Preventive Healthcare for Your Pet

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Not unlike their human counterparts, our pets can benefit from an ounce of prevention to avoid chronic debilitating diseases.

During the month of October, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) urges pet owners to visit their pet's veterinarian for a preventive health care check-up.

"Despite the ever-increasing emotional bond we have with our pets, research shows pets are getting less preventive healthcare," says Dr. René A. Carlson, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). "Consequently, illnesses that are totally preventable, such as dental infections, intestinal worms and heartworms, ear infections and diabetes, are on the increase. Every October, we encourage pet owners to bring their pets into their veterinarian for regular checkups."

This year, the AVMA has released a video with information on a growing, preventable pet health problem--obesity. Approximately 40 percent of dogs and cats are overweight today. The video offers pet owners some tips on how to know if your pet is overweight and what to do about an overweight pet.

"Once you determine your pet has a weight problem, the next thing you should do is speak with your veterinarian," Dr. C. A. Tony Buffington, a professor at The Ohio State University veterinary school and pet nutrition expert, said. "Having a conversation with your veterinarian about your pet, its eating habits, activity, lifestyle, and general health allows you to develop a specific and workable plan to keep your pet healthy."

Visit the AVMA's preventive medicine web page for free downloadable materials and poster. For more information about the AVMA, please visit www.avma.org.