Unexpected Contributors To Your Pet's Longevity

Posted by Dr. Lisa Killian, DVM on

Unexpected Contributors To Your Pet's Longevity

If there’s one thing that all pet owners can agree on, it’s that pets are part of the family - no questions asked.

Like any other family member, we want our pets to be as healthy and happy as possible, for as long as possible. To ensure this, it’s crucial that pets receive a comprehensive level of care that addresses a wide variety of concerns - even unexpected ones.

Here are a few unexpected contributors to your pet’s lifespan to be mindful of.

Dental care

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is extremely common among pets. In fact, almost 80% of dogs begin showing signs of it by age 2.

Like its human counterpart, gum disease is caused by a buildup of food and bacteria, which turns into plaque, which then accumulates along the gum line. This is not only very painful, but if left untreated, can potentially cause damage to the kidney, lungs, and even heart.

Prevention, as with anything, is critically important to preventing the spread of periodontal disease and any repercussions. Be sure to get your pet’s teeth checked at least once a year.

Inconsistent healthcare

On that note, routine veterinary visits are paramount to not only the lifespan of a pet, but also their quality of life. Just like you (hopefully) wouldn’t miss your own annual exam or visit to the doctor, your pet shouldn’t either.

How often your pet should visit a vet will vary by age. For example, puppies and senior dogs will need more regular checkups (at least twice a year) than a healthy adult (typically once a year is fine). These visits will help you and your vet catch any emerging conditions early and treat them as soon as possible, thereby saving your pet from potentially significant pain and discomfort.

We know that questions about your pet can come up and anytime of the day or night, that’s why we’re here! Click here to download our App and start chatting with our team.

Spay and Neuter

Spaying and neutering pets has many benefits for pets beyond, well, spaying and neutering.

According to the ASPCA, spaying females “helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats.” Furthermore, neutering males reduces their risk of testicular cancer, prostate problems, and may even make them less aggressive.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Chances are, if you’re reading this, your pet likely got started on Fuzzy with Flea and Tick meds. We told you they’re important!

Aside from causing your pet to itch constantly, fleas and ticks can lead to more severe forms of skin irritation and dermatitis that may warrant a need for antibiotics. Antibiotics are hard on our pets’ bodies, and while they may be effective in treating a condition, like fleas, they may cause side effects like lethargy, nausea, or loss of appetite.

At the end of the day, our pets’ health is multi-faceted, much like our own. We go to our annual checkups and save for retirement and plan for a long life, let’s be sure to create the same vision and opportunities for ours to do the same.

Click here to chat with a vet about how to help your pet live their longest, best life.