Wild animals hide their injuries and illnesses to avoid drawing the attention of predators as a matter of survival. Your domestic pet has this same natural instinct to conceal an injury or illness even though they do not have to worry about predators. Because a dog, cat, bird, or other family pet often suffers silently and without exhibiting obvious symptoms of distress, you must take charge of safeguarding your pet’s health for them.
Uncovering hidden injuries, detecting medical conditions early, and vaccinating pets against diseases, are good reasons for your pet to have routine visits with your veterinarian. Another good way to look out for your pet’s health is to examine them for fleas and ticks, small cuts or abrasions, or soreness in their joints, while grooming or petting them. You should also keep an eye on your pet’s food and water intake as well as checking stools left in the yard or litter box, as changes in these are often the first signs of health issues with your pet.
A number of prescription and nonprescription medicines can enhance pet health, too. These are safe for use with your pet for treating a variety of conditions and in preventing others. Your vet can explain what a medicine prescribed for your pet is supposed to do, as well as any side effects to watch for should you agree to place your pet on that medicine. It is wisest to discuss with your veterinarian whether any nonprescription medicines you are considering for your pet are the right choice for his or her health needs.
Dogs and cats are susceptible to the misery caused by biting fleas and ticks, whether they live primarily indoors or out. These biting pests are unrelenting in the pain and itching they inflict on your pet, and left untreated, can cause your pet anemia and other serious health issues. Treating your pet regularly with flea and tick medicine kills adult fleas, eggs, larvae, and ticks living on your pet quickly, and repels new fleas and ticks from hitching a ride on your pet. Households with multiple pets will need to treat each animal with flea and tick medicine to protect them, and to prevent a large infestation of these pests in the home. Frontline and Advantage are two popular brands of prescription flea and tick medicines with solutions made for both dogs and cats.
Heartworm is an insidious disease that kills many dogs and cats each year. You can help prevent heartworm from attacking your dog or cat by giving him or her heartworm medicine. Typically, you give your dog or cat heartworm medicine once a month in the form of a chewable tablet that is often liver-flavored to make it more palatable to your pet. The successful treatment of many heartworm cases is possible when detected early enough. That is why annual heartworm tests for your pet are very important.