Top 10 Tips for a Lifetime of Good Health for Your Pet

  1. Spay or Neuter—Spaying or neutering your animal companion is actually healthier for them, reduces the desire to wander, and wards off risks of cancer!
  2. Vaccinate—When your animal companion was born, he received protection from many diseases from antibodies passed through the mother’s milk. These antibodies dissipated by the time he was about three months old, leaving the immune system vulnerable. Talk to your vet about the recommended vaccines for your area.
  3. See Your Vet! —You go to the doctor regularly and so should your animal companion. Annual checkups give your veterinarian the chance to notice any developing illness and take care of it right away.
  4. Fight Fleas—These little pests can cause big problems for your pets, including skin disease, anemia, scratching, allergies, and tapeworms. There are many products available to help you control the fleas on your pet and in your home, but it’s of utmost importance that whatever you use is approved for use on your pet’s species.
  5. Prevent Heartworm—It’s difficult to treat and sometimes fatal, but heartworm infection is easily prevented. Your dog should be given a blood test for heartworm every year in the early spring, and your veterinarian may prescribe a preventive tablet to be given once a month throughout mosquito season.
  6. Get Moving—Not only will daily exercise keep your pet physically fit and mentally healthy, it helps channel aggressive and destructive behavior. Regular activity also burns up calories and increases muscle mass and cardiovascular strength.
  7. Battle the Bulge—Not enough exercise and too much food will cause any animal to gain weight—especially pets, who rely on you to regulate nutrition and activity levels. Excess weight can cause health problems, including arthritis and liver and heart disease.
  8. Do a Weekly Health Check—Regular home checkups are a great way to nip potential health problems in the bud. Check under your pet’s fur for lumps, bumps, flakes, or scabs. Check your pet’s ears and eyes for any signs of redness or discharge. Make note of any changes in her eating or drinking habits. If something seems off, call the vet.
  9. Memorize This List of Foods to Avoid—Alcoholic beverages, avocado, chocolate, coffee, fatty foods, macadamia nuts, moldy or spoiled foods, onions and onion powder, raisins and grapes, salt, yeast dough, garlic, and products sweetened with xylitol are all toxic to animals.
  10. Don’t Forget Your Pet’s Teeth—Animals can develop tartar and plaque just like people. If left untreated, infection can result in tooth decay—and even affect your pet’s heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, bones, and joints! Regular brushing and dental maintenance are a must!
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