My adult dogs usually go in yearly for a checkup. Puppies need to go in more frequently for the first few months.
Educate yourself on what vaccines are required and which are optional. Overvaccination is a common problem. Many vets are started to get away from yearly boosters because the research shows that vaccinations last longer than was previously thought; but a lot of vets (especially the older vets) still like those yearly injections. Overvaccination can cause more harm than good.
If you have the option in your city, go for the 3 year rabies vaccine instead of the 1 year. (Rabies is the only vaccine required by law; some cities require it yearly some accept 3 year. The vaccine actually lasts 7+ years, but the law says it must be done more frequently.)
And split vaccines up if you can, don’t get the whole shebang at once (some are combo shots, but some aren’t). The more pumped into the dogs system at the same time, the harder it is on the dog. If my dogs need multiple vaccines, I try to schedule them 2-3 weeks apart.
For me personally: My dogs don’t get lyme vaccination because the risk is low where I live (my vet actually told me not to get the vaccine for them). They don’t get lepto because they’ve had bad reactions to it in the past and they aren’t at high risk.
Dogs need to be on heartworm preventative during the months when mosquitos are out.
Flea preventative is optional; I used to do it every month, now I don’t. No flea problems. There are natural alternatives to chemical flea medicines, too, look into Diatomaceous Earth.
NEVER use flea-collars! NEVER use over-the-counter flea preventative, always get the stuff from your vet if you opt for chemical flea preventative! http://www.hartzvictims.org/
Also, be aware that vets have virtually zero knowledge on dog nutrition. It’s not their job, their job is to fix sick and injured animals. They’ll tell you to feed some crap like Science Diet or Eukanuba. Dog nutrition and food is something I urge you to research and not just take the vet’s word on.
Here’s a great site for researching kibble and canned foods: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/
And a list of resources for researching raw feeding: http://www.dogster.com/forums/Raw_Food_Diet/thread/431875