Protecting Your Pet's Heath

During National Pet Care Month, there is much emphasis on responsible pet ownership. Properly taking care of your pet means doing everything possible to keep your pet safe and healthy. This not only benefits your animal; it can save you considerable inconveniences and expenses associated with the medical care of a sick or injured pet. Start by talking to your veterinarian about appropriate measures for protecting your pet's health and by following the basic care guidelines addressed below.

Invest in Preventive Care:

Regular well checks at the veterinarian's office help catch potential health problems early. Often, problems can be completely prevented or more easily managed with early detection. Regular checkups also offer opportunities for your veterinarian to administer and advise you on the sort of care that can head off preventable diseases. Your veterinarian can also give appropriate vaccinations and prescribe supplements, wormers, medications, and other products that help keep your pet healthy. Spaying and neutering are widely promoted for helping to control pet populations, but they are also believed to reduce the risk of certain cancers, as well as eliminating a certain propensity for pets to roam and get lost or injured.

Manage Your Pet's Weight:

Being overweight carries as many health risks in pets as it does in humans. Be sure you feed your pet appropriate quantities of food as often as is recommended by your veterinarian. Your pet's diet should provide all the necessary nutrients with little or no unhealthy additions. Treats help keep pets happy and well behaved, and are essential training tools, but limit them to occasional use. Ensure your pet has enough space for regular activity and that all of your animals get enough exercise on a daily basis.

Control Parasites:

Internal and external parasites affect your pet's health in a number of ways. Gastrointestinal parasites can interfere with proper digestive function and nutrient absorption, jeopardizing your pet's well-being. Fleas, ticks, and other external parasites transmit disease, irritate the skin, lead to infections, and otherwise make your pet uncomfortable and unhealthy. Consult your veterinarian about appropriate measures for parasite control and follow the recommended regimen carefully.

Make Your Home a Safe Environment:

Pets require a hygienic living environment. Regularly clean litter boxes, bedding, cages, aquariums, and other areas where your pets spend their time. Keep the rest of the house clean, too. Use pet gates to keep animals out of rooms with potential hazards. Secure wires or other dangerous objects in a manner that prevents them from being chewed on, and keep pet food, treats, grooming products, supplements, and medications somewhere inaccessible to animals. Install fencing to prevent your dog(s) from leaving the yard, and use a leash during walks. Ask your veterinarian for other advice about ensuring your home does not provide any significant avoidable risks to your pet.