puppy with stethoscope in mouth

10 Things to Ask Your Veterinarian At Your First Visit

TLC Pet Food shares a list of 10 important questions to ask your veterinarian during your pet's first visit.

New pet owners are often overwhelmed during their first few visits with their vet and can forget to ask some important questions. We’ve laid out a list of questions you can bring with you to your first visit so you feel prepared and informed. Check them out and feel free to print a copy to bring with you so you can record your vet’s answers during your visit!

1. Ask about the clinic hours

If your pet gets into a tussle with a porcupine at 11 pm on a Saturday, what are your options? Understanding who to contact and when is essential, especially when emergencies happen. It’s important to know the clinic hours to anticipate whether you’ll need to schedule time off work etc.

2. What type of situations is your vet equipped to deal with?

Surgery, X-ray, and anesthetic capabilities are important at a vet’s office and should be discussed. Knowing what services and capabilities your vet has “in office” can help you feel prepared if ever a situation arises where they are needed.

3. What parasites (if any) are prevalent in your area?

What can be done to prevent parasites from infecting your pet? Some areas may have new or ongoing issues that your vet will most likely know about and have solutions for. Document the signs and symptoms to watch out for and follow advice to prevent them.

4. Ask about vaccines

What vaccines does your pet need, and what schedule would they recommend? Your veterinarian will guide you through the appropriate vaccination schedule for your pet. It is crucial to get your pet immunized against things like Parvovirus. You’ll also want to inquire about things like de-worming.

5. Ask your vet about pet insurance

If you are interested, be sure to ask your vet about pet insurance. Veterinarians are often educated on the matter of pet insurance. Ask them if they can direct you to a good provider. Also, ask what type of insurance they accept.

6. Training and behavioral questions

Your vet not only knows the physiological aspects of cats and dogs, but many of them are very open to discussing training and behavior. Pick their brain! They might be able to provide some insight into questions you have regarding your pet’s behavior.

7. At what age should you spay or neuter your pet?

Spaying or neutering your new pet has many benefits. Spaying or neutering reduces the chance that your pet will develop various diseases later in life. This procedure decreases the risk of your pet developing unwanted behavior and their desire to roam, causing them to run away from home. Spaying or neutering also eliminates the chance of unwanted offspring, which contributes to the pet overpopulation problem in North America.

8. Ask about 24-hour pet hospitals

Ask your veterinarian or breeder where the closest 24-hour pet hospital is. This is crucial information should your pet need emergency medical care.

9. Can they recommend a pet sitter?

Should you need one, these contacts are convenient to have. Having a pet sitter that comes with a solid recommendation is critical. As a result, you will be aware of trustworthy options for leaving your pet with someone else.

10. What checkup schedule do they recommend?

Much like human newborns, it is recommended that your new pet be taken for a check-up at set intervals. Find out how often to bring your pet in for a visit, especially during the first year after bringing them home.

Your veterinarian plays an important role in your pet’s life! Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions while you’re there and document their answers.