1. Regular Exams are Vital
Just like you, your pet can get heart problems, develop arthritis, or have a toothache. The best way to prevent such problems or catch them early is to see your veterinarian every year.
Regular exams are "the single most important way to keep pets healthy," says Kara M. Burns, MS, Med, LVT, president of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians.
Annual vet visits should touch on nutrition and weight control, says Oregon veterinarian Marla J. McGeorge, DVM, as well as cover recommended vaccinations, parasite control, dental exam, and health screenings.
2. Spay and Neuter Your Pets
Eight million to 10 million pets end up in U.S. shelters every year. Some are lost, some have been abandoned, and some are homeless.
Here's an easy way to avoid adding to that number -- spay and neuter your cats and dogs. It's a procedure that can be performed as early as six to eight weeks of age.
Spaying and neutering doesn't just cut down on the number of unwanted pets; it has other substantial benefits for your pet. Studies show it also lowers the risk of certain cancers, Burns tells WebMD, and reduces a pet's risk of getting lost by decreasing the tendency to roam.
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