The new year is almost here and it’s time to put your pet’s health first! Because of the shorter lifespan of our pets, the veterinarians here at Prairie Animal Veterinary Hospital stress the importance of an annual physical examination. Thorough check-ups and preventive care can help alleviate serious health problems. The veterinarian offers a wide range of veterinary services to keep your companions feeling their best. Here are seven goals every pet owner should strive to reach in 2019:
- Exercise more — Pets need exercise, too. Let your pup join you on a jog, walk, or hike. Get games for your cat that encourage movement, like laser pointers and cat tunnels.
- Limit junk food — Showing your pet love by giving her treats can lead to an unhealthy weight and a multitude of other health problems. Depending on your pet’s size and breed, one treat could be similar to a Big Mac for a human. Do your research, and limit calories from treats to 10 percent of your pet’s diet.
- Brush teeth — Imagine going just one day without brushing your teeth. Now, think of how your pet feels after going possibly years without a good teeth cleaning. Try to brush your pet’s teeth every day. If she’s not used to it, start slowly with your finger and some pet-friendly toothpaste, and then work your way to longer sessions with a pet-friendly toothbrush.
- Prevent parasites — Prevention is the best medicine, especially when it comes to preventing parasites from infecting your pet with various preventable conditions, like heartworm disease, intestinal worms, and Lyme disease. Follow our recommendations regarding preventive medications.
- Spend quality time — You can buy your pet toys, give her treats, and send her to the best doggy daycare in town, but nothing says “love” like spending quality time together. The highlight of your pet’s day is simply being with you.
- Enrich the environment — Avoid behavior issues by keeping your pet occupied and enriching her environment. Provide scratching posts, toys, and comfortable bedding. Feed with food puzzles rather than keeping a constantly full food bowl.
- Visit the veterinarian — For your pet, skipping one annual veterinary exam is similar to you not visiting a doctor for seven years. Pets should be seen at least once per year (more often for senior pets over seven years of age) so we can assess their health and catch any potential health problems before they progress and become more difficult and costlier to treat.
The veterinarians here at Prairie Animal Veterinary Hospital stress the importance of an annual physical examination. Thorough check-ups and preventive care can help alleviate serious health problems. The veterinarian offers a wide range of veterinary services to keep your companions feeling their best.