Regular health care for pets is a crucial part of their ongoing development, health and well-being. Outside regular exercise and a healthy diet, your pet needs routine health care to ensure it has a long and happy life. Regular, routine health care should include proper grooming, good dental care, parasite prevention and regular visits to the veterinarian’s office. To learn more, read on.
Ongoing Veterinarian Visits
Your adult cat or dog should see the veterinarian at least annually. Puppies and kittens should have a vet visit at least once a month for the first 4 months and then as needed until they’re ready for annual check-ups. Cats and dogs over 7 or 8 years old should see the veterinarian every six months.
Your veterinarian may recommend an ongoing wellness program for your pet, including routine blood work to monitor for problems such as early kidney or liver disease. They will also look for signs of illness, possibly prescribe medication and may administer disease vaccinations.
Prevention of Parasites
Cats and dogs are both susceptible to internal parasites like tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm, and roundworm. Worms will not only cause irreparable damage to the digestive tract, they can leave your pet feeling fatigued and undernourished since they deplete the digestive tract of nutrients.
Fecal samples should be tested periodically – this is typically done at your annual veterinarian checkup or on an as-needed basis.
Heartworm is another type of internal parasite that is almost always deadly. The worms are contracted by mosquito bites, then the eggs later hatch and live in the blood vessels around the lungs and heart. It is painful and deadly, but also preventable. During mosquito season and sometimes year-round, your veterinarian will prescribe preventive heartworm health care for pets in the form of a pill.
Other external parasites include mites, ticks and fleas. These pests cannot only irritate your pet, but also cause infection. So, check your animal regularly for signs of flea bites, and treat for it accordingly.
Regular Tooth Maintenance
Just like humans, dogs and cats are vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. You can prevent this common problem by brushing your pet’s teeth regularly. While dogs may need daily brushing, cats are usually fine with an occasional sweep.
Another way to keep your dog’s gums and teeth healthy is by purchasing dental chews or bones designed to keep their teeth clean.
Matted hair can be a major problem for pets – causing hair balls, inflamed hot spots and general irritation and stress. To avoid mats, be sure to groom your pet on a regular basis.
Remember, health care for pets goes beyond treating a disease or health problem once it occurs – it’s also about preventive action and ongoing health maintenance. So, provide your pet with a long and healthy life through ongoing grooming, good dental care, parasite prevention and regular veterinarian visits.