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a shiba inu getting his teeth inspected by a female vet. He is earing a harness while his owner holds onto him. preventative pet care.

How To Master Preventative Pet Care: Tips And Advice

We all want our pets to live as long as possible while giving them the best quality of life. Preventative pet care is essential in helping your pet live a long, healthy life. While hereditary and genetic conditions aren’t reversible, preventative care can assist in managing them. Preventative pet care for dogs and cats is quite simple and includes annual vet checkups, having a healthy diet, staying on top of their dental care, and providing enough exercise. Read on while we go over the essentials of preventive care, speak to some HICC Pet® employees about their pets, and how HICC Pet® can make it even easier.

"Proper grooming and gut health are more important than most pet parents realize."

Brandon, HICC Pet®

1. Regular Veterinary Check-Ups and Wellness Maintenance

Annual veterinary check-ups and physical exams are crucial for preventative pet care. At these exams, vets will measure your pet’s weight, examine their teeth, eyes, and ears, and check for any lumps or bumps. It is also recommended to do a standard blood panel, especially for senior pets. Vaccinations are highly suggested for maintaining your pet’s health and preventing potential issues. Your veterinarian will advise you on which vaccinations are needed.


Take it from Christina, Social Media Manager at HICC Pet®, when we asked her about what it was like adopting a new dog and anything she wished she had known prior: “Adopting a small dog (chihuahua) in my early twenties I quickly learned how easy and important regular vet checkups were, as well as signing up for pet insurance right away and keeping a log of her vet records.”


It’s also crucial to keep in mind that each pet’s general health care will look different, especially those of special needs animals as they often have different health needs. Take it from Cara, the HICC Pet® Brand Manager: "I rescued a cat that has FIV, aka feline AIDS, and I wish I had known about hypochlorous acid sooner. Since he has a compromised immune system, any sort of scratch or injury takes a lot longer to heal. The HOCl sprays have been a lifesaver for us."


2. Nutrition and Diet

We as humans often watch what we eat, striving for a balanced diet with the proper nutrients to feel our best and maintain our health. It should be no different for our pets. A proper diet can help them feel their best and prolong their life. The nutritional needs of dogs and cats are more complex than what typical low-cost, store-bought kibble can provide. Their diet plays a crucial role in their overall health and well-being, especially as they age. Look for products with limited, natural ingredients, with protein listed as one of the first or second ingredients. It’s crucial to keep in mind a pet’s natural diet. For example, Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine has stated that cats are obligate carnivores, depending on nutrients found only in animal products, with high protein, moderate fat, and minimal carbohydrates.

preventative pet care_cat eating raw meat

3. Dental Care

Dental care is often overlooked in preventative care, but it's crucial for keeping your pet's teeth intact and preventing bacterial infections. Christina shared her experience: "I later learned [post-adoption] that dental issues are a common problem for chihuahuas. The pressure of knowing I needed to do more left me overwhelmed." Small dogs, like chihuahuas, are naturally prone to dental issues, often ending up toothless in old age.


Maintaining dental care is simple. Pets, especially dogs, should have an annual dental cleaning and daily or weekly at-home maintenance. Christina found dental wipes to be a great alternative to toothbrushes: "I really wish I had discovered dental wipes sooner! They have been a godsend for us!" Additionally, you can use oral care spray with hypochlorous acid for further maintenance.

4. Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Obesity in pets is a silent killer. It’s one of the most preventable conditions in pets yet in the United States, 25-30% of dogs and 40% of cats are overweight in some capacity. Not only does obesity lead to joint issues such as osteoarthritis but it can also cause diabetes mellitus and heart issues, prohibit physical movement and exercise as well, and significantly reduce their life span. Physical exercise not only helps in maintaining a healthy weight but also promotes good cardiovascular health and strengthens muscles.

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation as it can prevent boredom and reduce behavioral issues such as excessive barking or anxiety. Examples of mental stimulation include interactive toys and treat puzzles, training, and engaging activities like scent work. Mental and physical stimulation is crucial for pets to maintain their overall well-being an to lead a fulfilling, healthy life.


5. Grooming and Hygiene

Grooming and proper hygiene can sometimes take a backseat to other care or people think that all they need is a trip to the groomers every 6-8 weeks. However, grooming should be a part of your pet’s regular routine in order to maintain their fur, skin, and hygiene. However, this doesn’t just mean giving your pet a bath when they get a bit dirty. It includes regular brushing, ear cleaning, potentially “sanitary trims” to keep the back end clean and more. To make at home-grooming easy, you can implement HICC Pet®’s  Ear Relief Finger Wipes to clean out gunk and debris thus helping to prevent ear infections. Grooming wipes are useful for in-between baths to keep your pet clean and fresh, while anal gland wipes can help prevent discomfort and infection. Incorporating these grooming practices into your pet's routine can contribute to their overall health and well-being.


Conclusion

We all want our pets to live long, healthy lives. Preventative pet care is essential for this. While hereditary and genetic conditions can't be reversed, preventative pet care can help manage them. This care includes annual vet checkups, a healthy diet, dental care, and enough exercise. HICC Pet®'s Business Development Manager, Brandon, reflects on the evolving understanding of pet care: "When I was a kid, I was always told that dogs are dogs, and they don't really need much in the way of healthcare. They sleep outside and eat brown kibble. Thankfully, I've had the opportunity to learn so much more and now can teach others about preventative healthcare and nutrition for pets. Making sure you know how to take care of your pets both inside and out can really prolong their lives. Proper grooming and gut health are more important than most pet parents realize."


By implementing these preventative pet care efforts, you can ensure your best friends lead healthier, happier lives. Regular check-ups, a balanced diet, dental care, exercise, mental stimulation, and proper grooming are all vital components of comprehensive pet care.

Please note that the information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. We are not veterinarians, and the content shared here should not be considered professional veterinary advice.

If you have any questions regarding copyrights or the use of materials in this article, please contact us for clarification.

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