Although most of my friends are pretty healthy, some of them have gone through some pretty tough stuff. It makes me wonder if somehow their people could have helped prevent an extensive surgery or diabetes treatment.
So for all the pet parents out there, I've come up with 10 Ways to keep your pet healthy in order to prevent treatment situations.
1. The unavoidable topic: spay or neuter - Yea, I don't really like to talk about this, but it is the best thing to do in order to prevent cancers and behavioral problems. Plus, the puppies (and kittens) that we may have are not always wanted by other parents.
2. Something good to eat - Good food and nutrition are important no matter how old I get. Buy foods that have higher quaity ingredients and good nutrients. And no matter how long I beg, it probably isn't good for me to have people food or table scraps. Even better, add a suppliment to my diet. Synacore is a good one to start with. It is chuck full of good probiotics, enzymes, prebiotics and vitamins.. and so yummy!
3. Does my fur make me look fat - Obesity in pets is becoming a common problem as well as diabetes, arthritis, spinal diseases, and liver disease. If your pet is overweight, reduce the calories with less food or a lower calorie food. It may be a good idea to weigh you pet every so often to keep them on track.
4. Showing my teeth - As much as your pet puts up a fight about getting his teeth cleaned, regular dental care can really make a difference. It helps stop tartar buildup, which can lead to bad breath, internal organ problems, infected teath, and bleeding gums. Of course I'm going to recommend dental chews and tartar control treats! Plus, you should (try) to brush your pet's teeth 1-2 times per week and professionally clean ever 1-2 years.
5. Those nasty pests - Fleas and ticks can cause allergies, lyme disease, and can make us really uncomfortable. There are several easy and convenient once-a-month treatments for fleas and ticks. And remember to check us after going into wooded areas, or just avoid those areas all together.
6. A gut feeling - Always be aware of symptoms of intestinal parasites such as diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal pain. Make sure your pet has been tested for all kinds of parasites including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.
7. Take it to heart - Heartworms are life-thretening parasites that live in the heart and larger blood vessels of dogs. They can cause huge problems like heart failure, heart disease, liver failure, and kidney failure. Make sure your dog is treated and tested for heartworm at his annual check up.
8. On my best behavior - Behavior problems can affect anyone your pet comes in contact with. They can be avoided by good training. And, if your pet is like me, you may need a professional! But before you look into that, make sure we have all the stuff we need to behave best. For instance, cats prefer their own litter box in a clean area that they can easily get to, and it may be best to have a scratching post if you want to keep your couch.
9. Lost and found - Because we are curious creatures at heart, you may want to keep us locked in the yard or kennel when you are away. Microchip is an easy way to keep track of us if we do wander off. Cats can get a little stir crazy indoors all day, so take them out every so often so they get used to it. Otherwise, they'll flee whenever the door opens!
10. A once-a-year check up (...that's in people years, not dog years) - Bring your pet in annually so the veterinarian can give vaccinations (ouch!), check for early signs of disease, and prescribe any testing or treatment. You can find a veterinarian in your area here!
With these tips, your pet should be in tiptop shape...ready to roll in the grass and play and catch frisbees and all that fun stuff!
I'm a yellow Labrador Retriever livin' in Orange City, Iowa. I was just adopted into the Van Beek Natural Science family. Everyone here is pretty cool. I'm really REALLY happy to be here, watchin' out for my new people.