* Ask family and friends for veterinarian recommendations
* Schedule a veterinary visit soon after bringing your puppy home
* Keep emergency veterinary clinic numbers handy
* If you worry about anything with your dog, visit the veterinarian right away. If you wait to long and there is a problem after hours, you might have to visit the emergency clinic, which can be expensive.
Is the veterinarian's office close to your home? This is not only an issue of your convenience, but will allow you to get there quickly in case of an emergency.
The most important factor is to meet the veterinarian and see the facilities. Are the veterinarian and staff friendly and helpful?
It is important to have an initial checkup after obtaining your puppy, so selecting a veterinarian before your new puppy comes home can save time. If you don't have a veterinarian, friends or family members with pets can make recommendations.
Just as with a baby, you will need to make sure the whole house is safe from anything the puppy could get into. By getting down at the puppy's level you can assess if there are any exposed electrical cords that could be chewed. Is there any place that your puppy could get stuck or maybe fall? By puppy-proofing now, you can avoid a lot of heartache later.
Will your puppy be spending time outdoors unsupervised? Look around your yard. Are there holes or gaps in your fence where your puppy could escape? Are there chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides within his reach? What about poisonous plants? Check under the "Health Care" tab of our website and with your veterinarian for a list of poisonous substances.
This is an exciting time for you, but it can also be a frightening time of adjustment for your new puppy. The puppy will be leaving the security of his mother and littermate, and experiencing a multitude of new sights, sounds and smells.
In the first few months, you will be visiting the veterinarian often, so it is important to make sure your veterinarian's hours of operation coincide with your schedule. Many veterinarians have extended evening or weekend hours to accommodate your work schedule.
Does the veterinarian answer after-hours emergency calls, or do they refer emergencies to a local emergency clinic? How far away is the referral clinic?
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