Are You Doing These 7 Things to Keep Your Pet Healthy?
Your Pet Health Checklist for a Well Pet
Chances are, you know your pet needs regular wellness care, good food, and exercise to stay healthy. But did you ever wonder if there was a “Healthy Pet Checklist?”
In honor of Pet Wellness Month, we put one together in this video.
These seven items form the basis of good health and will help your pet thrive. Let’s take a quick look.
#1 Annual Wellness Visit
Your pet should have a yearly vet checkup that includes dental cleaning, updated vaccines, and heartworm test.
The types of vaccines your dog or cat will vary depending on their age, where you live, and your lifestyle. For example, while the rabies vaccine is recommended everywhere by law for both dogs and cats, your veterinarian may only recommend the Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine if your dog is around other dogs frequently.
Your veterinarian will help you set a vaccination schedule that makes sense for your pets.
#2 Spay or Neuter Your Pet
It extends their life expectancy and helps prevent overpopulation. While most pet parents think of spaying and neutering as a responsible way to prevent unwanted litters, you may not realize it also protects against certain types of cancers.
For example, spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer in females and neutering helps prevent testicular cancer in males.
#3 Keep Your Pet on a Heartworm Preventive & Flea Control– Even if they’re inside pets!
Veterinarians recommend keeping your dogs and cats on year-round heartworm and flea & tick control. Yes, even if you live in colder areas of the country, ticks can still lurk outside your door just waiting for an opportunity to latch onto Rover when you go out for a walk.
And while it may seem silly to worry about mosquitoes (the pests that transmit the heartworm disease) in January, fluctuating weather, or a road trip to the South can bring risk.
Please protect your pets year-round.
#4 Feed a Grain Free Diet for Weight Control
Many dogs and cats thrive on a grain free diet and even lose weight. As you may know, excess weight contributes to a host of health issues including arthritis and heart problems. You may also know that nearly 50% of pets are overweight. A protein and veggie based, grain free diet for your dog or cat can help.
#5 Microchip Your Pet So They Can Find Their Way Home if Lost
While no one thinks their pet will go missing, one in three pets do every year. According to Petfinder.com, microchipping your pets can have a 238% increase in the chances of reuniting with your dog and a whopping 2000% increase in reuniting with your cat.
It’s a simple process done at your veterinarian’s office and costs about $45. Then you’ll need to register your pet with the microchip database and include your updated contact information.
#6 Bathe Your Pet Regularly for Healthy Skin
How often does your pet need a bath? It depends on their health. Healthy dogs and cats don’t require a weekly bath. In fact, it can dry out their skin. They may only need one bath a couple of times a month. However, every dog and cat benefits from frequent brushings (daily if you have a long-haired dog), nail trimmings, and ear cleanings.
Other pets will require frequent – more than once a week --baths with a medicated shampoo to treat irritated skin as it can provide relief. Your veterinarian can make recommendations about what’s right for your pet.
When you clean those ears, use an ear cleaning solution like a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water but use a damp cloth and your finger, never cotton swabs. They can damage your dog’s ears.
#7 Give Proper Toys and Treats
Some dog chew toys can damage your dog’s teeth like some of the bones and rawhides that are available in pet stores. It’s better to go with softer chew toys that won’t damage teeth, and of course, we have a wide variety of healthy treats to spoil your pet without spoiling their healthy diet.
In honor of this Pet Wellness Month, we hope you take a moment to assess this pet health checklist. Is there anything you’d add? Let us know on our Facebook page!