New pets need lots of love and care, and that includes taking them for their first visit to the veterinarian. While new fur babies–especially puppies and kittens–are typically healthy, young, and seem to be “just fine,” the truth is that it’s the preventative measures and working with your local vet that ensures that your pets will live long, healthy lives at your side. Here at Bayside Animal Hospital, we truly believe that bringing your pets in for annual veterinary visits is the way to go. In order to prepare your beloved pet for their first vet visit, here are our best tips for getting your new pet ready to see us for the first time:

Get Your Pet Accustomed to Touch

dog being petted by human hands

Your furry friends are most likely getting tons of love and cuddles as new members of your family, so it’s a good time to get them accustomed to being picked up and rubbed from head to tail. When your pet comes in for their first vet visit, we’ll want to be able to pick them up in order to do a “head to tail” inspection which includes petting them, checking their paws, and more. While we do so gently, pets can be scared of strangers, especially if they’re being picked up or touched in ways they’re unfamiliar with. Start slowly and gently if your pet seems hesitant, but most pets will adore all that love extra and affection.

Practice Physical Exams With Your Pet

During the weeks leading up to their first veterinary visit, continue working on helping your pet get more accustomed to physical touch from humans. Using lots of love, petting, and treats as rewards (for letting you examine them), try practicing some of the moves that would take place during a veterinary exam. This would include having someone look inside their ears, inside their mouth (at the teeth and gums), and practicing the lifting of the tail. A little work on these basic moves can help your pet feel a little less stressed and hesitant at the vet. While we do our best to comfort your pet, the very best way to prepare them is to familiarize them with the love, cuddles, and treats that come with being patient with people who are examining them.

Prepare Your Pet for the Car Ride

dog riding in back of car

Chances are your new fur baby won’t be used to riding in the car yet, but there’s lots you can do to prepare them for the trip to see us. First, make sure that your car has adequate air conditioning and/or heating and that the temperature is comfortable for them to make the trip. A car that’s too hot or cold can do damage to a pet quickly–the same as a small child–so it’s important to keep this in mind whenever you’re traveling in the car with your pet.

Before making your first trip to see us, we suggest taking your pet for a few “practice rides” in the car so they’re more accustomed to car trips by the time you arrive. Make sure to always move your pet in the appropriate sized pet carrier and to keep larger dogs on a leash at all times. If you’re unsure of the best way to transport your pet, please give us a call at Bayside Animal Hospital and we’ll be more than happy to advise you. Between us and our neighbors at the Bayside Bed & Biscuit, we’ll be able to help you get the travel gear you need for your pet.

Upon Arrival at Bayside Animal Hospital

When you arrive, our atmosphere is designed to be comforting, warm, and welcoming for your pets. If your pet is especially anxious or scared, please let us know when you make your appointment and again when you arrive so we make sure to provide them with the best accommodations possible. We’re all about pet love, treats, and comfort here at Bayside Animal Hospital, and we treat your pets as if they were our own. If you have any questions about your new pet and what they might need before their first veterinary visit with us, be sure to give us a call at (281) 334-2273.