An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Those wise words are attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and in essence, they mean that it’s easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened. If you wish to keep your pet around for as long as possible and avoid or reduce costly vet bills, preventative care is a good place to start.
Doing so can potentially lengthen lives, improve the quality of time spent with us, and save money in the long run.
Pet Food & Obesity
One of the first places to start improving your pet’s overall health is through diet and exercise. This holds true for humans as well as pets. If they haven’t already, your vet will second that notion. Try to feed your pets a balanced, nutritious diet specific to their species and breed while skipping the people food, if you want them to live longer. We are what we eat.
Also, save yourself some money — and their waistlines — by cutting down on all the treats and increasing the amount of physical activity they incur each day.
Here’s one most people don’t know: swallowing fleas can lead to tapeworms in dogs! Freaked out yet? You should be. Zoonotic diseases are responsible for poor health, astronomic vet bills, and oftentimes premature death. Creepier yet? Some of those same diseases can be passed along to humans. Spare yourself and your pet the problems associated with parasites by taking proper precautions and using preventive measures.
Yearly Vet Visits
One of the best ways to head off illness and whopping vet bills is to bring your pet in for their yearly exams. Your vet can’t diagnose or correct what he doesn’t see. Don’t create an “it’s too late now” situation by waiting for something to happen before bringing them in. As much as your pet may dislike it, regular yearly exams are a must for maintaining optimal health and spotting illness or disease early on while it’s still treatable and more affordable.
Your veterinarian can also recommend further preventive steps to take to ensure your pet remains in your life for years to come.
Pet Dental Hygiene
While certain chews are designed for removing food and stubborn plaque, you might want to consider brushing your pet’s teeth, especially if they’re advancing in years or of a breed prone to dental issues, like Chihuahuas. Also, while your vet is very likely checking their teeth during wellness visits, ask about the necessity for scheduled cleanings. If they advise it, listen to what they have to say.
This goes back to keeping up on your pet’s yearly exams. But even if you can’t afford wellness visits, there are enough resources out there to keep your BFF up to date on their vaccinations. Many mobile pop-up clinics are available on weekends, and they’re staffed with vets that will give your pet a quick once-over before administering their vaccines. These mobile units frequently appear in the parking lots of major pharmacies, feed stores, and places like Dollar Generals.
And finally, during summer months, make sure your indoor/outdoor fur babies are receiving heartworm preventatives. They come in chews, so they’re quickly and easily administered.
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