For this week’s blog, I have decided to touch on some important tips for maintaining your pet’s health so they can live a longer, happier life. It’s always important to stay on top of new ways to improve your pet’s health. Here are just a few important considerations of which to be aware:
1. Blood Work: Some of you may ask, what’s the importance of blood work? Sometimes pets can appear completely healthy that actually have hidden health problems that could go undetected. These issues can lead to serious and even life-threatening conditions. Blood tests are an essential diagnostic tool for identifying underlying health conditions or diseases at the earliest stage possible, and ideally when they are the most treatable. One must also consider that pets may have adverse reactions to certain types of medications, particularly if there is an underlying problem involving kidney or liver disease. For senior pets, you may see that your veterinarian wants to check blood work more regularly to ensure their white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelet counts stay in their normal range, and that their organs are functioning properly.
2. Human Medications Can Be Toxic To Your Pets: Did you know that many major pharmaceutical drugs are pet toxins?! Over-the-counters like ibuprofen and naproxen are the most common pet-poisoning culprits, but antidepressants, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and acetaminophen also pose health risks to your pets. Human drugs can cause kidney damage, seizures, and cardiac arrest in dogs and cats. Medications that humans can digest usually ARE NOT safe for your furry friends! If your pet is experiencing pain or something is noticeably wrong, the best option is to call your veterinarian. If you suspect your pet has consumed people medication or anything else toxic, contact your veterinarian or local Animal Poison Control Center.
3. Pets Need Dental Care: As you all know, taking care of one’s own teeth is extremely important, and just like us, our pets need dental care too. Your pet can suffer from gum disease, tooth loss, and tooth pain. Regular brushing and oral cleanings can help keep your pet’s teeth strong and healthy. Dental disease is one of the most common preventable illnesses in pets. Dogs and cats can show signs and symptoms of dental disease by age 3! Dental disease can lead to abscesses, multiple tooth loss, and chronic pain. Regular dental cleanings by your vet can help avoid periodontal disease. Owner care includes brushing your canine or feline’s teeth at home. You can buy a pediatric tooth brush from a grocery store or a pet toothbrush from your local Veterinary hospital. I recommend getting dog or cat toothpaste from your Vet. They generally do not like the taste of human toothpaste, and isn’t good for them to swallow. Oral rinses and dental treats can help too. Purchase those at your Veterinarian’s Hospital as well.
These are only a couple of items to be aware of when thinking about your pet’s health. Hopefully, they can help you give your pet a happier, longer life. If you would like more information on keeping your pet healthy, see your veterinary team, and they will likely be more than happy to answer any and all questions you have.