No one likes to have to take their pet to the vet, especially if it can be avoided. We have visits every day where a pet is sick or injured because of something that could have been prevented. Here are some tips on the top 3 vet visits that could be avoided by making changes at home.
We often see dogs with torn nails and cats with nails growing into the pads, both of which result in pain and limping. Sometimes these conditions can even lead to an infection. The next time you are seeing a vet, ask them to show you how to clip the nails. Discuss recommendations on which nail trimmers to buy, as this can make a big difference. Ask to be shown how to restrain your pet during the nail trims. Most pets do not mind having their nails trimmed if you are gentle. If you feel uncomfortable clipping your own pet’s nails, schedule regular trimmings with a technician or groomer. Keeping their nails short with regular nail trimming will help prevent visits for damaged and painful nails.
2. Gastrointestinal Upset
Most of the dogs and cats that we see with vomiting and diarrhea are a result of something that was fed. Feeding table scraps, fatty treats or switching types of pet food suddenly are the 3 main culprits. Remember that table scraps and treats are often very fatty and difficult for dogs and cats to digest. Fatty pieces of meats are the number one table scrap to upset a pet’s stomach and may lead to severe conditions including pancreatitis or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Also remember that abruptly switching foods without a gradual transition can be very difficult for our pets, preventing proper digestion and causing them to be sick. When you are transitioning foods try to make the switch over a week period, gradually decreasing the old food and increasing the new food. If you want to prevent gastrointestinal upset, stick to a regular diet and avoid fatty treats and table scraps.
3. Skin Infections
Fleas and matted hair are two of the top reasons for skin infections that can easily be prevented. Fleas cause severe irritation for cats and dogs that result in scratching and large sores as well as other problems. Long haired dogs and cats that don’t groom themselves or aren’t groomed regularly will start to develop large mats of hair. These mats are painful and can trap dead skin underneath. It is important to take care of your pet’s skin by preventing against fleas and skin parasites and keeping the coat healthy.
By remembering these things at home, you can help keep your pets healthy and prevent costly vet visits. Call or visit your veterinarian today if you are concerned that your pet may be showing signs of any of these conditions.