Bringing home a new pet is a wonderful decision. Making sure they are covered with pet insurance is something I recommend to all new pet owners.

Here are some tips to understand before taking your new pet to the veterinarian for their first check up.

1. Don’t Wait

If your new pet appears healthy, you should still have them examined as soon as possible after bringing them home.

Veterinarians can detect medical issues that aren’t readily apparent, conditions like minor skin conditions or even a heart murmur.

If this is your first pet, you should establish a good relationship with a veterinarian. This makes the pet is comfortable with the vet as young as possible. Also if a pet illness or emergency happens the vet is familiar with the pet, which results in better care.

2. Have Reasonable Expectations

This may sound crazy, but I’ve met lots of new pet owners who have this idea that their new pet doesn’t need current booster vaccines, viral tests or deworming because someone told them their pet “has had everything.”

Puppies and kittens need vaccinations and deworming constantly up until a certain age (this age may vary per area).

pet-insuranceIf their vaccine history is unknown, they need more frequent boosters starting out to ensure protection against certain viruses.

Viral tests for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, and Feline Leukemia, are important to have early on.

Pet owners—even experienced ones—understand that protocols are forever changing in the veterinary field.  Don’t make assumptions about your pet’s well being, schedule a  pet exam right away. Your new pet exam is your opportunity to ask the vet questions about potty training, obedience training,  and how to introduce the pet to other pets and family members.

3. Spaying or Neutering

Dogs do not have a certain age before having to be spayed or neutered. Dogs spayed before their first heat have a 90% less chance of developing mammary cancer. Cats neutered early have minimal chances of developing urine marking behaviors.

New Discoveries in the long-term effects of spaying and neutering pets have recently been published. Research throughly when determining the best time to spay or neuter a cat or dog, most important factor is the breed. Talk to your veterinarian about what is best for your new pet.

 4. Fleas, Ticks, Heartworm and Intestinal Worms   


Heart worm disease (caused by parasites) is carried by mosquitos. Mosquitos and other parasites are now common where they had never been seen.  Fleas are now in areas where they didn’t exist, like Denver, Co.

5. Pet Insurance

I have pet insurance for my pet because there are some services that I would rather not pay out of pocket. Just being honest. I recommend getting pet insurance before bringing the pet in for an exam. Walking in with pet insurance gives you the ability to make decisions based on the expected prognosis. This is cheaper than the cost of veterinary care that is not covered. A medical condition entered into a file it becomes a “pre-existing condition”.  Obtaining pet insurance on a pet with a “pre-existing condition” cost more. Think of it like this, you want to have health insurance for yourself prior to needing medical care, the same is true for your pet!

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