Similar to humans, regular wellness exams and preventative care are the most effective way to maintain your pet's health and ensure they live a long and healthy life. This includes regular checkups with a veterinarian, keeping up to date with vaccines, testing annually for dangerous diseases, as well as many other facets of your pet's health. Annual checkups are recommended for young pets, with semi-annual (every 6 months) being recommended for senior pets. In this article, we will discuss the different forms of preventative healthcare for pets and their overall benefits for your entire family.
Keep up to date on vaccines
Keeping your pet up-to-date on vaccines grants them protection from common diseases. Vaccines vary slightly between cats and dogs, but the diseases they cover include:
Influenza (Canine & Feline)
Your veterinarian will determine which vaccines your pet doesn't have and recommend which ones they should receive going forward.
Test Annually for Diseases
Sometimes the symptoms of a disease aren't easy to identify through your pet's behavior alone, which is why it's important to test your pet annually to see if they have any underlying illnesses that aren't obvious through their behavior. Parasite infections such as roundworms, heartworms, and tapeworms can cause vomiting, and diarrhea, and can be transmitted to humans.
Heartworm can be fatal in your pet if left untreated, however, it is completely preventable. Heartworm preventatives can be prescribed to your pet through your veterinarian, and are recommended to be taken year-round for full protection. They can also prevent other parasites such as hookworm, roundworm, and ringworm.
Fleas and Tick Prevention
Fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis and anemia, and they can also transmit diseases like Bartonellosis. Ticks can transmit diseases lick Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis It is recommended that your pet takes monthly flea and tick preventatives. If you have a pet that spends a lot of time outdoors and/or around other pets, be wary of where they go and limit how much time they spend unsupervised.
Keep their teeth clean.
Dental care is one of the most overlooked aspects of a pet's health. The build-up of plaque and tarter in the mouth can lead to more than just dental disease due to the large amounts of bacteria. If left unchecked, this bacteria could potentially develop into other illnesses such as kidney, liver, and heart disease. While those are extreme cases, halitosis (bad breath) is very common and can affect your entire family if your pet spends a lot of time indoors with you.
Microchip your pets
All of your pets should be microchipped, even if they spend most of their time indoors as anything can happen, and you never know if they might get lost. Ask your veterinarian to check your pet's microchip during a wellness exam to ensure it is still reading properly. It is also important to keep the information on your pet's microchip up to date if there are any changes to your address or contact information.
Prevention is Key
In the end, prevention is the best form of care that you can give your pet. Many illnesses that your pet may face in their lifetime can be avoided through routine wellness exams, up-to-date vaccinations, and preventative medication. Be sure to bring up any behavioral changes with your pet to your veterinarian so they can determine if there are any underlying medical conditions. Your pet can't talk to you, so it's up to you to maintain their health and take them to a veterinarian routinely or when you think something is wrong. Call us at
559-434-5470 if you want to learn more about different types of preventative care for your pet, or to book an appointment today.
Animalhumanesociety.org.Why routine preventative care for your pet is essential