It’s an old adage, but it’s one that we really believe in! Preventative healthcare is the key to maintaining good health in our pets as much as ourselves. In this blog, we’re going to look at preventative healthcare for dogs and cats, and explore how you can do the best for your four-legged friend on a budget.
What is preventative care?
As the name suggests, preventative care covers those treatments or interventions that are designed not to treat an existing disease, but to ensure that the disease doesn’t happen in the first place. They are almost always cheaper than treatment – although they do of course need to be done regularly. However, the other thing to remember is that the diseases we’re preventing can cause not just financial, but actual pain, suffering, and even death – and in some cases, are a risk to the humans in the house too!
What are we talking about here?
There are four major elements to preventative care in dogs and cats:
1) Regular check ups
This is really vital – statistics suggest that the majority of illnesses in dogs and cats are picked up by the vet at vaccination appointments, well before they’re severe enough to cause obvious symptoms. Any disease caught early is more likely to be successfully treated than one that’s caught too late – so regular checkups with a veterinary professional (a vet or vet nurse) are invaluable!
There are a wide range of potentially lethal infectious diseases that can attack dogs and cats. We strongly recommend vaccinating against the major killers – Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis in dogs, and Feline Leukaemia and Enteritis in cats. In addition, we can vaccinate to reduce the risk and severity of the common Kennel Cough and Cat Flu viruses and bacteria (parainfluenza and Bordetella in dogs, and Herpes and Calicivirus in cats). Vaccination is very low risk, high benefit procedure, and genuinely saves lives.
3) Flea Treatment
The most common reason for animals to need veterinary attention is skin problems… and the most common cause of skin disease is flea infestations! Fleas can also transmit disease (e.g. Tapeworms and Feline Infectious Anaemia), so treating for these nasties is a big step forward to reducing suffering.
Roundworms and tapeworms are common in dogs and cats – spread through faeces, caught directly from their mother as babies, or in prey they’ve caught and eaten – and in some cases can even infect humans (the roundworm Toxocara especially likes to crawl around inside children’s bodies, through the liver, brain and even into the eyeballs). Regularly killing off worms before they can breed is valuable for your pet’s health, and that of your family.
How much does it cost?
The cost, of course, does add up. While it can be tempting to buy cheaper worm and flea medications from supermarkets or pet shops, this isn’t necessarily saving you money, as these products are less effective than the prescription-strength options we recommend.
Our solution is to offer a Pet Health Plan – a set monthly fee (£9.50 for cats, and starting at £11 for dogs) which includes all your pet’s preventative healthcare – booster vaccines, flea and worm treatments, and six-monthly checkups! No extra costs for routine preventative medications – a full preventative programme is included.
Do I get anything else on the Pet Health Plan?
Yes – it also includes discounts on neutering, microchipping, dental treatment, and pet food; as well as free direct insurance administration if you need to make a claim. It isn’t pet insurance (you need that for emergencies), but it does cover all the routine preventative care!
How do I find out more?
Preventative healthcare really does save time, money and suffering. Whether or not you want to use our Pet Health Plans, please do make sure your pets are protected – there are enough unavoidable injuries and illnesses, we don’t need the preventable ones as well!