When it comes to long-term pet condition, there’s no replacing an annual checkup with a veterinarian. But in the period between visits, conscientious pet owners can look after their pet’s physical and mental health by practicing effective preventative care. Doing so will help prevent sickness — and reduce the possibility of unexpected medical bills.
Read on to learn more about how proper pet care practices will allow you to keep your trusty friend healthy and your veterinary costs low.
Let’s start with the most significant ingredient of preventative care: regular checkups with the veterinarian. At your pet’s annual visit, the vet will go over the essentials: nutrition, weight control, dental exams, health screenings, and vaccinations. However, the biggest benefit of regular checkups is that your vet can detect common health issues before they become bigger problems.
As with humans, obesity in pets comes with health risks like diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. The number one cause of pet obesity is overfeeding, simply because pets need much less food than their owners usually think. For example, a tiny, inactive dog only requires about 185-370 calories a day, while a 4,5 kilos cat needs just 240-350 calories. Please, think twice before feeding your pet scraps from the dinner table or tossing him an additional treat. A vet can provide individualized dietary suggestions based on your pet’s size, age, and activity level.
Perhaps the biggest secret to long-term wellness is monitoring your pet’s dental condition. Though most owners never take a good look inside their dog’s mouth, over 80% of dogs suffer from some kind of oral pathology, which can include loose teeth, inflamed and infected gums, and rotting tooth sockets. These problems affect most home animals, from cats to rabbits, so get a pet-friendly toothbrush and brush at least twice a week.
Keep your pet’s senses uninjured by monitoring his ears and eyes regularly. You can easily clean your pet’s ears once a week with a natural pet product. Though eyes are a bit more tender, they should be checked daily for mucus buildup. If you notice a buildup, moisten a cotton ball and tap it in the corners of your pet’s eyes, avoiding direct contact with the eyeball.
You might associate shampoo with hygiene instead of healthcare, regular bathing is a significant aspect of any preventative petcare plan. For most dogs, bathing once a month works well enough, but consult your veterinarian to learn more about your pet’s individual needs. Cats, for example, tend to self-groom effectively, but bathing may sometimes become necessary. In addition to keeping your pet clean, regular bathing and grooming will bring your attention to any unusual lumps, bumps, or other skin conditions that may affect your friend.
When it comes to pet health, here’s a tip: manage your house like you have toddlers roaming around. Products like baby gates, power band covers, covers for electrical outlets, and safety locks for cabinets will keep your pet safe and your home clean. You might also try installing a pull-out rubbish can that your pet can’t get into and ridding your house of mess. Because your pet’s mental well-being is just as important as his physical well-being, improve your pet’s living space with toys and puzzles. This allows your pet to stay active and stimulated, especially while he or she is alone in the house.
Fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks aren’t just confined to the dog days of summer. Opposite to common belief, parasites are a year-round concern for pet owners, and the risk of infection is high: a pet can swallow a single flea and end up with tapeworms. To avoid this unfortunate situation, be sure to apply topical flea repellant products, cover any sandboxes or play areas, and consider a monthly parasite preventative medication for your pet — even in the dead of winter.
If you can remember all of these tips, your pet will surely remain happy and healthy for years to come — but don’t forget to keep in touch with your vet!