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Your pet’s annual vet visit

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The new year has just started and it is a good time to schedule your dog or cat’s annual vet checkup. Even if your beloved pet is healthy and you don’t see any obvious issues, a vet exam is a way to make sure that everything is fine. Just like with humans, some medical issues advance slowly in a pet’s body and since pet parents are with the pet daily, subtle changes can be hard to spot.

What does a vet exam investigate?

Vets will probably take your pet’s temperature. They do this rectally. It takes just a few seconds and causes the animal no discomfort. A normal dog or cat temperature is higher than a human temperature, about 101 to 105 degrees. If an animal has an elevated temperature, I is a first sign to a vet that something may be up.

Vets check an animal’s fur and skin. Skin and coat are really excellent indicators of the pet's health status. The coat should be shiny, not brittle and coarse, and the skin should be clean and not greasy and flaky.

A veterinarian should examine both ears. Obvious infections and allergies are problems the owner can see, but often, deep in the ear canal is where infections can start. if noticed early, they can be treated and eliminated before they get to a serious stage.

Many dogs (and cats) suffer from allergies. Skin and ear infections are commonly the result of repeated allergic episodes. The doctor will show you how to clean the ears and prescribe the right medication if signs of an infection are present. Check your dog's (and cat's) ears and look for any signs of disease.

An annual health assessment will ensure that your dog’s or cat’s vaccinations are up to date and give you an opportunity to raise any behavioral or health issues that may be of concern. Don’t be shy about asking questions; seven “dog years” is a long time between appointments so you’ll want to make the most of your visit.

Keeping your dog’s or cat’s vaccinations up-to-date is important to her health, and can prevent her from contracting illnesses. Diseases that can affect your pet may be airborne or can be acquired through contact with a parasite, a virus, or fecal matter brought inside on your shoes, so even indoor pets should be vaccinated. Age, health, lifestyle, environment and geography; all will affect your pet’s vaccination schedule so be sure to ask your veterinarian what is appropriate for your dog or cat. Keep copies of your pet’s vaccination records, too.

Left untreated, flea, tick and worm infestations can put your dog at risk for serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. Flea larvae, for example, can live in your house year-round and can transmit a tapeworm infection if your dog or cat swallows even a single flea. Lyme disease, now widespread in many parts of the country, is transmitted primarily by a few types of ticks and can cause your dog or catto become sick or lame if left untreated. Your vet can offer suggestions on how to prevent and/or control parasites and show you how to check for parasites on a regular basis.

A dental check should be part of your pet’s well-visit check-up. Proper nutrition, regular brushing and chew toys/treats designed to rid your pet’s teeth of tartar buildup all contribute to good oral hygiene and will help keep her mouth (and body) healthy. Your vet can show you proper brushing techniques and also determine if your dog or cat needs a dental cleaning.

Healthy diet

The vast majority of skin and coat problems are associated with grain-based diets of poor quality and during the physical exam your veterinarian should inquire about the pet's diet. Switching to a meat-based diet, which is a dog or cat’s natural food, and they will soon look, feel and act much better. Many types of dermatological problems are avoided if the dog or cat is consuming an optimum diet.

It is estimated that nearly one out of every two pets in the U.S. is either overweight or obese. Those extra pounds can lead to a host of medical problems and impact your pet’s quality and length of life. Well-visits are an opportunity to keep track of her weight and address problems before they affect her health. If necessary, your vet can advise you of an appropriate diet/exercise regime that will safely help her achieve a healthy weight.

An all natural, meat diet is best for dogs and cats. Hound and Gatos pet food is 98% meat (2% water for texture control) is an American made product manufactured by an American company. H & G is focused on wholesome meat with no added carbohydrates. It contains no soy, grains, glutens, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, beef liver and chicken liver. H & G is available in all 50 states and Canada.

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