How Often Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet?

Many say your pets are like family. So why wouldn’t you want to make sure your furry friend is in excellent health?

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner and a seasoned vet (no pun intended), it is important to determine how regularly your dog should visit the vet.

In this post, we will explore some of the ins and outs about routine pet visits including how often should you take your dog to the vet.

How Often Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet?

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine how often your dog should visit the vet. A good rule of thumb is to take your dog to the vet at least once a year to ensure they are up to date on all of their shots and vaccinations, as well as make sure they are in good health.

The number of visits a year will depend on the dog type, age, and presence of preexisting health conditions. During the routine checkup or wellness visit, the vet will perform a full body examination, as well as analyze your dog’s eating habits, lifestyle, and behavior.

Of course, if your dog is exhibiting unusual signs, you may need to bring your dog in for an emergency visit.

To determine how often your dog should visit the vet, let’s break it down by age.


From the time they are born to around 16 weeks, your vet should examine your pup every 3-4 weeks; this ensures that your dog is growing appropriately, has a healthy stool, and it also allows them to get a series of puppy vaccinations.

It is suggested that puppies receive their first heartworm treatment no later than eight weeks old. During the 12-16 week mark, your pup will need to receive a flea and tick treatment.

After six months, your pup will need another physical exam and is allowed to undergo spaying or neutering, if you wish.

Adults Dogs

Adults dogs range from 1 to 7 years old. Most vets recommend that adults dogs visit their office for yearly checkups. During an annual checkup, a vet can perform a complete physical; check for any common dog issues like heartworms, ticks, and tapeworm, and recommend any further treatments or tests.

Your dog may also receive their routine vaccines, have their teeth checked, and have a stool examed during their yearly checkup.

Senior Dogs

Dogs aged seven years old and up are considered senior dogs.

Most vets suggest that senior dogs undergo twice-yearly checkups. Senior dogs are more prone to health problems like cancer and arthritis, so it is crucial that they visit the vet more regularly than younger dogs.

Like most routine visits, the vet will perform a routine exam, administered the necessary vaccinations, and discuss any changes in your dog’s health. However, it is important to disclose any changes in your dog’s lifestyle, habits, and behavior.

Your vet may recommend lifestyle changes to ensure your dog remains in excellent health. Changes can include a change in diet, surroundings, or physical therapy.

According to the team at  Blais Veterinary Hospital & Clinic, dogs can benefit from acupuncture therapy to help relieve arthritis and behavioral problems.

The Importance of Routine Pet Visits

In terms of how often should you take your dog to the vet, consider this:

A vet will perform a physical exam, check your dog for any issues, and recommend any further treatment or testing.

Dogs are an extension of your family, so you want to make sure they are living a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life. Regular vet visits help ensure your dog is in good health.

To learn more about pet’s health, pet-related problems, or training, contact us today.