10 questions to help you grade the veterinary hospital you’ve selected

1. What are the hospital’s business hours? Do they fit your schedule?
2. How many veterinarians are at the hospital?
3. Can you see the same vet on each visit?
4. What advanced equipment and procedures does the hospital offer? Dental X-ray? Orthopedic surgery? Ultrasound?
5. Will a doctor speak to you on the phone for simple questions?
6. What methods of payment are accepted?
7. What recent seminars have the veterinarians attended?
8. What is the visiting policy for hospitalized patients?
9. Do the vets offer alternative therapies (acupuncture, chiropractic)?
10. What are the hospital’s policies on vaccinations (which ones and how often) and other preventive health programs?

Keeping on schedule

8 weeks First visit to your veterinarian for:
• examination
• core vaccines (distemper, parvovirus, hepa­titis, parainfluenza, etc.)
• deworming
• a review of nutrition and parasite control (fleas and heart-worm)
• discussions on behavior and socialization
• If you’re interested in pet insurance, now is the time to register your puppy.

12 weeks Second Veterinary visit for:
• examination
• core-vaccine boosters, possibly add in Lyme disease
• deworming
• further discussions on behavior
• Plan to start a puppy socialization class.

16 weeks Final puppy veterinary visit for:
• examination
• final core-vaccine boosters, booster on Lyme disease (if given last time), plus rabies and Bordetella (if needed)
• deworming (and organize follow-up dewormings)
• talk about spaying and neutering
• First grooming for puppies that need clipping
• Look into formal obedience classes.

6 months
• Spay or neuter

8 to 10 months
• Gradually switch to an adult food as soon as your puppy starts to put on fat.

16 months
• Annual checkup and vaccine boosters

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