How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet

Taking your Dog to the Vet

Taking your dog to the Vet is as important as taking your human family members to the doctor. From shots, to well checks, to broken bones and more, dogs experience the bumps and bruises of life just like humans. They should be cared for just the same.

How often should you take your dog to the vet?

This question is a common one and if you have wondered about this very thing, you’re not alone. If you are looking for a quick and easy guideline, at least one visit to the vet each year should be your goal. However there are other guidelines to help you think about just how frequent your dog should see the vet.

Signs of Change, Pain or Illness

Monitor your dog for signs of change. Changes in your dog’s physical appearance or behavior can signal that something is just not right. Some signs and symptoms may be a lot more apparent than others so knowing your dog well is the key to catching any indictors promptly. Any change, sudden or not, may mean that your dog should see the vet right away. This list of signs and symptoms can help you decide if your dog needs to see the vet:
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in Diet
  • Lethargy
  • Scratching
  • Aggressions
  • Withdrawal
  • Dull Coat
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding
  • Coughing
  • Signs of Pain
  • Lumps/Bumps
  • Rashes or other skin issues
  • Self-mutilation


You can expect your growing puppy to see the vet multiple times during his first year. Puppies should be seen for regular well visits and vaccinations alike. Vaccines are given every few weeks until puppies are about four months old. You can also expect to bring your puppy to the vet for spay or neuter. Spay or Neuter is often recommended around the age of six months. This will involve appointments before and after surgery in most instances.

Adult Dogs

A healthy adult dog will generally see a vet with less frequency than he did when he was still a puppy. Most breeds reach adulthood at the one year mark. Your dog will general spend his adulthood being in his best physical health. During this phase of life you should bring your dog the vet at least once per calendar year. You should also bring your dog to the vet if he exhibits any signs of pain, injury or illness. Depending on the outcome of each visit with the vet and your dog’s overall health, your vet may or may not recommend other treatments and/or tests.

Senior Dogs

Once your dog reaches senior status, you can generally expect visits to the vet to increase. Your dog may exhibit signs of slowing down. Similarly, lumps and bumps may start to surface, too. You can expect to be on the lookout for age related conditions. Visits to the vet at this stage of life will be to monitor any conditions your dog develops as well discussions and implementation of preventative measure for your dog. Keeping your dog comfortable, happy and healthy during this stage of life will require about two to four visits to the vet each year. Keep in mind this will depend on many factors including breed, conditions developed and overall environment the dog was raised in. How often you take your dog to the vet will depend on many factors throughout his lifetime. When in doubt always err on the side of caution and call the vet anyway. Your gut will also be a good indicator as to whether you should call and schedule a visit to the vet or not as well.