The Importance of Preventative Care for Pets: Top 3 Reasons Why Prevention is Always Better Than Cure

Ever hear the saying, “An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of Cure?” It’s true in many cases, and especially when it comes to preventative care for pets. Still, there are many pet owners who will neglect preventative measures—many incorrectly believing that they are expensive, time-intensive, or even unnecessary.The result: increased need of costly veterinary services later on.

For clarification, we’ve curated our top three examples of what you’ll avoid by taking just a few simple preventative measures in your dog and cat’s wellness care.

Diet

Sure, to some people, dog food looks like dog food no matter what the packaging looks like.  In reality, there’s a lot to consider when you are choosing a food for your four-legged vacuum cleaner. How old is your pet? What is the activity level? Are there any underlying or continuing health concerns or diseases you need to consider? Should you choose low-fat or high-protein? Does more expensive always mean better?

You can get bogged down in all the decisions to be made, or you can try the simplest route: talk to your veterinarian. They know your pet’s health needs better than anyone else does, and can make recommendations as to what type of diet is best for them.  At Ambassador Animal Hospital we make diet counseling part of each wellness exam, and are happy to answer your nutrition questions.

Parasite Treatments for Dogs and Cats

We’ve all heard the soapbox speeches about how important flea treatments and heartworm preventatives can be, but how important are they, really?

Well, it turns out, they’re actually pretty important. In terms of fleas, prevention may cost you about $15-30 a month. But have you ever considered what it would cost if you had an outbreak? You could be looking at flea treatments, additional medications for skin infections or rashes, special shampoos, and even (gasp!) flea-bombing your whole house. In short, these little bugs are a big deal, and you’ll want to prevent them getting a foothold in your life—and off your precious pet—if at all possible.

Another major parasite you may forget about is heartworms. Because these creepy-crawlers are inside your dog’s heart and in the blood stream, it’s easy to forget about them until there’s a problem—and when there is a problem, it’s already major. You’re already looking at an expensive treatment protocol that can stretch on for months.  Sometimes it’s too late and the disease will be fatal. On the other hand, heartworm preventatives can be as inexpensive as $40 for a 6-month supply.  And heartworm preventatives are usually coupled with intestinal parasites treatments, to keep your pet as protected as possible.

Pet Vaccinations

Just like parasite prevention, pet vaccinations are something that are far cheaper on the front end than on the back end. The most common vaccinations—rabies and parvo—are usually required in order to have any type of grooming or boarding service or medical treatment, and cost a small amount each year. Other vaccinations that might be recommended for your pet to protect against diseases—like Bordetella (a.k.a. Kennel Cough), Feline Leukemia or Lyme disease—are typically determined based on your pet’s lifestyle and home environment. These vaccines may cost a total of say $50 per year, while on the other hand, treating any one of these diseases after the fact can be hundreds of dollars.  Besides, $50 to protect your family member from illnesses that makes them look and feel miserable, well that seems like a no-brainer.

With any or all of these scenarios, there’s one person who has an idea of what is best for your pet: your family veterinarian, so make sure to make annual or semi-annual wellness checkups for your pet.  Feel free to bring up any questions or concerns you may have about your pet at these visits, and pick you veterinarian’s brain about all of these topics.  Give us a call at Ambassador Animal Hospital in Greenville, SC for more information, or to schedule a wellness check-up for your pet.

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