Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.
– George Eliot
When it comes to taking good care of you pet, there’s no way around it, the bulk of the work is done by you, the pet owner. Regular veterinary care plays an important role in recognizing and preventing various diseases, but good husbandry (the care and keeping of animals) is essential in keeping your pet in tip-top shape.
Pet food is a very hot topic and there is A LOT of controversy when it comes to pet food these days. The short answer is that there is no one food to feed your pet. The goal is a palatable diet that is complete and balanced for the appropriate life-stage of your pet (for more information on how to chose the best food for you pet, check out Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Nutrition blog, Petfoodology).
What’s just as important, however, is that your pet be fed the appropriate amount food to maintain an ideal body condition. Obesity isn’t just a problem with humans as over 50% of the world’s pet population is overweight or obese. Research in both human and veterinary medicine continues to discover the negative impact that obesity can have on overall health. Keeping your pet at an ideal weight can not only improve their quality of life but can lead to a longer life span as well!
Monthly Parasite Prevention
While there is only so much we can do to prevent the march of time and subsequent onset of age-related diseases, there is a whole heck of a lot we can do when it comes to preventing certain infectious diseases. Vaccinations are only one part of preventative medicine. Home administration of monthly flea, tick, heartworm, and intestinal parasite preventives is equally as important, possibly even more so, as heartworm and certain tick borne diseases can be fatal if left untreated.
Home Dental Care
Periodontal is the single most commonly diagnosed condition in dogs and cats and it’s 100% preventable! While brushing your pet’s teeth is the best way to slow the progression of periodontal disease, there are multiple techniques available to you as a pet owner that will help to reduce plaque and tartar formation. These include oral chlorhexidine rinses, dental chews and dental diets. Look for products with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance as not all products are created equal and some products (we’re talking bones and antlers here) can actually cause more harm than good.
High quality veterinary care is expensive so be prepared with a plan on how you will pay for a midnight visit to the emergency clinic or more expensive diagnostic testing. Pet insurance is a great option with many companies offering up to 90% coverage for accident and illness. Care credit, a low-interest, health-care specific line of credit, is also an excellent option to help manage the costs of unforeseen veterinary care. You can even keep it simple by putting aside a little bit of money every month into a separate account that you reserve for your pet. It doesn’t matter how you plan ahead, just be prepared in the unfortunate event that an emergency or serious illness does strike.
When in doubt, ask your vet
Your veterinarian is your partner when it comes to keeping your pet healthy. He or she has the knowledge needed to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Misinformation abounds on the internet (this blog excluded, of course) so please, don’t hesitate to turn to us for anything your pet needs. We are always happy to help.