As we begin 2012, we thought it would be fun to highlight a concise 12-Step Program outlining how to best care for your pet(s). It's not a 12-step program in the traditional sense. We challenged our staff with the following question:
"What are the 12 most important steps required to have a happy, healthy pet?"It was interesting to hear all of their ideas, and it was difficult to limit the list to just 12 items. The list represents those areas that we believe are most critical in maintaining an optimal state of health.
The 12-Step Program is listed below. The steps are not listed in any particular order; they're all important. How are you doing with the program? You may have additional ideas; feel free to share them with us on Facebook!
As always, thanks again for allowing us at Westside to play a role in the care of your pet. We strive to be your partner throughout all stages of your pet's life.
- Your tender loving care!
This one's a no-brainer!
- Annual physical exam
Check-ups are key! Regular exams are important to ensure that everything with your pet is normal and up-to-date. Pets age a lot more quickly than people do, and a lot can change over the course of a year. Regular exams allow us to identify any potential problems early.
- Intestinal parasite control
Is that a WORM I see? Intestinal worms and parasites aren't just disgusting; they can cause a poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort in pets. In addition, intestinal parasites in pets can represent a threat to humans in the household as well. We recommend analyzing a stool sample from your pet at least once per year, and any time your pet is having problems such as diarrhea. Monthly de-worming medication is also important.
- Heartworm prevention
Don't let YOUR pet contract heartworm disease! Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes, and both dogs and cats (even those exclusively indoors) are at risk. A simple monthly medication is all that's required to protect your pet.
- Flea & tick control
What's buggin' Fido? Fleas and ticks can make your pet miserable, and they are a source for numerous disorders and diseases. Ask us about all of the great control options available!
- Proper nutrition
Skip the junk food! High-quality food may not be cheap, but it's often a better deal than many people realize. Poor-quality foods usually contain more indigestible fillers, which requires your pet to eat a larger quantity of food (and leaves you with more stool volume to clean up!). Premium nutrition promotes a healthier pet — including a nicer haircoat.
Besides lessening pet overpopulation, there are numerous health benefits as well. Read more here...
- Dental care
Sparkling smile! Dental disease is one of the most common problems we see. Tartar on your pet's teeth contributes to oral odor and discomfort in your pet. As teeth become diseased, they're painful, and eventually decay and loosen. Read more here...
Immunity! Pets get infectious diseases just like people do, and vaccinations are a simple way to prevent or lessen the severity of these diseases. The doctors will customize a vaccination protocol based on the individual needs of your pet.
- Maintenance of a healthy weight
Is Chester looking chubby? Being overweight or obese contributes to diseases/conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer, and has been shown to shorten life expectancy. Moderation in feeding, along with regular exercise, is the key!
- Wellness blood testing
Lab work is our friend! Unfortunately, not every problem is detectable by physical exam alone. Blood testing is a simple means of screening your pet for infectious diseases and for diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and thyroid disorders. Early detection is always preferable to waiting for disease symptoms to develop.
- A great veterinary medical team
This is where the Westside team comes in. We work hard at providing cutting-edge care in a friendly and compassionate environment. The doctors are approachable and take the time to properly explain how to best care for your pet. The entire Westside team will help make you and your pet feel at ease.