Show your pets you care … by getting regular preventive care. Veterinarians and pet parents alike know from experience that it is best to catch problems early or prevent them altogether. Whether you are dealing with a smaller concern or a serious disease, it’s almost always cheaper and less complicated when you are able to start treatment sooner than later.
Similar to getting a physical or a well check, preventive vet visits usually include a variety of tests and procedures. This type of “routine care” may involve some or all of the following:
- A complete physical exam (measuring your pet’s weight, temperature and heart rate plus an evaluation of the eyes, ears, nose, skin and coat)
- Nutrition review
- Maintenance of heartworm preventatives
- Flea and tick prevention
- Age-related concerns
- Scheduled immunizations
- Oral exam and/or cleaning
Including an oral exam or dental cleaning as part of a well check may be surprising, but dental health problems are more common in pets than you might think. In fact, by the time they are 3 years old, most cats and dogs will suffer from some form of periodontal disease, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. As a result of this condition, your pet could experience tooth pain, difficulty eating or infections.
When left untreated, even minor dental issues can lead to more serious health complications. Bacteria from infections originating in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and travel to other organs in the body. Sometimes these infections cause heart, liver, or kidney disease that can become very serious.
The best way to deal with periodontal disease and the bigger problems it can cause is to prevent it from getting started, with the help of good habits and regular checkups. We recommend daily brushing of your pet’s teeth for optimal health. When that frequency isn’t feasible, do it as often as you can and obviously – the more often the better.
And since dental care is an important part of your pet’s overall health, we recommend routine care that includes dental hygiene evaluations. No matter how old your pet is, it’s never too late to start. For younger pets, we recommend scheduling a preventive care appointment once per year. Senior pets will benefit from routine care every six months.
While it may seem like an extra step to go to the vet when your pet isn’t sick, it’s an essential part of being a responsible pet owner. And by keeping those pearly whites shining bright, you’ll be showing you care about your pet’s long-term health, as well as preventing more costly care down the road. Plus, there’s peace of mind that comes with knowing small problems have been addressed and big ones have been detected or avoided.
Call us today at (901) 460-2600 or visit our Dental Care page to schedule a preventive care visit and dental cleaning for 10% off, and we’ll help make it easy to show your pets some love this Valentine’s.