Keeping Your Pet Safe and Healthy in 2016

Hi Everyone!  Well 2016 is here and Forever Freckled is so excited to be celebrating our 1 year anniversary and reminiscing on a fun and exciting year.  Since we have focused much of our information and advice this past year on pet and children health, I wanted to create a quick and easy guide of my top tips to keep our pets healthy in the new year.

Make sure to bring your pet to your veterinarian at least 2 times per year.  I cannot stress this one enough.  Pets cannot tell us when they are not feeling well.  Dogs will communicate a little but cats will not show you that they are sick until they are very ill. Unfortunately, when my pet parents realize their cat is not acting right, it is generally when they are at the end stages of a disease and there is not much we can do.  Make sure your pet sees your veterinarian at least 1 time per year, if not twice.  We may be able to detect things that pets parents do not notice.

Yearly bloodwork is important for catching and treating disease early.  This goes along with my first tip. A veterinarian’s physical examination gives us an overall idea about your pet’s health, but blood work will better detect organ function and certain diseases.  At my animal hospital, I recommend a junior blood profile one time per year for my younger pets, and a senior blood profile one time per year for my pets that are 8 years old or older.

Make sure you pet is up to date on vaccinations according to the AAHA regulations.  It is important to protect your pet against easy transmittable and deadly diseases. We diagnose diseases such as parvo, distemper, feline leukemia, and rabies to name a few.  These diseases are easily preventable with vaccinations that are very safe and effective. Speak with your veterinarian regarding your pets lifestyle and make sure your pet is protected.

Proper parasite control is imperative.  Monthly flea/tick and heart worm prevention is safe and easy.  Fleas and ticks pass along many diseases.  Heart worm disease is a serious parasitic disease that targets your pets heart and can cause death.  According to where you live, make sure to speak with your veterinarian and get your pet on the proper parasite control.

Know the foods that are toxic for our pets and should be avoided.  There are many foods that your pet should NEVER digest such as chocolate, onions, garlic, and mango seeds.  Refer back to my blog regarding toxic human foods and make sure to keep these foods well out of your pet’s reach.

Know the local and seasonal plants and chemicals that are toxic to your pets.  According to where you live, you should know the local plants and chemicals that are common to your area and should be avoided at all cost with your pets.  Please refer back to my blogs on summer, spring, fall and winter safety for your pet for what to avoid.

Keep your pet at the proper weight.  I cannot stress this one enough.  Pets rely on us to feed them what is appropriate.  Overweight pets are more prone to diabetes and other diseases.  In addition, they have a very difficult time moving around and can develop degenerative joint disease as they age.  Make sure your pet maintains a healthy BCS (Body Condition Score).  They depend on us!

Use natural supplements glucosamine chondroitin sulfate for joint health and omega 3 fatty acids for skin and cardiac health. I love these supplements and recommend my pet parents start their pets on these supplements at a very young age.  Speak to your veterinarian regarding the specific health benefits and what dose your pet needs.

Have your pet’s teeth cleaned professionally and maintain your pet’s dental health.  Peridontal disease is the most overlooked disease in pets and can cause significant health problems.  Imagine if we never brushed your teeth? Our pets are no different. Although we highly recommend it, most pet parents do not actively brush their pet’s teeth.  Just like human periodontal disease, pets are suscepible the EXACT same diseases that can be caused from poor dental hygeine such as cardiac disease, diabetes, and systemic illness.  Please refer back to my blog on periodontal disease for tips on how to keep up your pet’s oral hygiene.

Know the common emergencies that should never wait to see a veterinarian.  Very often people cannot distinguish when their pet needs to be seen immediately or something can wait.  Please refer back to my blog on the common pet emergencies that need to evaluated by a veterinarian immediately.  As always, I always tell my clients to go with their instinct. If you are worried and not sure, never hesitate to have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian.

I wish you all a happy New Year filled with love, health, and prosperity.  I want to thank everyone for your support this year with Forever Freckled.  My sisters and I absolutely love working together, creating an advice forum, and helping parents with their journies.  We are looking forward to some great things in the new year!

IMG_8372My staff and I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

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