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5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Pet's Health

Updated on September 19, 2016
Maggie Bonham profile image

Maggie Bonham, or Margaret H. Bonham, is a multiple award-winning pet author and expert. She has written more than 20 books on pets.

If you love your cat or dog, you'll want him around a long time. While you can't account for all circumstances, there are things you can do to improve the chances of your pet living a long and healthy life. Here are five things you can do to improve your pet's health:

Spay or neuter your pet.

Spaying and neutering early greatly decreases the chances for certain cancers and reproductive problems that can be fatal such as breast cancer, testicular cancer, anal tumors and pyometra (a serious infection of the uterus). It can reduce behavior problems and reduce the urge to wander and escape.

Veterinary Exams

Do you have your pet visit the veterinarian for an annual exam?

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Bring your pet in for an annual veterinary exam.

Having your pet examined by your veterinarian may help catch health problems early before they become a real problem. Your veterinarian may be able to identify health problems that you may not have seen beforehand such as teeth problems, tumors, skin conditions, infections or even heart problems.

Follow your veterinarian's recommendations for preventative care.

Your veterinarian may recommend certain vaccinations, heartworm preventative, and flea and tick preventatives. Vaccinations will help prevent certain fatal diseases such as rabies, distemper and parvovirus. Heartworm preventative will help keep your pet from becoming infected with heartworm, which can kill both cats and dogs. Flea and tick preventatives will keep your pet more comfortable, but will also prevent tapeworm infections by killing the fleas which carry tapeworm, and will help prevent the spread of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease.

Keep your dog behind a fence and your cat indoors.

A pet who runs loose is at a greater risk of getting killed or injured by traffic, getting lost, or getting into dangerous situations. Many municipalities have leash laws and require that pets stay on your property. Even if yours doesn't, your pet is more likely to live longer safe at home.

Keep your pet at a healthy weight.

Like us, your pet will live longer if he's not fat. That means walking your dog or playing with your cat and keeping an eye on his weight. If you can't feel your pet's ribs, your pet is too fat and needs to shed some weight. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations and consider an exercise program for both of you. It doesn't have to be stringent - walks, playing ball or other activities might be just the ticket.

3 Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy

© 2014 Maggie Bonham

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    • Maggie Bonham profile image
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      Maggie Bonham 3 years ago from Missoula, Montana

      How old is old? Do you have a photo of her? Hair loss is not normal, even for older cats.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i have an old cat, her hair keeps dropping. Anything to do about it? She had been spayed and she is an outdoor cat

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