Anyone who has a pet knows how costly it can be to go to the veterinarian’s office. The best way to keep your favorite pooch or kitty happy and healthy is through early detection and prevention. You should regularly examine your pet for any lumps and abnormalities, and it is recommended that you take your pet to the veterinarian twice a year for regular checkups.
Below is a list compiled by the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation of the top reasons why people bring their pets into the vet’s office and how to avoid making that costly vet trip.
1. Motor vehicle trauma
- Use a six foot leash — not a retractable lead — when outside, especially near roads.
- Do not rely on an electric fence as it may be inoperative when least expected.
- Do not rely on the belief that your dog will never leave the yard. According to the CVMF, it takes just one squirrel to lead to a serious injury, with trauma care costs potentially exceeding $5,000.
- Keep dogs and cats lean as obesity can cause arthritis (as well as diabetes and other ailments).
- Avoid running with pets on pavement.
- Do not force dogs to perform outside their abilities. For example, Toy breeds cannot run for long distances alongside their owners.
- Do not allow pets to eat anything from off of the ground.
- Do not feed pets “people food.”
- Feed your pet fresh, all-natural foods to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Do not allow dogs to make contact with another dog’s stool or other places where parasites may be present.
4. Skin Disease
- Practice strict tick and flea control.
- When a dog has a history of skin disease, see a veterinarian early for preventive measures, such as antihistamines, to avoid more costly interventions later.
- See a veterinarian early for ear discomfort as ear disease is most often linked to allergic disease, according to the CVMF.
5. Periodontal Disease
- Start brushing dogs’ and cats’ teeth when they are puppies so they learn to accept the practice as normal.
- Seek regular professional dental cleanings from age two and up. According to the CVMF, 85 percent of dogs and cats have moderate to severe periodontal disease due to a lack of brushing and cleanings.
- Give your dog a Dog Joy Fresh Bone. When your pooch chews on bones, the chewing action scrapes away plaque, controls tartar buildup, and helps stimulate gums. This diminishes bad breath, keeps teeth whiter, and reduces the risk of potentially serious dental problems.
- Feed pets a measured amount of food daily based on their age, size, and activity level.
- Avoid exercising after eating.
- Beware of non-productive vomiting and abdominal distention, which are signs of bloat.