Adopting from the animal shelter in Raleigh is an incredible way to give back to your community and help to control our pet overpopulation problem.
When you do adopt from an animal shelter, however, it’s extremely important that you make an appointment for your new pet with your own veterinarian as soon as possible. Today we want to talk about a few of the reasons why that is such an important step for you and your new companion!
Why Your Animal Shelter Pet Must Visit a Vet ASAP After Adoption
A Wellness Check
Depending on which animal shelter or facility you adopt your new pet from and the age of your pet, they may come to you fully up to date on vaccinations and wellness checks. In some cases, however, animals are kept for a short period in small county run facilities where access to veterinary care is minimal and funds to provide veterinary care are non-existent. This leaves some newly adopted pets with little to no veterinary care before they are adopted which can mean that your new pet comes home without up to date healthcare and testing. In these instances it is crucial that you visit your own veterinarian ASAP to get your new pet up to date on vaccinations, to give them a thorough exam, and to check for things like heartworm infestation.
Even if your new pet comes with health records that state that they are up to date, it’s still important to get a wellness check done with your veterinarian ASAP. All animal shelters are overwhelmed with demand and have very little in terms of resources to provide for that demand. This means that things get missed or overlooked, it also means that “minimal concerns” like ear infections may go unnoticed.
Don’t panic, many animal shelters and rescue organizations do an amazing job at caring for all of their animals, but with stretched resources, they can only do so much so it’s up to you to ensure that your new family member has a clean bill of health!
Spaying and Neutering
Another reason that it’s important to visit your own veterinarian after bringing a new pet home is to make an appointment for spaying or neutering! If you adopted a very young pet from the animal shelter or a pet that was undergoing other medical care, they may not have been able to go through their sterilization surgery. In these cases, shelters will require you to agree to spay or neuter your pet when they are old enough or healthy enough to do so. Not having this done risks having your new pet taken from you, so it’s very important that you follow through. Not sterilizing your pet also contributes to our devastating pet overpopulation problem so please do your part and spay or neuter your pets!
If you have adopted a pet that needs spaying or neutering, make an appointment with your vet for a wellness check and talk to them about sterilization of your pet during that appointment.
Follow-Up of Series Vaccinations
Some of the routine vaccinations that are required to keep your pet healthy must be administered in a series. If you adopt your pet before they have completed their vaccination series, you must set up an appointment with your veterinarian to follow through with the remaining vaccinations in the series. Failing to complete a vaccination series may render the vaccinations your pet has already received ineffective which means that your pet is not protected against disease!
When you adopt your new pet you will be given paperwork detailing which vaccinations your pet has received and which are still pending. Take this paperwork with you to your first vet visit so that your vet can keep detailed records on your pet’s healthcare history and know which vaccinations your new pet still requires.
Establishing a Relationship with a New Vet
Another important reason that you need to visit your own veterinarian with your new pet is so that you and your new pet can establish a relationship with your vet. Not only does this give you both a chance to meet with and talk to your veterinarian, but it lets your vet get to know your pet while they are (hopefully) healthy. This allows them to establish a baseline for how your dog acts, their vital signs, and their overall appearance when they are healthy. This is important because it can help them to gauge your pet in the future when they appear unwell.
Having a Vet to Contact in the Case of Emergencies
Having a new pet can be demanding and once in a while your puppy, kitten, dog, or cat will get themselves into trouble. Whether it’s from eating rocks, counter-surfing, getting into a battle with the neighboring cat, or sniffing out an angry possum, it’s important that you have a veterinarian that you can contact to get the immediate care that your pet needs.
If you have already met your new vet and your pet has had a wellness check and you’ve established a relationship, emergency vet visits are much less stressful on you all.
Want an Adoption Discount for your Animal Shelter Pet’s First Vet Visit?
Did you know that if you bring your proof of adoption papers in with your newly adopted pet on their first vet visit with Leesville Animal Hospital veterinarians, you will receive a 10% discount on their routine examination fee? As a small family veterinary clinic who are active in our local rescue community, we believe that you deserve recognition for helping to make Raleigh a better place for our canine and feline populations! To make your first appointment, just give us a call at (919)870-7000!