By Dr. Joanne Gaines
18142 Wright Street
Omaha, NE 68130
With spring just around the corner, we wanted to get advice from our Edge Magazine pet expert, Dr. Joanne Gaines of Ridgeview Animal Hospital. She shares healthy springtime tips for your dog or cat.
As we enter warmer weather, most people know fleas and ticks (external parasites) will begin to show up in our yards and thus, our pets. Internal parasites (which we worry about year-round) and external parasites can be easily prevented by medications prescribed by your veterinarian. Most pet owners are familiar with these products. New medications are available this year with better coverage, including an oral flea and tick preventative treat.
Obesity is a major issue for some pets. Often due to spoiling our pets with treats, obesity leads to joint problems and many other conditions. Weight loss can be accomplished by controlling the number of calories and how much fat is consumed, as well as how much exercise the pet gets. Several newer foods are available that speed up metabolism and help with weight loss.
Dental disease occurs in 80 percent of dogs over 2 years of age. It can be slowed by brushing the teeth daily with pet toothpaste and a regular toothbrush. Most pets need professional dental cleanings once a year at a veterinary clinic. These cleanings and daily brushing help prevent tooth loss, root infections, and secondary problems such as heart valve infections.
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