Your Raleigh NC veterinarian staff here at Leesville Animal Hospital are dropping in today to share a few words with you about preventative care and your pet.
Here on our blog, we’ve talked before about the importance of vaccinations and your pet, but today we’re going to get further into the topic of preventative care – What is preventative care? What kind of preventative care should you be providing for your pet? When should you be providing preventative care for your pet? Are there laws governing the provision of preventative care for your pet?
Let’s get started, shall we?
Your Raleigh NC Veterinarian Explains Preventative Care
So, what is preventative care?
A widely used term in medical professions, “preventative care” refers to any type of care that is designed to PREVENT disease rather than TREAT disease that is already there.
For example, monthly heartworm pills are a preventative designed to protect your pet against heartworm infestation. Failure to keep your pet current on monthly heartworm preventative can lead to them contracting heartworm disease. Once your pet contracts the disease, however, their treatment will be targeted to treat the disease rather than prevent it.
Your Raleigh NC Veterinarian Explains Why Preventative Care is Important
There’s an old adage that says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and nothing could be truer, which is why your veterinarian (and doctor) always emphasizes the importance of preventative medicine.
Preventative care is more affordable than treating disease, but more importantly than that, preventative care helps to preserve your pet’s health, where treatment means that your pet’s health has already been compromised.
What Kind of Preventative Care Should You Seek From Your Raleigh NC Veterinarian?
Preventative care comes in many forms and varies depending on whether your pet is a cat or a dog.
Dental Care – Regular brushing of your pet’s teeth helps to keep them healthy, but so too is a full dental cleaning. When it comes to teeth brushing, you should be brushing your pet’s teeth at least a few times a week as well as be providing toys that stimulate dental health. As for full dental cleanings, a once-a-year cleaning is recommended, but depending on your brushing schedule, it may not be needed as frequently.
Monthly Preventatives – Monthly preventatives like heartworm prevention pills and flea and tick prevention are crucial to your pet’s health as well as your own (flea infestations can take over your home).
Regular Checkups – Regular checkups are generally referred to as “annual checkups” because most healthy cats and dogs only need a once-a-year visit. During this visit, your vet will do a physical examination, talk with you about your pet’s health and behavior, and administer any vaccinations that are due. If your pet has an existing health condition or is older, however, your vet may require more frequent checkups to stay on top of their care or simply to track health concerns that become more prevalent with age.
Grooming – Your pet’s grooming needs will vary depending on their health, their coat length, and even the weather, but grooming doesn’t just mean a haircut! Your pet’s grooming routine also means bathing, brushing, anal gland expression, nail trimming, ear cleaning and eye cleaning! If you fail to stay on top of this type of care, your cat or dog can develop matting in their hair, get eye or ear infections, develop ingrown nails, or develop impacted anal glands!
When Should You Seek Preventative Care for Your Pet?
Preventative care falls into a number of categories – “regular checkups”, dental cleanings, monthly preventatives, and grooming needs. The frequency that each of these services is needed really depends on your particular pet. For example, if your pet is a healthy young adult dog, a once-a-year “regular checkup” can be just fine. If, however, your pet is a sixteen-year-old dog with arthritis, your vet will recommend more frequent check-ups.
If you have questions about when your pet needs preventative care vet visits, it’s best to check in with your vet.
Are There Laws Governing the Provision of Care for Your Pet?
Of course, your pet must always be treated humanely, but what about vet care?
By law, you must always provide care for your pet to avoid them any undue suffering or pain and you should always act in their best interest when providing for them.
What about vaccinations? Laws vary from state to state, but the one vaccination you must ALWAYS keep current for your pet no matter what area you live in is their rabies vaccine. Why is it mandatory to stay on top of the rabies vaccination? Because it’s a dangerous disease that poses a serious threat to public health and a failure to keep your pet up to date with their vaccine puts the general public at risk.
Time to Visit Your Raleigh NC Veterinarian for Your Pet’s Preventative Care?
If it’s been a while since you visited the vet with your pet, give us a call today at (919) 870-7000 and book your appointment today. Whether your four-legged friend is due for their vaccinations or needs an annual physical, it’s time to stop procrastinating and invest in a healthy future for your pal!