Canine Preventive Care

Looking for the secret to a healthy dog? Preventive care for dogs is something all pet parents should do to help keep their pup in tip-top shape! However, some pet parents feel that preventive care (such as checkups, vaccinations and parasite prevention) is not a pressing concern. They believe that all they have to do is to wait until their dog or cat is showing signs of sickness before starting them on any kind of treatment regimen. There is a popular saying that we’ve all heard, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Today’s post will provide an overview of why good health is something that needs to be maintained throughout life.

Some pets, because of breeding or genetics, are predisposed to bone and joint problems. For example, labs are known to be prone to hip dysplasia, teacup dogs are prone to problems with their kneecaps popping out of joint, and dachshunds are often susceptible to spinal issues. Sometimes these problems develop when the dogs are young and sometimes they are progressive diseases that show signs as the dog ages. Either way, whatever your dog’s current state is, it’s a good idea to be aware of the importance of preventive healthcare. 

WHAT IS PREVENTIVE CARE?

Preventive healthcare involves a holistic, multi-faceted approach that looks at a proactive diagnostic and maintenance measures that can help prevent the onset or progression of disease, illnesses, and injuries- it usually includes veterinary evaluation of your pet’s overall health and risks of disease or other health problems. Some preventive care examples:

Vaccinations and Parasite Control: 

Sticking to a routine vaccine schedule and a heartworm/flea prevention regimen are textbook examples of preventive care, because these measures are given to a dog to prevent the development of deadly diseases, illnesses and viruses. Not sure about what vaccinations your dog needs? Check with your veterinarian.

Proper Nutrition: 

A healthy, nutritious diet builds a foundation for well-being and disease prevention throughout your pet’s life. Puppies require diets with special nutritional needs. For example, puppies need a diet rich in protein, calcium and phosphate to maintain an active lifestyle and to grow healthy bones and muscles. Senior dogs might need a special diet to help manage their weight.

Exercise: 

Moderate amounts of exercise can improve bone and joint health, and can help manage conditions such as arthritis and dysplasia. It will strengthen the muscles around the joints helping to keep them flexible, as well as helping improve heart and lung function.

Preventive Care Examinations:

Waiting until something goes wrong can often result in the need for surgery or heavy antibiotics. It’s better to take your pet in for annual preventive care visits, where the veterinarian can check for parasites, nutrient deficiencies, kidney and heart functions, and weird lumps that can be screened for cancer.

Preventive care for pets is key to maintaining a long and enjoyable life. We all know that pets are family members and the goal of any pet parent is to give their pet a good quality of life. Investing in preventive care now can not only help your pet avoid future injuries and illnesses, but preventive care can also help reduce healthcare costs.

The cost of prevention is often a fraction of the cost of treating a disease or problem once it has become more advanced, and early diagnosis and treatment of developing problems or diseases can increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.

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