distemper:

The disease is contagious and in many cases leads to the death of the dog. It manifests itself through a high increase in temperature, diarrhoea, vomiting and problems with the skin. If you notice symptoms in your puppy, go directly to a vet.

  • Leptospirosis:

This disease is often transmitted via excreted urine or puddles. If a dog becomes infected, the bacteria attack the kidneys and liver. However, other organs such as the eyes can also be affected. The symptoms are varied and affected dogs may not eat and develop a high temperature. Humans can also be infected by their dog!

  • Rabies:

Unvaccinated dogs that contract rabies usually have changes in behaviour and signs of paralysis that can lead to death. If an unvaccinated dog has had contact with a rabies animal (dog, fox), it must inevitably be killed. Vaccinated animals are usually quarantined. Mandatory for travelling abroad. Humans can also become infected and die from the disease.

  • HCC (Hepatitis contagiosa canis):

This disease can also be fatal. If your puppy has HCC, symptoms of liver inflammation include fever, jaundice, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Possible vaccination:

  • Kennel cough:

Can be useful if the dog has contact with groups of dogs (animal shelter, dog crèche, pack-holding) often only mitigates the course of the disease and minimises the excretion of the infectious agents (viruses and bacteria).

Our tip: Vaccinations are also important for young dogs and adult animals, so make sure they are regularly refreshed. This way you can be sure that your pet is protected against the diseases listed.

Conclusion: You can practise a visit to the vet with your puppy by looking at his paws in preparation. This will help you, as the owner, to keep an eye on your pet's health. Other preventive measures such as worming and regular vaccinations are also important to protect your puppy from dangerous diseases. Dewormed and vaccinated, you can set off on adventures together without a care in the world! Have you already been to the vet with your pet? Tell us how you coped with it!

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