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What Qualifies as Preventive Pet Care? | Hastings Veterinary Hospital

What Qualifies as Preventive Pet Care?

As a pet owner, you naturally want to do all you can to ensure a long and healthy life for your furry friend. It factors into every choice you make—whether you’re picking healthy pet food, helping your pet get exercise, or giving them the emotional support they need. This approach is also why many pet owners (wisely) use preventive medicine, or preventive pet care.

Preventive pet care refers to any practice that is intended to prevent disease and promote good future health and longevity in a pet. Since pets can’t communicate their health concerns with you, it’s common for advanced problems to become known after the fact. Taking a proactive approach can help prevent these issues altogether, potentially adding years of healthy living to your pet’s life.

In this article, you’ll learn about some of the more common examples of preventive pet care, how they help your pet, and how to start managing your pet’s health proactively with and without the use of prescribed medicine. 

4 Examples of Preventive Pet Care

Thanks to modern science and its countless innovations, veterinarians are able to more effectively support the present and future health of your pet. Here are a few instances of preventive pet medicine that are commonly used by veterinarians:

  • Vaccines – At one time, all pets were susceptible to a few extremely serious diseases that can now be completely protected against thanks to vaccination. The three most common diseases new pets are vaccinated for include rabies, parvovirus in dogs, and panleukopenia in cats. As with humans, pet vaccines are a safe, effective way to train the body’s immune system to fend off certain illnesses in case of future exposure. 
  • Parasite Prevention – All pets need to be protected against the parasites they’re susceptible to—this can often be done with a simple topical medicine. Parasites can range from uncomfortable to dangerous for your pet, depending on the type of organism and length of infestation. Your veterinarian will prescribe medicines for the most common parasites, including fleas, ticks, and heartworm. 
  • Blood Tests – Routine blood testing is another innovation that allows your veterinarian to gain deep insight into your pet’s health before symptoms arise. From hormone imbalance to problems with organ function, blood tests can help your vet detect (and treat) a potential health concern before it becomes serious. Even if your vet doesn’t detect any issues, blood testing provides a useful baseline for future reference.
  • Urinalysis – Urine testing is another useful proactive measure for pet health, particularly in cats. This is because cats are especially prone to renal diseases, which can be difficult to detect without proper urinalysis. Like bloodwork, urine testing will be performed at your vet’s discretion depending on your pet’s age and medical history. 

Getting Proactive About Health Without Medicine

You don’t need prescriptions and medical intervention from your vet in order to protect your pet’s health for the future. There are a few simple lifestyle adjustments that can help your pet ward off illness, infection, and physical injury. These include:

Weight Management – One of the best ways to prevent health issues in your pet is with weight management. Obesity can lead to countless issues in pets, from arthritis to diabetes, shortening their life and potentially causing painful conditions. Be sure to prioritize consistent, rigorous exercise at an appropriate level for your pet. Do your best to feed your pet only healthy foods intended for animals, and check with your vet for other weight management strategies.

Dental Care – This seemingly small element of animal care is often overlooked, but it’s actually very important. Brushing your pet’s teeth (or using other methods like dental treats at your vet’s discretion) can significantly reduce the risk of dental disease. Protect your pet’s teeth, gums, and overall health by looking after their dental health proactively. 

Consistent Grooming – Protect your pet from poor circulation, skin infection, and injury caused by long nails by practicing regular grooming. Your veterinarian can provide you with a grooming regimen to support your pet’s health (and appearance) for the long term. 

Expert Veterinary Care – Last but certainly not least, regular vet exams are an essential part of protecting your pet’s health in the long term. For the majority of visits, your vet will simply check your pet over for any signs of illness, many of which can be hard to detect without their trained eye. A trusted veterinarian is your greatest ally in ensuring the health of your pet. 

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Hastings Veterinary Hospital and a clickable link back to this page.


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