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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

October is National Pet Wellness Month

2016-10-20

 

Pet Wellness Month was started by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2004 to bring awareness to pet owners on what they could do to increase longevity and quality of life for their pets. One misconception that people have is that a pet is fine as long as he isn’t sick. Just as with people, true wellness for domestic pets involves several different factors. We encourage you to consider the following: 

Learn which vaccines your pet needs and then make sure she gets them on schedule. Vaccines prevent serious illnesses and protect other pets who may be more vulnerable to picking up viruses. Our staff will let you know which vaccines are essential and which are optional depending on your pet’s species, age, lifestyle, and other individual factors. 
 
Make sure that you schedule an annual preventive care exam for your pet. Dogs and cats over age seven, along with puppies and kittens, need more frequent veterinary visits to ensure their good health. Annual check-ups make it possible to spot and monitor health issues as early as possible. They also give you the chance to bring up any concerns, such as behavioral issues, diet, and sleep habits. 
 
Your pet needs a regular oral hygiene routine just as you do. You might be surprised at how cooperative your dog or cat will be with tooth brushing if you introduce it early and make it a consistent habit. Good oral hygiene also reduces the risk of diabetes as well as problems with the heart, joints, and kidneys. 

Spaying or neutering your pet prevents unwanted litters of puppies and kittens that may never find a loving home. Additionally, altering your pet eliminates aggressive behavior related to the mating ritual. It can even reduce the risk of your pet developing health issues such as tumors of the mammary glands. 

Minnesota is the land of tornadoes, floods, blizzards, and other weather emergencies. A fire can break out in your home as well. You’re naturally stressed and not thinking clearly when an emergency arises, so make sure that you prepare for one in advance. Gathering your pet’s supplies in a bag that you can grab quickly and knowing how to evacuate with your pet increases the likelihood of him surviving a disaster. 

Your pet needs nutritious food specific to his species in order to thrive. It’s up to you to read food labels carefully and avoid buying anything with artificial fillers that don’t add any nutritional value. While the occasional treat is fine, your pet should have to earn it. Daily exercise is just as essential as nutritious food for your pet’s overall well-being. 
It is important to protect your pet from parasites all year long. We are happy to recommend a specific product for heartworm, fleas, ticks, and other common internal and external parasites. 
 
The staff at Minnesota Veterinary Hospital appreciates the opportunity to work with you to ensure a happy and healthy life for your pet. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with additional questions about your pet’s wellness. 

Photo Credit:  Hybrid Images / Getty Images