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People love their pets and want them healthy and happy. There are myriad health risks to animals and it makes sense to be aware of them. The most reliable way to safeguard pets is to listen to the experts, the vets.

Neuter and Spay.

The best way to reduce the number of homeless pets in shelters is to have your dog and cat neutered or spayed. This is best done early; your vet will be able to advise when. It not only reduces the number of homeless animals, it also has other benefits. It reduces the tendency towards roaming and aggression and lowers cancer risk.

Fight Parasites.

The most common parasite that attacks pets is the flea. They can mean infection, loss of fur and skin irritations. They can also give dogs and cats tapeworms. Pets need protection all year round. Fleas can strike at any time and the risk is the same for any age of animal, from a veteran dog to a little chaton. It’s important to talk to your vet to make sure you’ve got the correct medication. Some medication designed for dogs can be lethal for cats.

Have them Checked Regularly.

pet's health check upPets can develop health problems over time. An annual check with your vet will be able to spot the problems early or prevent them. A visit every year will also mean pet owners can keep an eye on their pet’s weight. As with people, many pets are far too fat. That leads to other health problems; risk to the heart, arthritis and diabetes. And it’s overfeeding that causes obesity, in animals as in humans. A vet will be able to prescribed a healthy, balanced diet for your dog or cat. A labrador or border collie will need at lot more calories than, say, a fox terrier. How much you give your pet is governed by its size, age and level of activity. Be wary of what’s on the labels of your pet food. They normally suggest a larger helping which is suitable for working dogs. Smaller or older and sedentary animals won’t need that much. And what treats you’re giving them and how often will also have an effect on the number of calories they’re consuming.

Vaccinate your Pet.

It’s not just fleas and overfeeding that can cause problems. There are other common disease and conditions such as distemper, canine hepatitis, feline leukaemia and rabies. There are many variables as to when a pet needs to be vaccinated and your vet will be able to tell you. Pets can also suffer toothache, gum disease, abscesses and loss of teeth. It is a preventable illness. Regular brushing will do much to keep pets’ teeth healthy.

Stop Smoking.

Second-hand smoke can be as harmful to pets as it is to children. It’s not just that they inhale it. It gets into fur and when the animal grooms themselves, they ingest it. Your little chaton could be making itself ill when it cleans its fur.

Tom Brown is a complete animal lover with a fondness for Burmese cats and dachshunds. He writes on animal care and behaviour for a range of websites and blogs. He suggests that if you want to learn more, Hills Pet is a good place to start. Follow him on Google+