The 6 key preventative health measures for pets are:
1) Regular exams
Your vet can’t teach you about pet care if he doesn’t see you regularly! He can’t catch disease problems such as dental tarter or heart murmurs if he doesn’t see your pet regularly as well. Remember, pets age an average of 7 years to our 1 year, and pets that receive regular veterinary care live twice as long, on average, as pets that don’t.
The mainstay of preventative care for the past 30 years, today’s modern vaccines can prevent far more than just distemper. You can design a vaccination program that suits your pet’s risk factors for many contagious diseases.
3) Spaying and neutering
Altered pets live 40% longer, and 90% of the dogs and cats surrendered to humane societies are not spayed or neutered. Unless you are breeding your purebred pet with careful research and attention to the health of both the parents and the puppies or kittens, your pet should be spayed or neutered.
4) Dental care
Pets are 5 times more likely to develop periodontal disease than people. They also accumulate plaque and tarter much more quickly. Cats are prone to painful cavities called cervical line lesions. Without healthy teeth, your pet isn’t healthy.
5) Proper nutrition
Good nutrition is essential to a healthy life. Why feed your dog or cat a less-than-optimal diet? Dozens of diseases in dogs and cats are treated or managed with special diets, including dental disease, heart, liver, and kidney diseases, diabetes, obesity, food allergies, skin problems, vomiting and diarrhea, and even cancer. Ask your vet what food is recommended for your pet!
6) Parasite control
Good preventatives exist now for heartworm disease in both dogs and cats, intestinal parasites, and external pests such as fleas and ticks. Many animal parasites also affect humans, so protecting your pet helps to protect your entire family. All pets should receive heartworm preventatives, regular stool checks, and flea control if they go outdoors.