pet healthIf we’re lucky, we get to live with our pets 10-20 years. That’s a significant amount of time to nurture a relationship from infancy, adolescence, or adulthood all the way to the golden years. Of course, the needs of younger animals vary from those of senior pets, but age-related changes can be supported by a lifelong commitment to pet health and wellness.

The Long View

Not that long ago, pet care focused on an illness-based or reactive approach. Now we know that a lifelong commitment to pet health must hinge on a proactive method. Disease prevention, early detection, and prompt treatment intervention now stand in direct opposition to the old “wait and see” mindset. Improved pet health and longevity are the results of this change in thinking.

It’s Routine!

Have you ever wondered why we recommend regular wellness visits 1-2 times a year? Signs of illness or age-related issues can develop slowly, subtly, and even silently. A keen eye for change is part of a great defense, but early detection is the best way to effectively identify and treat developing disease.

Our pets age faster than us. While pet health and longevity has varying factors, it typically comes down to genetics and lifestyle.

5 Tips for Pet Health

Every pet owner wants their pet to live the longest, healthiest life possible. Spaying/neutering your pet and maintaining routine wellness visits are big steps in reaching that goal. Regular physical exams may also include blood work and other diagnostic tests to help us compare values. Additionally, we discuss the following topics to support overall pet health:

  1. Nutrition – The majority of pets in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese. This can lead to (or exacerbate) other health problems like osteoarthritis. Keep portions limited to exactly what your pet requires. If you offer snacks or treats, adjust meal sizes.
  2. Exercise – This goes hand in hand with proper nutrition to keep weight down, but exercise also contributes to improved mental health. Keeping a pet moving all through life can reduce or minimize other age-related illnesses (even arthritis!).
  3. Dental care – Periodontal disease is 100% preventable but only with regular brushing, routine exams, and professional cleanings. Toxic oral bacteria can spread from inflamed gums to major organs. Having to constantly fight off infection is deleterious to pet health.
  4. Parasite prevention – Year-round parasite prevention is key to protecting your pet from vector-borne diseases, like heartworm, lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and more. No one wants a flea infestation at home, but these pesky bugs can also cause animals a lot of pain and frustration. Bonus: intestinal parasites (which are zoonotic) are completely eradicated via your pet’s medication so you can protect your family from them.
  5. Vaccinations – Preventing all contagious diseases is at the forefront of long-term pet health. During your pet’s routine wellness exam, we ensure they have the maximum protection against dangerous illnesses.

Invest in the Future

We know many pet owners put off veterinary care because of its perceived costs. We never want to see an owner have to decide between saving their pet and paying next month’s mortgage. Pet insurance might be the right choice for you. We’re happy to discuss options with you.

If you have additional questions about pet health and wellness, we encourage you to contact us.