Bring your pet(s) in for an annual/ bi-annual exam
⇒ An annual exam gives your veterinarian a chance to evaluate your pet’s overall health and to detect problems before they turn into serious illnesses. (Bi-annual exams recommended for senior pets those 7 years or older.)
⇒ Routine exams are also required by law for your veterinarian to prescribe medications.
⇒ Have blood work completed annually for your pet for early detection of underlying illness.
⇒ A fecal exam and deworming is recommended and can be done at the annual exam to detect and rid your pet of unwanted parasites. The Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends administering year-round broad-spectrum parasite control with efficacy against heartworm, intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks, particularly those with zoonotic potential. (visit petsandparasites.org for more information)
Spay or Neuter your pet
⇒ Make sure all of your pets are spayed or neutered. By altering your pet you can reduce their chances of reproductive diseases and cancers and improve their general health. Discuss the timing of these procedures with your veterinarian. New research has identified the importance of basing the timing of these procedures based on body size, breed, and gender of each pet. We’ll continue to alert you of the need for this discussion at 6 months of age.
Improve your pet’s general health
⇒ If your pets are overweight, make sure they are on a weight reduction plan which includes 20 to 60 minutes of exercise a day plus a low calorie diet. Ask us for more information if you think your pet is at risk! We are here to help!
⇒ Routinely check your pets’ body for abnormalities such as skin tumors, sores, ticks, etc.
⇒ Brush your pets’ teeth at least twice a week, with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for pets, and follow-up with regular dental cleanings below the gums. Learn more about Periodontal Disease from the American Veterinary Dental College. If your pet is not used to teeth-brushing, just start slowly by massaging their teeth with a washcloth and warm water for about 15 seconds, slowly working up to the goal of brushing all of their teeth. Other alternative dental home-care options such as once-a-week Oravet sealant or daily dental chews and rinses can significantly reduce tartar build-up. Find something that works with your lifestyle and stick to it! It’s consistency that matters most!
Make sure your pets know how much you love them…we know, this one is easy!
⇒ Brushing your pet is a wonderful way for owners to bond with their pets. Brush your pets at least once a week. Their skin and coat will feel better to them and to you.
⇒ Take some time out of your busy schedule to play with your pet. You’ll benefit from this just a much as they will. It’s amazing what we learn from our pets! (TED talk on the power of play!)
⇒ Pet massages are a good way to complete a thorough “body check” and are a great way to ease any aches and pains your pets may have. Pet massages are also a proven way to soothe your frazzled nerves after a long day.
Keep everyone informed about your pet
⇒ Does every adult in your home know exactly where your veterinarian is located and where the closest animal emergency clinic is? Make sure that they do! Call our office after hours and our after-hours call center will connect you to the Emergency Facility nearest you – 805-644-5521.
⇒ Make sure your pets have current identification tags on at ALL times. Micro-chipping your pet is the best way to ensure that they’ll never leave home without proper identification.
⇒ Make sure you have a fire sign in the front of your house to alert fire fighters about your pet(s). Here’s one available online: PET SAFETY ALERT 234001 2-Count Static Cling Window Decal for Pets The Wharf and Pet Barn should stock these as well!
⇒ Make sure that all smaller pets have a carrier dedicated to them to ensure a safe and fast evacuation, if necessary, during an emergency.