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What You Need to Know About Preventative Pet Care

by | May 8, 2020 | Pet Care

Vet and vet tech checks a Bulldog

The primary goal of practicing preventative pet care is to avoid serious future medical crises by taking care of health issues before they have a chance to become worse. By making the long-term health of our pets a top priority, we can avoid many medical problems and increase the longevity of our furry friends.

Preventative pet care starts by receiving a comprehensive evaluation from your vet based on your dog or cat’s individual health status and risk factors. Then, you’ll be able to determine what preventative visits, tests, or medications are necessary.

Why is Practicing Preventive Pet Care Important?

Vet checks a dog's oral health

We all know that going to our regular dentist visits can help prevent cavities or other dental issues from arising.

Similar to humans, pets need the same kind of preventative care. By going to your dog or cat’s annual wellness exams, the vet can monitor ongoing health issues, as well as notice new issues in order to catch them early on.

What are wellness exams and why are they crucial?

A wellness exam, or annual physical, is a health assessment that may include blood tests, urinalysis, and parasite screening. A wellness exam is recommended annually; however, if your pet is older or has chronic health conditions, it is recommended every six months.

Wellness exams for dogs

During a wellness exam, your veterinarian will ask you questions about your dog’s diet, exercise, hydration, breathing, bowel movements, urination, and general health. If your dog has allergies or another chronic illness, your vet will want to get accurate, up to date information about that as well. During the wellness exam, your vet will also perform a physical examination of your dog which includes:

  • Listening to their chest with a stethoscope.
  • Feeling specific areas of the body with their hands especially their bowels and lymph nodes.
  • Seeing how their coat and skin look and if there are any abnormalities.
  • Observing how your dog walks and stands.
  • Examining your dog’s eyes, nose, and overall dental hygiene.
  • Observing whether your dog is bright and alert.
  • Determining if your dog is underweight, good weight, or overweight.

A small dog takes a vaccine shot

Wellness exams for cats

During a wellness exam, your veterinarian will ask you questions about your cat’s diet, exercise, hydration, breathing, behavior, litter box habits, lifestyle (indoors or outdoors), and other general health questions. Your veterinarian will also perform a physical examination of your cat which may include:

  • Assessing alertness to your cat’s surroundings
  • Evaluating how your cat walks and stands
  • Reviewing their skin and coat health
  • Determining if your cat is underweight, good weight, or overweight
  • Taking your cat’s body temperature, as well as their respiratory and heart rate
  • Examining their eyes, ears, nose, and overall dental hygiene
  • Checking their thyroid glands, abdomen, and lymph nodes
  • Listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope

Vets check a gray cat's health

As your dog or cat ages, these wellness exams may have to occur more frequently than before. They also may include more tests and examinations depending on their breed and lifestyle.

What preventative care looks like as your pet ages

Just like humans, senior pets need more attention as they start getting older. It’s important to consult your vet about how to care for your senior pet and be prepared for possible age-related health issues. Senior pets may need more frequent visits to the veterinarian, possible changes in diet, and in some cases, alterations to their home environment.

In addition, taking certain vitamins and medications, like glucosamine, is a preventative measure vets often recommend so your pet’s joints stay in good shape. Losing weight is a good example of a lifestyle recommendation a vet may make as your pet ages as well.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Preventative Care?

Yes, but not all dog or cat insurance is alike. Prudent Pet offers preventative care add-ons that cover a wide variety of preventive tests and visits, these include:

  • Wellness exams
  • Heartworm test
  • FIV and FeLV tests
  • Fecal tests
  • Rabies vaccinations
  • Distemper/lepto
  • FVRCP vaccinations for cats
  • Bordetella immunizations
  • Dental cleanings
  • Spay or neutering
  • Deworming
  • Heartworm, flea, and tick preventative medications
  • Health certificates for traveling

Once you choose your main plan, you can choose between premium and basic preventative care add-ons. We make it easy to get the coverage you need to help protect your pet from harm’s way. Just like your main plan, add-ons give you the ability to avoid expensive vet bills.

It’s important to ask your vet what kind of tests and vaccinations your pet should get in the future. This can help determine if getting dog or cat insurance is the right choice for you and your furry friend. Not only is it important to find the right plan for you, but it’s important to find pet insurance that covers preventive care options.

The visits, medications, and tests mentioned above can help pet owners save a significant amount of money. For example, finding pet insurance that covers heartworm tests or distemper vaccinations before the actual issues arise, can save you thousands of dollars.

A family and dog show smiles

Preventative Pet Care at Prudent Pet

At Prudent Pet, we believe preventative care is the best kind of care; that’s why we offer preventative pet care plans to ensure those costs don’t become a burden. You pick the coverage you need and we’ll do the rest.

Don’t let expensive vet bills pile up, be proactive! Learn more about our flexible, affordable pet insurance plans, and get your FREE quote today.

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Jenna Brashear

As one of the most enthusiastic dog lovers in the Chicagoland suburbs, Jenna spends her free-time snuggling and exploring the wilderness (many dog parks and forest preserves) with her best friend, Rudy. Rudy is an adopted Tibetan Terrier mix who enjoys lounging around the house, begging for table scraps, and receiving his daily butt rub. With his black and white coat, curly tail and smelly toots, Rudy is often referred to as our little skunk. Rudy’s favorite past-time is barking at the waves created by our paddle boat and chasing the pesky rabbits out of his yard. We are enamored with him and can’t believe how lucky we are to call Rudy our furbaby.