5 Ways to Celebrate Your Pet During Pet Wellness Month
Did you know that October is National Pet Wellness Month? That’s a whole 31 days devoted to caring for your pet’s physical and mental well-being! This initiative was started in 2004 and is meant to educate pet parents on the importance of regular wellness check-ups - because we all want our best friends to live long, happy lives! Keep reading to learn about five things you can do to celebrate Pet Wellness Month with your furry family member.
1. Visit the Vet!
No one really likes to visit the doctor…unless it means you get showered in treats and belly rubs…
October is a great time to schedule that appointment for a wellness check-up for your pet. Regular exams with your vet are important for early disease detection, treatment, and prevention. Because pets age much more quickly than we do, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that your pet visit her doctor every 6 months.
2. Take Care of Those Teeth
Dental disease is one of the most common health concerns in cats and dogs. Luckily, many of these problems can be prevented with routine check-ups and dental care at home.
Check your pet’s mouth regularly. You should see healthy, pink gums and white teeth with little to no tartar (brownish build-up). Look for wounds and broken teeth. Then… take a sniff! Does your pet have unusually bad breath? If you notice any concerns, be sure to call your vet right away.
And speaking of your vet, don’t forget to schedule that professional dental cleaning! Most dogs and cats over the age of three should have their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian every one to three years. Your vet will be able to clean those hard to reach places and thoroughly examine your pet’s mouth. Early disease detection, treatment, and prevention for the win, again!
For more information on dental care ideas and vet-approved products visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council website.
3. Stay Up-to-Date on Your Pet’s Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Preventatives
Parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworm are easily avoided by keeping up with your pet’s monthly preventative medications. Check with your vet to see what’s recommended in your area.
Skin and intestinal parasites commonly carry diseases that can cause serious problems for your pet (and you!). If your pet is mostly outdoors, travels with you, or hunts rodents and birds, protecting them from parasites is especially important. For more information, check out our article on Deworming Your Dog.
4. Watch Their Weight
Unfortunately, pet obesity is almost as common as dental disease. Sometimes it’s even hard to know if your pet is overweight. For help, check out our guide on Body Condition Scores for dogs and cats.
Obesity in pets can lead to disorders such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and arthritis. But you can help your pet live a longer, happier life if his weight is carefully managed. During your wellness check-up with the vet be sure to chat about recommendations for proper diet, exercise, and weight management for your pet.
5. Play! Pet! Repeat!
Spending quality time with your cat or dog has well-known health benefits for all of you. Take time every day to play a game, go for a walk, and snuggle on the couch. As a member of your family, your pet wants to feel included in your activities and conversations (pets are great listeners!).
For more ideas, take a look at our articles on Indoor Activities and Outdoor Activities to enjoy with your pets.
The Facts About Pet Health Insurance
Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding pet wellness month or another condition?
Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.