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.
During your veterinarian visit, you can expect your veterinarian to look for signs of possible illness, disease or injury. They may also prescribe blood work, prescription drugs, vaccinations or a health care program such as hydrotherapy or physiotherapy.
The primary intestinal parasites of dogs and cats include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. These worms damage the digestive tract or interfere with absorption of essential nutrients. Intestinal parasites are typically diagnosed after finding worm eggs or actual worms in your pet’s feces.
Typically, worms are either noticed by spotting eggs or worms in the animal’s fecal matter or by having a stool sample tested by your veterinarian.
Heartworm is an especially dangerous parasite for most pets. It is transmitted by mosquito bites and lives in the major blood vessels of the lung, causing inflammation and potentially resulting in heart damage and death. It is painful and devastating – meaning an investment in heartworm prevention medicine is probably the best preventive health care for pets.
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
Cats and dogs need regular dental care to prevent tartar buildup and tooth decay. Typically, dogs require ongoing dental care, like a light, daily tooth brushing. Cats are typically fine with a few dental treats and the occasional vet visit.
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.
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