Preparing for Puppy: Routine Healthcare, Grooming & Emergency Prep


This is Lucy & I at her first trip to the vet! aka- how I was able to get a selfie with her, since she was SO NERVOUS and actually sitting still… When Lucy goes new places she gets shaky and likes to stay close! but with plenty of treats, calming rubs & lots of encouragement she usually loves wherever we take her! I’ve seen a lot of recommendations to take your pet to a new place a few times before their appointment, etc but unfortunately due to COVID restrictions that hasn’t been an option for us.

When it came time to choosing a vet, I made sure to ask around with other local friends & see who they recommended, I read reviews & looked over what services they offered, as well as what options are close by in case of emergency etc… We chose Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care as our vet & I am so happy we did!

Park Vet is so organized, clean & sweet to Lucy, every visit has included lots of snacks & zoomies! They have an app to keep things sorted and offer boarding services if we ever are to use them in the future! I thought I was doing good by scheduling an appointment before we ever picked up Lucy, but you need to schedule that initial visit ASAP, as soon as you put your deposit down for your dog or are even thinking of getting one soon, start scouting out a vet! I’ve found most places lately are scheduling at least a month out!

After making sure Lucy’s puppy physical 100% checked out, we worked to complete her vaccination schedule, set her up with a daily probiotic & monthly parasite prevention, scheduled future exams, blood work, made a tentative schedule for her spay & neuter and got all of the puppy information to make sure she is living her best life!


There are so many mixed reviews on pet health insurance…. waste of $$$ or good idea?! While there are tons of options out there, we decided to go with TruPanion & we did the disaster coverage. Basically, if something horrific happened to Lucy our plan would kick in & cover all costs but our plan does not cover routine health exams, spay, preventative services or supplies. Everyone knows how expensive pet care can be, so it gives me some piece of mind to know we’re covered in the event of an emergency… So far so good with Lucy’s health & the earlier you get a plan the more affordable it is!


Grooming is another area I am still learning a lot about, so all tips are welcome! I had to call multiple companies, multiple times to try to find an appointment slot?! Apparently this is another COVID repercussion… limited groomers! Lucy had a great first visit at a local place, but unfortunately they have had to cancel on us due to their own groomer shortage! So we’re back on the hunt for a reliable, quality groomer in the RDU area… trying to schedule a reliable every ~6 week cut…

I also need to learn to groom at home, but we haven’t taken on that challenge yet 🙂 Our local Petco has been great about trimming her nails as needed. Lucy loves getting fresh & clean! We wipe her paws every time she comes inside and she has learned not to resist daily brushings. As for baths we have done those at home every ~1-1.5 months, she is totally still & happy with her bath as long as she has warm water & a lick mat prepared while we scrub! She is also doing much better with the hair dryer! Lucy very much enjoys either a daily dental stick or a teeth brushing with her peanut butter toothpaste, it is the highlight of her day!


When I got a puppy I thought it would be all fun & games, lots of playing & cuddling! -Which it is! But, WOW isn’t it a lot of work?! Over the holidays Lucy was nipped at and it was the saddest, worst thing?! She was so upset and luckily not terribly hurt but it was a major learning experience for me. The nurse in me realized I’m very prepared if a person is hurt, but I had no clue really what to do for a little puppy?! Never again. I studied the American Red Cross Dog First Aid information, ordered our own First Aid kit & dog friendly Quick Clot

Hopefully we never use any of this stuff, but I felt so guilty for being so unprepared in this department!

~Failing to plan is planning to fail!

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