Taking care of a cat or dog is a big responsibility. Are you prepared?
You know you need to dog or cat-proof your home and make sure they won’t be able to ingest or interact with anything potentially toxic. You’ve set aside time in your weekly schedule to play with them or take them for a walk. It still never hurts to do a little more research on how you can ensure the health of your pets. Some of the most common health issues, such as heartworm and bloating, can be prevented by signing up with contract lab services and doing yearly check-ups. Failing to do so can put your cat or dog in danger of a serious illness.
Here’s what you should know about the heartworm antigen, bloating and the more common issues facing cats and dogs today.
Cats And Dogs Are The Most Popular Pets In America
How many cats and dogs do you own? These domesticated animals have remained the most popular pets not just in the United States, but across the world. It’s estimated there are over 80 million dogs and 95 million cats owned in America alone. Not only is pet culture pervasive for pragmatic reasons such as herding and guarding, your cats and dogs are wonderful companions that brighten your life every day. A PetFinder.com poll revealed over 65% of dog owners, and nearly 60% of cat owners, will give their pets gifts on Christmas.
Heartworm Is Common, But Painful
When you adopt an animal you need to be aware of the more common health issues they face. The heartworm antigen is in the top five most frustrating problems your dog or cat can run into. It’s estimated one million dogs are heartworm positive in the United States each year. While an infected dog can have 30 or more worms in their hearts and lungs, cats usually just need one or two to start feeling sick. Puppies under seven months of age are able to be started on a heartworm prevention without a heartworm test (that of which can take a dog at least six months to test positive after an infection.
Bloating Can Be Easily Prevented
It’s not just a heartworm antigen you need to keep an eye on when categorizing your pet’s health. Another issue your dog can face is bloating. This condition is caused by eating too much too quickly, characterized by a swelling stomach, difficulty walking and a lowered appetite. Although purebred dogs are more likely to experience bloating, dogs of any size and age can come down with this condition. A good way to prevent bloating is to distribute meal sizes and discourage ‘gobbling’. Regular exercise in the form of intensive walks or play is also vital.
Psychological Health Is Just As Important
Before you look into a contract laboratory program, ask yourself how you are prioritizing your cat or dog’s mental health. Yes, even animals need to be kept company and cheered up to maintain their health. Cats that aren’t played with on a regular basis can become bored and even depressed, turning their energy instead to chewing on furniture or eating food off the ground. If your dog is starting to chew on your shoes or constantly bark, that could be a sign it’s not getting enough stimulation in its day-to-day life. Set aside an extra hour throughout your week to spend time with them and watch their health thrive.
You Should Visit Lab Services Every Year
When you want to keep your pets healthy, you need to always check in with your local clinical diagnostics laboratory and get a professional eye. Even when your pet is doing well a quick check-up can ensure nothing has slipped under your nose. Puppies and kittens should have a heartworm antigen done, while older animals can benefit from a check-up once per year. Heartworm treatment can cost up to $1,000, making a monthly preventative plan a bargain in comparison. When in doubt? Regular exercise, good food and plenty of play will keep many issues at bay.
Taking care of your pets is a big responsibility, but it’s well worth the effort.