How to Have Healthy Pets

Preventative veterinary care is the best method for how to keep pets healthy wherever you live. For South Coast residents who want to learn how to have healthy pets, these daily, monthly, periodic and annual tips serve as a basic guide for proper pet care. Some of these preventative measures will just take a few minutes of your time, making them quick and easy to do, yet extremely valuable for your pet’s overall health.

When it comes to taking care of your pet, it isn’t that much different than taking care of a small child. Parents check on their children all the time to ensure their health and happiness. As a pet owner, it is important to have this same instinct for care and check on them regularly and take them for preventative veterinary care based on their needs at your local animal hospital in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Daily Preventative Veterinary Care

Daily care for your pets starts with the basics. Healthy pets require daily grooming, which can include combing, brushing or petting your animal. This is done to check for tangles and knots in fur, as well as anything unusual on their body parts, such as dry skin patches, cuts, bites, lumps or bumps. If you see something unusual, call or schedule an appointment with your South Coast veterinarian to ensure that it isn’t something serious.

Feeding and watering your pet is also a daily affair. Make sure you feed foods to your pet that will contribute to their overall health. Proper nutrition based upon the age, size and breed or your pet, along with an adequate clean water supply, is a very important step in how to keep pets healthy.

Observe your pet when they….

  • PLAY – either indoors or outdoors – watch them to keep tabs on their movement. If your pet begins limping, walking funny or refrains from typical activity, make sure to make a note of it and contact your veterinarian for advice.
  • NAP or SLEEP – how long, how often and at what time of day do they usually sleep? Some pets sleep more than others, so it is important to get a baseline of usual behavior in order to effectively monitor any future changes.
  • HAVE TO “GO” – make a mental note of your pet’s waste habits and elimination schedule. Not only will this help you get them outdoors when they need to go throughout the day, but it will also help you determine whether or not there are any changes in pattern of these habits and schedules.

Daily exercise and training is part of keeping healthy pets, regardless of the weather or time of year. If you can’t walk your pet outdoors due to extreme weather, make sure to set aside some playtime or other physical activity to keep them active. Training not only creates a better, more obedient pet, but it keeps your pet’s mind active and alert, contributing to longevity and safety.

Any toys, bowls, beds, blankets, pillows or other items used by your pet should be inspected and cleaned each day. Bacteria can build up on bowls and toys, just like it does for people, so it is important to clean them with a mild dish washing liquid, rinse thoroughly and dry. Bedding should be cleaned on a regular basis as well. All items should be checked to ensure they are not torn, chewed or broken in any way that might harm your pet.

Weekly Preventative Veterinary Care

Depending on the type of pet you have, you might bathe your pet each week using specialized pet shampoos and conditioning treatments designed for their particular breed. Pets with sensitive skin should be cleaned using sensitive skin formulas. Puppies, kittens and other young animals should be cleaned with formulas designed especially for their needs. Medicated shampoos are also available to treat dry skin and other issues and are available at pet stores or through your local animal hospital in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Dog owners should look into weekly training, exercise or even formal schooling to ensure obedience and safety. Training your dog is an important part of having healthy pets in Fairhaven and teaching them to be “good citizens” in the community will help everyone in the long run. If you aren’t familiar with local dog trainers or schools, speak with your South Coast veterinarian for references or suggestions that will help you make a good choice.

Monthly Preventative Veterinary Care

Pest medications should be given to your pet each month. While there are over the counter options available, you should speak with your veterinarian for information about medications that should be given based upon the age, weight and breed of your pet to ensure proper dosage and protection. There are a lot of options available today, which can make it difficult to determine which product is best for your pet.

Flea, tick and heartworm medications are given on a monthly basis. The area that you live in and the time of year can sometimes influence what treatments are given to your pets – and when. Again, speaking with your South Coast veterinarian will help you determine which medications should be given depending on your specific situation. Rural pets are sometimes more “at risk” than city pets and outdoor animals are sometimes more “at risk” than indoor animals. Each situation and pet is unique.

Anchor Animal Hospital in Southeastern Massachusetts serves patients throughout the South Coast region, including eastern Rhode Island and the Cape. Located in Dartmouth, Anchor Animal Hospital sees a wide variety of animals at their practice, including dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles and pocket pets. They have been providing both emergency and preventative veterinary care in the area since 1975.