Every pet parent wants to provide his or her pet with a good life.  No matter what, pets can come down with health conditions despite how healthy they are.  But what can you do to decrease the risk of this happening?  Follow the steps below!

1.  Regular Exams.  The best way to catch problems early is by bringing your pet to the veterinarian at least once a year.  The vet can examine your pet and determine if he has any health issues, what he’s at risk for, and if he’s at a healthy weight.  Veterinarians have all the answers to your questions about pet health.

2.  Spay and Neuter.  Spaying and neutering cuts down on the number of unwanted animals in the country and reduces a pet’s tendency to roam—therefore decreasing his/her risk for getting lost.  Spaying/neutering also lowers the risk of certain cancers.

3.  Prevent Parasites.  Fleas are a popular problem when it comes to pets.  They can lead to skin irritation, hair loss, hot spots, and infection.  Fleas can also attract other parasites to cats and dogs—leading to further problems.  Tapeworms are another consequence of fleas that are ingested.  Year round flea control is important, no matter where you live. 

4.  Maintain a Healthy Weight.  Obesity is a growing problem with pets these days.  Similar to people, obesity in pets puts them at risk for diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.  Overfeeding and inactivity is a leading cause of the problem, so control how often you feed your pet and how many treats you give him.  Physical activity is also important in maintaining weight.  Your veterinarian can help you determine the exact amount of food that your cat or dog needs to stay healthy. 

5.  Regular Vaccinations.  Vaccinations prevent common health problems, such as rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, and canine hepatitis.  Talk to your vet about the vaccinations that your pet needs to stay healthy. 

6.  Provide Stimulation.  Pets need mental stimulation; otherwise they could end up with unwanted behavioral problems.  Take your dog on daily walks and provide your pets with entertainment, such as toys, scratching posts, etc…The more you stimulate them, the healthier they will be.

7.  Micro chipping.  This allows lost pets to be reunited with their owners, no matter how far away they go.  They are inserted under the skin quickly without any pain.  Talk to your veterinarian about how to go about micro chipping.

8.  Dental Care.  Not getting your pet’s teeth cleaned puts them at risk for gum disease, tooth loss, and tooth pain.  Regular brushings and cleanings can do the trick.

9.  Know what’s safe for them, and what’s not.  Many owners are guilty of giving their pets people medication, such as antidepressants, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and Tylenol.  These drugs can actually cause kidney damage, seizures, and cardiac arrest in animals.  Although you may feel tempted to give your pet your medicine when he is sick, it’s not safe. 

10.  Car Safety.  Unrestrained pets in cars can put the driver and the pet at risk for injury.  Be sure to either keep your pet in a kennel while in the car, or put them in the back seat where they cannot distract you or disrupt your vision.  Be sure to keep all of the windows up so dogs aren’t tempted to jump out.  Never allow a dog to sit freely in the back of a truck bed. 

 

All of these tips might seem obvious, but they’re all great reminders to keep your pets safe and healthy.  Remember that veterinarians are the best people to go to when you have questions about your pet’s health!

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