Being a pet owner can do wonders for your overall health and wellness, but this relationship shouldn’t only benefit you. As a pet owner, you should also allocate time and effort to ensure that your pets stay healthy and happy throughout their lifetime. You’ll be responsible for feeding them the right amount of food, giving them plenty of exercises, and keeping them safe from illnesses.
You’ll have many things on your plate when you become a pet owner, which is why it’s always best if you regularly work with vets. Vets are doctors for animals and can accurately diagnose and treat different health conditions among pets. In fact, you should immediately consult a vet the moment you notice that your pet is acting weird.
Even though it can be tiring at times, you should always find the time to take your pet to their vet check-ups.
These sessions are important because of the following reasons:
1. Early Disease Detection
Just like human beings, pets can also get sick. They can also lose their appetite and become weak from not eating properly, and even experience severe illnesses, such as distemper and leukemia.
But unlike human beings, your pet can’t directly communicate with you whenever they’re in pain. As a pet owner, you have to rely on their body language to determine how they feel. However, some diseases don’t always come with visible symptoms, which means that your pet can still be playful, and you won’t have any idea that their bodies are becoming weaker.
One of the reasons vet check-ups are important is because it gives vets the opportunity to detect diseases during their earliest stages. When you take your pet to reputable clinics, for their check-ups, vets will conduct general check-ups and easily determine if your pet is showing any warning signs of certain diseases.
Once the vet performs an early diagnosis, your pet will have a better chance of surviving because diseases among pets can also worsen over time.
2. Up-To-Date Vaccinations
Pets are generally susceptible to countless illnesses and diseases present in the environment. Parasites, for example, are present almost everywhere and can cause anemia, irritation, and inflammation. Parasites can also stunt the growth and development of young pets.
If you want your pets to stay healthy all the time, always show up for their vet check-ups. Pets will regularly need vaccinations, and their vets can easily administer vaccines during their check-ups. Vaccines are key to your pets’ health and wellness, as these keep infections at bay and prevent life-threatening illnesses and diseases.
Some of the most common vaccinations your pets should have are:
- Rabies: Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren’t born with rabies. Rabies is actually a viral disease that originally comes from bats. When your dog comes in contact with an infected animal, they can experience severe symptoms, such as paralysis of the jaw muscles and throat, and foaming in the mouth. Fortunately, you can keep your dogs safe from rabies by having them vaccinated when they turn 14 weeks old and then again when they turn a year old. Depending on the regulations followed in your city or state, your pets’ vaccination against rabies should happen every one to three years.
- Parasites: Getting your pets vaccinated will not only affect them—since some diseases are zoonotic (diseases that can jump from animals to humans), making sure that your pets are vaccinated can also improve or maintain your own health. Getting vaccinated for parasite prevention is a must among pets. Parasites such as ticks and fleas can cause Lyme diseases that can drastically reduce the blood platelet count of pets and trigger joint diseases. When pet owners accidentally ingest worms from these parasites, the eggs can hatch in the body, and the immature worms can cause severe infections in the eyes and brain.
- Leptospirosis: When left untreated, leptospirosis can lead to kidney and liver damage among pets and death among humans. Vets will administer vaccines against leptospirosis in pets once or twice a year, depending on the risk of exposure of your pet.
3. Dental Check-Ups
It’s common knowledge that pet owners should regularly comb their pets’ hair and trim their nails, but are you aware that you should also look after your pets’ dental health? Your pets’ dental health can actually affect their overall wellness as oral diseases can prevent them from eating properly. Dental diseases can also cause your pet pain in the mouth, as well as bleeding.
If your pets won’t allow you to brush their teeth or if you don’t have any idea how it’s best if you take them to their vets regularly. Vets can properly examine the mouth of your pets and effectively manage or prevent many dental problems. Your vet can even clean your pets’ mouths to ensure that their gums and teeth remain strong.
Pets are naturally playful. When you decide to adopt a dog, expect that you’ll have to change your schedule in order to take them for walks and play with them. Physical activities are essential for your pets’ wellness, especially as they’re growing.
However, there will be instances when your pets can become too hyper to the point where they’d escape from your home. Pets also tend to run off when they get bored or want to use up all of their energy. These situations can surely cause a lot of stress.
If you don’t want any of these to happen, regularly visit your vet for check-ups as they can safely implant microchips into your pets. It’ll be easier for you to locate your pet once they’re microchipped because people who will find your pet can easily take them to the nearest vet and scan them for your information.
Aside from being reunited with your pets fast, microchipping can also protect your pets against theft, allowing you to have peace of mind. These are just some of the reasons why you should talk to your vet immediately and have your pet microchipped.
5. Behavior Treatment And Prevention
Training your pets is an important responsibility that you should accomplish as their owner. Pet training provides mental stimulation, builds confidence, and allows you to bond with your pets. A well-trained pet can also communicate with their owners easier.
Although important, not every pet owner can successfully train their pets. This is especially true if you don’t have any experience in being a pet owner. Regardless of how much you train your pet, there will still be instances when they will continue to bark excessively, chew on items they see, and even bite other people.
If you’ve been training your pets for months but still notice aggressive and destructive behavior, regular vet check-ups can help. Vets have been taking care of different pets for years and can recommend you to a trained behaviorist or training classes that can help improve the behavior of your pets. Vets can do this while considering the age and health condition of your pets.
6. Administer Spay And Neuter Procedures
Seeing your pet produce offspring is a memorable experience that can help relieve stress. Having these little bundles of joy can also make your home calmer. However, taking care of the little ones isn’t a walk in the park, and your inability to do so can even contribute to the overpopulation of pets.
Consider spaying or neutering your pets if, for some reason, you’re unable to care for too many of their babies. This procedure involves removing the uterus and ovaries of a female pet (spaying) and the testicles of a male pet (neuter). Having pets spayed and neutered is essential, which is why countries and states worldwide are now offering low-cost spay and neuter programs.
Although your pets can no longer reproduce, spaying and neutering are still worth it as these procedures can provide the following benefits:
- Reduce animal overpopulation: As mentioned, animal overpopulation has become a common problem among many countries worldwide. And as an attempt to solve or manage the problem, agencies in these countries are forced to euthanize these animals. By spaying or neutering your pets early, you’ll be able to reduce the number of pets being euthanized every year and increase their chances of finding good homes.
- Your pets will live longer: Pets usually have a shorter lifespan than humans, but did you know that spaying and neutering them allows them to live longer? Altering your dog can increase their lifespan by about one to three years, while cats can live for another three to five years if they’re spayed or neutered.
- Since the reproductive organs of your pets will be removed once they’re spayed or neutered, they’ll be less susceptible to developing mammary gland cancers and tumors, pyometra (infection in the uterus), perennial tumors, and testicular and ovarian cancers.
- Your pets will behave better: Pets that usually roam outside of your home are at risk of contracting diseases and being hurt in accidents. If you don’t want these to happen to your pets, spay or neuter them. Pets who are neutered or spayed won’t be “in heat” and won’t have the urge to mate, which means that they’ll behave better and won’t roam around as much.
- Help your community: Unwanted animals can become a nuisance among communities as these can soil parks and other public areas, frighten seniors and children, create unwanted noise, and cause automobile accidents. By letting your vet spay or neuter your pet, you can prevent these problems and help in maintaining order and cleanliness in your community.
7. Maintain Pets’ Weight And Body Condition
A lot of pet owners spoil their pets by giving them an excessive amount of treats and feeding them food scraps during meals. Over time, these practices can make your pets obese and increase their risk of developing cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Having an obese pet is a cause for concern, but not all pet owners know how to tell if their pets are obese. This is especially true for pet owners who have dogs with thick coats and furs, or dogs that are naturally big.
Aside from feeding your pets the right amount of food, taking them to their vets for their check-ups can also help maintain their weight and body condition. Vets have the experience and equipment to accurately check the weight of your pets and determine if they’re overweight. If they are, your vet can recommend the right diet, exercise plan, and supplements to ensure that your pets can maintain a healthy weight. Conversely, vets can also help underweight pets gain more pounds.
Most importantly, regular check-ups with vets will also help you determine if your pets’ sudden weight loss or gain is a sign of a health problem.
8. Care For Senior Pets
The needs of your pets will change as they age. If they’re fond of playing for hours when they were still young, expect that they won’t have the same energy when they become older. Senior pets will also be prone to more pains and aches in their bodies.
By showing up to your vet check-ups regularly, you’ll be able to properly care for your senior pets as vets can help you keep a close eye on your beloved pets and provide valuable tips for you to better take care of their health. Vets can suggest how you can change your senior pets’ lifestyle so they can manage age-related illnesses, such as memory loss and arthritis.
Vets also know how and where to check for lumps and bumps, and when your senior pets should take a blood test or submit urine samples. These procedures are vital in detecting underlying health problems and preventing them from worsening as your pet age.
Know Your Priorities
Taking care of a pet is an important responsibility that you should be ready and able to carry out. Having a pet is basically like having a child—you need to regularly look after their health and wellness, and ensure that they remain safe all the time. This is especially true if you’re going to adopt younger pets.
If you want to become an effective pet owner, treat vets as your allies and prioritize vet check-ups. Doing these will ensure that your pets live their best life while being under your care!