Keeping your pet healthy with preventive care can help ensure she lives a long and happy life by your side. During your best friend’s routine wellness visits, we will discuss the best ways to prevent disease, enrich her life, and minimize health issues. Follow these five steps to keep your pet healthy in 2020 and start the new decade on the right paw. 

#1: Learn how dental health affects your pet’s overall health and well-being

Our team at Alisos Animal Hospital understands the importance of your pet’s dental health to her overall well-being, as oral bacteria can harm her heart, kidneys, liver and, of course, damage her teeth, gums, and jaw bone. As an American Veterinary Dental Society member, Dr. Bahou has the most up-to-date dental equipment available, including digital dental X-ray. With our advanced equipment, we can provide top-notch dental care for your pet to ensure she remains free from tartar, gingivitis, and diseased teeth. 

#2: Set reminders for heartworm, flea, and tick prevention

It takes only one mosquito, flea, or tick to transmit disease to your pet. If you have seen a pet who is allergic to fleas, you understand how a single flea can make a hypersensitive pet break out in a full-body rash. Likewise, one infected mosquito or tick bite can transmit heartworms, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, or tularemia, which can all have devastating consequences for your four-legged friend. If you are guilty of missing your pet’s prevention doses by forgetting to set a reminder, talk to us about easy options. For dogs, we now offer the convenience of Proheart 12, a once-yearly heartworm-prevention injection. But, don’t forget to administer flea and tick medication, as Proheart 12 only treats heartworms and hookworms. 

#3: Spice up your pet’s exercise routine

If you hit the treadmill day after day, you’re probably bored with your same old exercise routine. Explore new hiking trails or neighborhood blocks with your pup, and allow time for “sniff walks.” Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell, and sniffing lowers their heart rate and blood pressure, calms anxiety, and relieves stress. For dogs who spend all day waiting for their people to come home, sniff walks are excellent for alleviating boredom and preventing problem behaviors, in addition to getting daily exercise.

If you have a feline friend lounging around at home, consider her exercise routine—if she has one. Change up your kitty’s daily activity by switching up interactive toys, such as feather wands, catnip mice, robotic rodents, or home-made games, like ping pong balls in the bathtub or a Whack-a-Mole game with a cardboard box and a feather. 

#4: Create a mentally stimulating home environment

Most pets spend the majority of their time home alone, waiting for human interaction. Encourage your pet to entertain herself when you cannot be at home by creating a more mentally stimulating home environment. For cats, you can spur interest in activity through the following ways:

  • Increase her vertical space by adding shelving, climbing towers, cat trees, and lookout perches with hiding areas
  • Purchase interactive toys your cat can use by herself, such as electronic mice that mimic live-animal movement
  • Ditch the food dish and feed only from puzzle feeders

Many dogs enjoy tasty treats, which makes treat puzzles and long-lasting treats ideal when they are home alone. Purchase commercial treat puzzles, or fill Kongs with a variety of stuffings, freezing them to last longer. You can keep an eye on your pet while you’re away from home by setting up a camera combined with a treat tosser, such as the Furbo Dog Camera, and remotely ask your dog to perform tricks and give her rewards.

#5: Schedule your pet’s wellness visit

The best thing you can do for your pet’s health is schedule her wellness visit. Since pets age much more rapidly than people, we recommend biannual checkups to ensure your furry friend remains happy and healthy. More frequent routine preventive care allows a better chance to catch diseases in the earliest stage, which grants your pet a better outcome and easier treatment. We also are better able to monitor trends in your pet’s normal values, and watch for abnormal deviations.

To show your pet how much you love her, give us a call to schedule her wellness exam and stay on top of her routine preventive care.