How Often Should You Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian?

Your furry companion deserves constant health care as a pet owner. Like humans, dogs should visit the vet more frequently than only when ill.

You love your pet and want their best chance at a long and happy life; that’s why regular veterinary checkups and preventive care are essential. What is the recommended frequency of veterinary visits for your dog?

Are you curious?

There’s no established rule on how often you should visit your dog’s veterinarian. That depends on the pup’s age, his health, and whether he’s due for a vaccine.

Here’s a general guide on how often you might visit the Vet based on your pup’s age:

From Birth to One year: Vaccinations and More

Experts advise regular wellness examinations during the early stages of a puppy’s life!

Up to the age of 16 weeks, you must bring your little one in for vaccinations every 3 to 4 weeks.

The veterinarian will check your puppy at wellness visits to make sure they’re growing and remaining healthy.

A simple vaccination plan for young puppies is provided here.

  • First DHLPPC shot at 6 to 8 weeks (a combination vaccine for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvo, and corona).
  • 10–12 weeks: second DHLPP shot
  • 12–24 weeks: rabies
  • 14–16 weeks: third DHLPP shot

You won’t be able to return until your puppy is neutered or spayed at roughly six months old after the vaccination schedule is finished.

The veterinarian might advise scheduling wellness visits for the puppy a few times between vaccinations.

Vaccines protect your puppy from dangerous diseases. Moreover, getting your puppy used to the vet early on will help ensure a positive relationship with the vet for life!

Adulthood: 1 to 7-10 Years (Depending on Type of Pet and Breed)

If you have an active, healthy adult dog between 1 – 7 years old, yearly routine exams are recommended. These examinations are annual physical checkups that are done even if your pet seems completely healthy.

The annual assessment for your Dog will continue to include a head-to-tail examination, heartworm tests, dental cleanings, and sometimes, updates to vaccinations or other concerns, such as tooth decay, joint problems, or parasites.

Additionally, your veterinarian will:

  • Give your dog any necessary vaccinations,
  • Talk to you about your dog’s diet and nutritional needs, 
  • Suggest the best parasite prevention, 
  • Go through any training or behavioral concerns you may be observing.

Ideally, you’ll get along well with the vet over time and work together well. 

What if your dog doesn’t enjoy going to the Veterinarian? You need to go once a year, at least!

Senior: 7 to 10 Years and Older

Similar to young puppies and adult dogs, older dogs have more specific medical requirements and are more vulnerable to disease and age-related harm. Senior dogs should visit the vet every other year or around every six months.

In addition to the standard wellness examination, your veterinarian could suggest several diagnostic procedures for your senior dog. These are a few examples of annual chest radiographs, ultrasounds, blood pressure checks, and fecal and blood testing.

Diagnostic tests enable your veterinarian to evaluate your dog’s health. If your dog later develops a disease, the results may be extremely helpful because the vet will be able to determine what “normal” looks like for your dog.

Depending on your dog’s health, your veterinarian may advise more frequent checkups as they age. 

Regular visits to the vet will enable your veterinarian to handle problems as they develop and will allow them to see changes immediately.

When Should You Take Your Pregnant Dog to the Vet Immediately?

Before breeding a female dog, you should first know that letting her go through a few heat cycles is ideal. She’ll be more physically mature and a better mother to her puppies after a few cycles.

It’s also essential to breed sensibly, keeping in mind the expenses and the well-being of the prospective mother and offspring. First, consult a veterinarian.

Make a prenatal appointment as soon as you suspect your dog is pregnant. Your Veterinarian can suggest the finest food options for your dog while she is pregnant and help you arrange any necessary follow-up appointments. Gestation is usually 63 days, and ultrasounds are typically performed at the four-week mark.

When Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet Immediately?

Ideally, annual and semi-annual visits will be your dog’s only veterinary attention. However, crises happen, and awareness of the warning signs can help you act quickly in those vital initial seconds.

Since dogs cannot communicate, it can be challenging to determine when it is appropriate to treat them at home versus taking them to the Vet. Even while some minor crises can be handled at home, you should call your Veterinarian for guidance if you’re unsure what to do. 

Keeping your dog and yourself as calm as possible is best, regardless of the situation. For safety, muzzle your pet before taking it to a veterinary clinic.

Some of the emergencies that could require a trip to the Vet include:

  • Bloody stools
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Weak or fast pulse
  • Collapse
  • Diarrhea or vomiting for more than six to 12 hours
  • Drop or rise in body temperature
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

Remember! You are the guardian of your dog. Embrace your gut feeling! If your dog’s behavior changes unexpectedly, a trip to the vet is necessary. And don’t worry about getting in touch with the vet too frequently. They are medical experts who want to assist you and your furry properly.


Preventative treatment for all dogs of all ages can lengthen their life. If you and your dog have found a favorite veterinarian, you should visit them at least once a year. Our final tip is to get your pet used to traveling in a carrier to the vet, keep it out, and fill it with food and toys. 

Wishing your furry a healthier life!

February 1, 2023

Sade Amor

Sade Amor is the Marketing Director of Frenchie FAQ. She is a huge dog lover and owner of a French Bulldog herself. Sade has many years of writing experience and first hand experience raising & training French Bulldogs!

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