Ok, I’ll admit that I don’t go to my doctors on a regular basis for check ups but when it comes to my cats I have a good track record of bringing them to the vet on a yearly basis. Our pets can’t tell us if they don’t feel well so it’s up to us to look for signs of health changes and also to bring them to the vet for checkups. Keeping a routine of regular exams and good diet can prevent problems down the line and save us some money in the long run.
Here are some tips to promoting a long and healthy life in our pets:
1: Exams – taking your pet to the vet on a yearly basis can catch potential problems early. It’s less expensive in the long run and can let you know what problems may be developing or could develop as your pet gets older. Blood tests, fecal tests, and physical exams will help you know if your pet is developing any health issues or needs adjustments in their daily routine.
2: Dental health – your vet will look for any signs of oral disease but you can also help prevent problems by brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis at home. Some snacks for your pets are good for their teeth and can help break up the tartar that builds up. If your pet has bad breath it can be a sign of something else going on, a trip to the vet can determine if it’s a digestive problem or a bad tooth that may need extraction.
3: Diet – your pet’s dietary needs change over time. As they age, they need different amounts of protein, vitamins, and fatty acids. Portion control is also important to maintain a healthy weight.
4: Exercise – aside from food, moving and playing help maintain healthy weight, good muscle tone, and mental stimulation. Keeping your pet active also can mean they don’t get bored and try doing things around the house that can be destructive like chewing on furniture, scratching the rug, or destroying things. Take your dog for a walk everyday, the walk can create a bond between you and your pup. Play with your cat with toys and have a few things that they will enjoy like a scratching post and ledge they can climb up on.
5: Keep parasites at bay – fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal parasites can cause everything from itchy skin to illness. Prevention is the best medicine. Routine fecal exams can catch intestinal parasites, flea and tick medicine that you buy from your vet will keep those critters off your pet and out of your home, and heartworm medicine will protect them.