Top 7 Pet Health Care Tips for Dogs and Cats

Top 7 Pet Health Care Tips for Dogs and Cats

Keep your dogs and cats healthy and happy by following these

pet health care tips that your veterinarians want you to know.

pet health care Broken Arrow OK

Pet Health Care Tips Every Pet Owners Should Know

1. See your veterinarian every year for a pet exam. – Just as annual physical exams are recommended for humans, they are recommended for our pets as well to ensure pet health care. An annual pet exam is crucial to pet health care and can help prevent medical conditions or reduce their effect by catching a problem early. If your dog or cat is older or has medical problems, they may need even more frequent examinations.

2. Parasite Prevention – Fleas and ticks are more than mere nuisances. They cause distress in dogs and cats and, more important, they cause disease. Fleas are the most common external parasite that can plague pets, and they can lead to irritated skin, hair loss, hot spots, and infection. Fleas can also introduce other parasites into your cat or dog. All it takes is for your pet to swallow one flea, and it can to end up with tapeworms, the most common internal parasite affecting dogs and cats. Preventing ticks in our dogs is very important because ticks are more than just blood-sucking parasites; ticks are responsible for transmitting many diseases in dogs. Some of these include:

  • Ehrlichia – This is the most common disease transmitted by ticks in dogs. Ehrlichia is caused by a rickettsial organism and is characterized by low platelet counts, bleeding, anemia, lethargy, neurologic disease multiple leg arthritis and fever.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever –  This is another rickettsial disease transmitted by ticks. Most commonly diagnosed between April and September, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is characterized by neurologic disease, breathing difficulty, bleeding disorders, fever, organ failure and anemia.
  • Lyme Disease – Lyme disease is a well-known and sometimes hard to diagnose disease transmitted by ticks. The organism responsible for disease is usually transmitted by the deer tick. Signs associated with Lyme disease include multiple leg arthritis, lack of appetite, weight loss,lethargy and fever.

3. Pet Vaccinations -Vaccines help prevent many illnesses that affect pets and are another crucial part of pet health care. Vaccinating your pet has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help your dog or cat live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for different diseases, there are different types and combinations of vaccines. Vaccination is a procedure that has risks and benefits that must be weighed for every pet with consideration of their age, lifestyle and health. Your veterinarian can determine a vaccination regimen that will offer the safest and best protection for your individual animal.

4. Spay and Neuter Your Pets – According to the ASPCA approximately 7.6 million pets end up in U.S. shelters every year. About 2.7 million of these pets are put to sleep or euthanized. An easy way to avoid adding to that number is to spay and neuter your cats and dogs. It’s a procedure that can be performed as early as six to eight weeks of age. Spaying and neutering doesn’t just cut down on the number of unwanted pets; it has other substantial benefits for your pet. Studies show it also lowers the risk of certain cancers, uterine infections and breast tumors. It may also reduce your pets tendency to roam and mark their territory as well as other behavioral issues.

5. Microchip your pets. – One in three pets will become lost at some point during their life. No identification means that fewer than 2 % of cats and only 22 % of dogs ever find their way home after getting lost.

6. Give your pets dental care – Dental health is a very important part of pet health care and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats– by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.

7. Give your pet’s proper nutrition – Many dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese. And just like people, obesity in pets comes with health risks that include diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Overfeeding is the leading cause of obesity which can shorten their lives by several years. Lack of exercise is another problem that can cause obesity. Exercise is necessary for maintaining optimal physical and mental health. Because pets need far fewer calories than most of us think– as little as 185-370 a day for a small, inactive dog; just 240-350 calories daily for a 10-pound cat– talk to your vet, who can make feeding suggestions based on your pet’s age, weight, and lifestyle.