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Basic Health Requirements For Dogs and Cats


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Regular health care for pets is a crucial part of their ongoing development, health and well-being. Outside regular exercise and a healthy diet, your pet needs routine health care to ensure it has a long and happy life. Regular, routine health care should include proper grooming, good dental care, parasite prevention and regular visits to the veterinarian's office. To learn more, read on.

Ongoing Veterinarian Visits

Your adult cat or dog should see the veterinarian at least annually. Puppies and kittens should have a vet visit at least once a month for the first 4 months and then as needed until they're ready for annual check-ups. Cats and dogs over 7 or 8 years old should see the veterinarian every six months.

During your veterinarian visit, you can expect your veterinarian to look for signs of possible illness, disease or injury. They may also prescribe blood work, prescription drugs, vaccinations or a health care program such as hydrotherapy or physiotherapy.

Prevention of Parasites

Cats and dogs are both susceptible to internal parasites like tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm, and roundworm. Worms will not only cause irreparable damage to the digestive tract, they can leave your pet feeling fatigued and undernourished since they deplete the digestive tract of nutrients.

Fecal samples should be tested periodically - this is typically done at your annual veterinarian checkup or on an as-needed basis.

Heartworm is another type of internal parasite that is almost always deadly. The worms are contracted by mosquito bites, then the eggs later hatch and live in the blood vessels around the lungs and heart. It is painful and deadly, but also preventable. During mosquito season and sometimes year-round, your veterinarian will prescribe preventive heartworm health care for pets in the form of a pill.

Common external parasites include fleas, ticks and mites. Monthly preventive measures consists of regular grooming, baths, spray and a thorough inspection for bites or bugs.

Dental Care

Cats and dogs need regular dental care to prevent tartar buildup and tooth decay. Typically, dogs require ongoing dental care, like a light, daily tooth brushing. Cats are typically fine with a few dental treats and the occasional vet visit.

You can help keep your dog's teeth and gums in good condition by brushing their teeth regularly and providing them with certain toys like flossies or dental bones.  

Good Grooming

Matted hair can be a major problem for pets - causing hair balls, inflamed hot spots and general irritation and stress. To avoid mats, be sure to groom your pet on a regular basis.

Health care for pets is about more than an occasional visit to the vet or treating specific problems. Additionally, it includes ongoing maintenance and a regular health care routine. So, give your pet a long and happy life by practicing good grooming, regular dental care, parasite prevention and appropriate trips to the vet.

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