A Year of Wellness

Courtesy of Dr. Deirdre Brandes

No matter what age your pet, annual exams are a vital part of keeping your pet healthy.  Preventative health care is integrally tied to both the longevity and quality of your pet’s life.  Wellness exams allow the doctor to examine your pet from nose to toe, identifying potential hidden problems before they have time to develop, or assessing and advising on the maintenance of various chronic health conditions. The doctor’s primary goal is to ensure that your pet is given the opportunity to achieve an optimal state of health.

Between annual exams, here are some basic things that can be done on a regular basis to ensure optimal health:

-Use parasite prevention – Keep your pet up to date with monthly parasite prevention, such as Frontline, Advantage, Comfortis, Interceptor or Sentinel.  Some of these are medications that are doctor prescribed, so call your doctor and find out what is best for your pet.

-Keep your pet active – Lack of exercise can lead to obesity.  Keep your pet active and healthy.  Obese pets are at risk for many more problems than pets that are active, including diabetes, liver and kidney problems and arthritis.  No matter what age your pet is, it’s important for them to get regular exercise.

-Educate your pet – Reviewing basic obedience on a daily basis will keep your pet with routine structure and also keep the brain active.  This will also allow for many behavioral problems to be avoided.  Teach your dog to wait to be invited through doors and not to jump on visitors.  And don’t keep the tricks isolated to just the dogs.  Cats can be taught tricks such as sitting or giving high fives.  Cats can also be taught house rules, such as staying off the counter or using appropriate scratching areas.

-Be aware of abnormal behavior – Pets can’t tell you when they’re sick.  This leaves the owner responsible for paying attention to abnormal behaviors, such as decreased or increased water consumption, soiling accidents in the house, reluctance to engage in favorite activities aggression or lethargy.  If an problem is caught early, it will help to keep it from progressing and making a mild problem a major problem.

-Brush your pet’s teeth – Dental disease doesn’t only cause smelly breath.  Bacteria from the teeth will shower the organs with bacteria as well and can cause other health issues.  Brush your teeth on a regular basis, such as every day to at least once weekly.  Make sure to use pet friendly toothpaste and make this task easier by choosing poultry flavors or other flavors that your pet may like.

-Groom your pet – Regular grooming can keep owners aware of any potential issues, including wounds, allergies, hot spots and mats.  Brushing can reduce mats, shedding and hairballs.

To schedule an exam or if you have any questions, please call us at (858) 759-8797.  We’re always happy to answer any questions.