6 Tips for Keeping Your New Pet Healthy!

Owning a new puppy can be an exciting but also challenging experience for new pet owners or experienced ones. Besides food and shelter, preventative care for your pets is just as important as it is for you. Pets can live longer if they receive the proper care. This means that you should take your pet in for yearly checkups at your veterinary clinic. Many people worry about the cost of pet care. It can be more costly to skip out on these preventative measures. Regular checkups ensure that your pet can stay healthier longer. Here are 6 tips for you and your pet!

1. Keep your pet's teeth clean!
Having poor dental hygiene may contribute to your pet's bad breath. According to the ASPCA, dental disease can lead to kidney and heart problems. Brushing your pet's teeth should become a part of your grooming routine. There are also dental chews that can help to keep your pet's teeth clean. Gum disease and tooth decay can lead to expensive dental surgeries. Having periodontal disease can be extremely painful. Your pet may even start to lose their teeth. An ounce of prevention goes a long way in saving you money.

2. Get your shots ASAP.
Pets need immunizations in order to stay healthy. This at least offers them some protection against more common diseases. Having your pet vaccinated when they are a puppy or kitten allows them to grow to be a healthier adult. These preventable diseases could result in the death of your pet or other serious health problems. You will need to continue to get your pet booster shots on the schedule recommended by your vet. 

3. Beware of parasites, get protected.
Depending on your pet's lifestyle, frequent parasite testing may be necessary. The vet will obtain a stool sample when they are looking for intestinal parasites. These parasites include roundworm, whipworm, hookworm, and tapeworm. While this testing is a precautionary measure, there are medications that can limit the chance of your pet contracting these types of parasites. Ask your vet for a recommendation. 

4. Have a heart, say no to heartworms.
Dogs are especially susceptible to heartworm infestation. Heartworm is spread by infected mosquitos. During the early stages of the disease, your dog will likely not present any symptoms. The easiest way to prevent this is to give your dog a monthly dose of heartworm medication. It is easier to keep your pet healthy by taking precautionary measures.  

5. Don't get ticked off!
Fleas are dangerous for younger animals. Since the flea feeds on your pet's blood supply, a younger animal is more likely to develop anemia. This can be life-threatening if left untreated. Ticks can spread Lyme disease. You should check your pet regularly to ensure that there aren't any ticks present. This is especially true for dogs that have been near areas with long grasses. Ask your vet about medications that can help prevent fleas and ticks from living on your pet.  

6. Consider getting spayed or neutered.
Having your pet spayed or neutered helps in controlling the pet population. It also has the added benefit of helping your pet avoid other health issues. Pets that have been spayed or neutered are less likely to develop certain types of cancer in the reproductive organs. In some instances, your pet may have cancer and surgery is the only option available to save their life. If these conditions are caught early, your pet has a good chance of survival. The use of diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine can improve your pet's quality of life. X-rays and ultrasound are fairly common tools available to vets. Our more specialized hospital uses a CT and an MRI to provide the best treatment options. This is the best way to see what is going on inside your pet and avoid unnecessary surgeries.

Take the time to get preventative care for your pet. It is important to their continued well being. Regular checkups can prevent more costly emergency problems. It is easier to prevent a problem than it is to treat one, and that's why you can come into pet express and receive a free pet consultation! Schedule your appointment or walk into our hospital located at 4200 S. University Dr. in Davie, FL 33328.