Top 10 Ways to Participate in National Pet Wellness Month

Super Smiley, blog dog, here with the news that October is National Pet Wellness Month!

Like people, we dogs love to be in tip-top shape! A good lifestyle starts with smart choices including quality food and exercise. Veterinarians play a big part, too, with information about vaccinations and preventative treatments like heartworm medication.

But let’s start at the beginning. What is National Pet Wellness Month?

National Pet Wellness Month is sponsored by The American Veterinary Medical Association as a way to remind pet stewards to stay on top of their pet’s health. The goal is to help pets and their people enjoy a long healthy life together. We pets may not love going to the veterinarian, but in the long run it pays off, big time!

  1. Start your pets off right by making sure they have all of the vaccinations appropriate for where you live. If you have puppies or kittens, be extra sure to complete all of their “baby” shot sequences to insure their immunity to life-threatening diseases later.
  2. Next, make sure your pets are treated with the proper pest treatments for your area, like fleas, ticks or heartworms.
  3. Spay/Neuter! This can help keep your pet healthier by helping prevent mammary, uterine and testicular tumors.
  4. Remember to take your pets in for their annual vet visit! This way your veterinarian can check for current health issues. And, very important – Your vet can compare your pet’s current state to his “baseline” state from when you first got him. This way changes can be tracked as he improves or as he ages.
  5. Annual vet visits can save your pet’s life! Your pet may be acting fine, but your vet may discover a dangerous condition before it becomes symptomatic! Proactive vet visits are priceless!

Good job Super Smiley! Megan here now with more ways and reasons to observe and celebrate National Pet Wellness Month.

  1. Annual vet visits can save money! Barry Kellogg, VMD, senior veterinary advisor for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA), believes that “Yearly visits to your veterinarian [and] preventative care allows for early detection of problems and often saves money on overall veterinary costs by treating problems before they become serious.”
  2. Weight management. Is your pet fit and trim? Approximately 53 percent of dogs and 55 percent of cats are overweight. That is really high! A good diet and regular exercise can be a great start here for Pet Wellness Month.
  3. Healthy nutrition. Most commercial pet foods are formulated to provide a balanced diet for your pet’s life stage. You can look for the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) label stating the food has been found to provide complete nutrition. Check with your veterinarian for food suggestions and serving sizes, but generally, dogs should be fed about one cup of dry food per day for every 25 pounds of ideal weight for your dog. So a dog with an ideal weight of 50 pounds may need two cups of food per day, and a fit 12 pound dog may need one cup per day. But these estimates depend upon your dog’s activity level, his metabolism, age and other factors. So, when you go for his wellness check, be sure to ask about his diet!
  4. Dental care! Poor dental hygiene can not only lead to dental infections and tooth loss, but also to blood disorders, systemic infections, kidney failure and death. So, as part of his wellness check, be sure to check his teeth! As with us, you can have his teeth professionally cleaned once a year, and now non-anesthetic cleaning is available. And, you can brush your pet’s teeth daily and turn that into bonding time!
  5. Like with puppies and kittens, senior pets need special care. They may need more water and higher quality proteins in their diets. Priscilla, my geriatric cat, required subcutaneous fluids dripped into her daily through a needle into her skin for the last two years of her life! And, she lived to be 26! All of that extra effort was worth every extra moment we had with her. Your wellness visit will address what is specifically best for your senior pet and how you can help them.

Like Super Smiley said, the goal is to keep your pets in tip-top shape for as long as possible. We wish you the best of luck and a great National Pet Wellness Month!

Until Next Time,
Woof and Super Smiles from
Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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