No matter your pet’s age, support their wellbeing by initiating healthy habits to ensure they live a long, happy life. To learn how you and your pet can enjoy many years together, read our MetroPet Veterinary Clinic team’s seven simple preventive care tips.
#1: Preventive veterinary care—detect problems early
During your pet’s routine preventive care checkup, your veterinarian can detect early disease symptoms or indicators, which helps prevent problems before they occur. By ensuring your pet receives regular—at least once per year— preventive veterinary care, you put your four-legged friend on track for a long, happy, and healthy life. Your pet’s preventive care checkup may include:
- Physical examination — Our experienced doctors and staff examine your pet from nose to tail, checking each body system for proper function.
- Fecal screening — To determine whether your pet is harboring microscopic intestinal parasites, our team recommends your furry friend has a fecal screening every 6 months—in accordance with the Companion Animal Parasite Health Council (CAPC).
- Comprehensive blood panel — We perform your pet’s annual blood panel to screen for early kidney and liver disease, diabetes, and several blood parasites common to Northeast Ohio.
As your pet ages, their health changes, and so should their preventive veterinary care. Our MetroPet Veterinary Clinic team tailors your pet’s care to their life stage and individual health needs.
#2: Oral health—develop a pet dental care routine
Dental health is a major part of your pet’s overall health, yet more than 70% of dogs and 80% of cats show dental disease signs by 3 years of age. Left untreated, dental disease can cause your pet to experience serious pain, infection, tooth decay and loss, and damage to the surrounding bone. If your pet has dental disease, they can also experience heart, lung, liver, and kidney damage. You can protect your pet’s health—and keep their breath minty fresh— by combining at-home and professional dental care. Schedule your pet’s regular professional cleanings, and establish the following at-home dental care routine:
- Daily toothbrushing
- Regular professional dental exams and cleanings
- Dental chews endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
#3: Parasite prevention—tell parasites to bug off your pet
By administering your pet’s monthly parasite preventives, you protect your furry pal from potentially life-threatening diseases that heartworm, fleas, ticks, tapeworms, and intestinal parasites transmit. No matter your geographic region, year-round parasite preventives are the best and easiest way to ensure your pet has effective, uninterrupted parasite protection. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the best parasite preventives for your pet.
#4: Vaccinations—safeguard your pet against serious diseases
Pets are susceptible to many dangerous—potentially lethal—naturally occuring infectious diseases. Fortunately—through routine vaccination— your pet can completely avoid these illnesses. Vaccines stimulate your pet’s immune system to fight dangerous infectious diseases. By ensuring your pet’s vaccines are up-to-date, you can extend your furry pal’s life. Protect your pet from infectious diseases by contacting our MetroPet Veterinary Clinic team, and we will devise your four-legged friend’s vaccination schedule.
#5: Spay or neuter—increase your pet’s life span
In addition to helping control pet overpopulation, spaying or neutering your pet enhances their health and increases their longevity. A Banfield Pet Hospital study reports that—in comparison to their unneutered or unspayed counterparts—neutered male dogs live 18% longer, spayed female dogs live 23% longer, neutered male cats live 62% longer, and spayed female cats live 39% longer. Spaying or neutering decreases your pet’s risk of developing mammary or prostate cancer and several other reproductive cancers. In addition, spaying can help protect female pets from developing life-threatening uterine infections.
#6: Weigh-in—help your pet maintain a healthy weight
Overweight pets have an increased risk for weight-related health problems—such as cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, endocrine diseases, and respiratory problems—that can significantly decrease their longevity and quality of life. More than half the U.S. pet population is overweight or obese. Prevent your pet from being one of them by helping your four-legged friend maintain a healthy weight. You can monitor your pet’s weight by following these tips:
- Regularly weigh your pet, and evaluate their body condition score (BCS).
- Calculate your pet’s caloric energy requirements and measure their food portions.
- Ensure treats account for only 10% of your pet’s daily diet.
- Engage in 15 to 30 minutes of daily physical activity with your pet.
#7: Mind games—provide enrichment activities for your pet
Enrichment activities relieve your pet’s boredom, reduce anxiety, foster critical thinking, decrease inappropriate behavior, and benefit your four-legged friend’s mental and physical health. Keep enrichment activities simple. Consider the following:
- Foraging games — Foraging encourages your pet to use their nose—rather than their eyes—to seek out food or treats.
- Training — Training is a great way to stimulate your pet’s thinking. Teaching your pet new commands and tricks can improve their manners, strengthen your human-animal bond, and build their confidence.
- Interactive toys — Interactive toys allow your pet to follow their natural instincts while honing their problem-solving skills.
You and your four-legged friend can enjoy many years together when you follow our seven simple preventive pet care tips. Increase your pet’s quality and quantity of life by jump-starting their preventive care. Schedule your pet’s checkup with our MetroPet Veterinary Clinic team.
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