Healthy adult dogs should generally visit a veterinary clinic about once a year for checkups, vaccinations and other preventative care, but may need additional visits depending on age, breed and health.
Your dog may need additional vet visits based on risks where you live. For instance, they may need more frequent visits for Lyme disease tests if you live in an area where ticks are common.
When Should I Take My Dog to the Vet Immediately?
Take your dog to the veterinarian or at least call your vet if the dog’s behavior has changed. Times when you may want to call a vet are if you see changes to eating or drinking habits, vomiting, lack of energy, whining or wincing.
If you’re concerned about a severe injury or threat of imminent death, you may want to take the dog to the closest emergency vet. Times to head to an emergency vet are:
- Vomiting or diarrhea for more than six to 12 hours
- Bloody stools
- Breathing difficulties
- Weak or fast pulse
- Drop or rise in body temperature
- Difficulty walking or standing
- Loss of consciousness
If you have pet insurance, one of your benefits might be access to a 24/7 vet hotline, and that’s another place you could turn for help.