Lack of proper preventative and wellness care is one of the most common preventable causes of illness and emergency visits. Responsibilities of pet ownership include proper vaccination (especially in puppies and kittens!) and parasite control, socialization/training, grooming (proper care of the coat and nails), nutrition/exercise, and dental care. Comment below if you have had to learn the hard way about BAD PREVENTATIVE AND WELLNESS CARE!

1.7 Bad Preventatives & Wellness Care

People don’t know that there are some wellness items that they need to attend to.

1. Vaccination & parasite control. To prevent diseases like Parvo and heartworm. Parvo’s nearly 100% preventable but we still see tons of puppies dying from it. It’s preventable and super hard to treat and expensive – there’s no cure for it. They say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Parvo is the perfect example of that. Make sure that if you get a pet, if you’re a new pet owner, that you get in touch with one of the family vets right away and you make sure that you’re on the right schedule so that the little guys will receive all of their immunizations and de-warming so that they don’t become sick from preventable infectious diseases.

2. Caring for the nails/claws routinely:

  • If they get too long they break easily.
  • Broken nails: if they get infected it can cause a bone infection and sometimes those pets have to have their digits amputated.
  • The dewclaws don’t usually touch the ground or get worn so the nail can actually grow into a circle and embed itself in the pad.

The most important thing is to do it in a way that is fear-free. Many pets are terrified of nail trims. Desensitization and training can help.

3. Routine grooming for long-haired pets to prevent matting, skin infections, maggots, etc. Long-haired breeds do require regular grooming. If they become matted this can lead to health problems like skin infections. We’ve even had some pets so severely matted that they were unable to go to the bathroom.

4. Routine dental care. Take good care of your pet’s teeth and you’re less likely to need more invasive procedures like extractions.

5. Proper nutrition & exercise. Over feeding of large breed puppies, growing too fast and obesity can lead to joint problems and lack of exercise.

6. Socialization and training. 

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Here are the 3 best pieces of advice from the emergency vet that could save your pet’s life:


If you wait too long, it could be too late. This is especially true for concerns such as laboured breathing, pale gums and weakness. You know your pet best, so if you are worried or concerned, “when in doubt, check it out!”


Learn as much as possible about dangers that face your pet, such as household poisons, seemingly harmless objects (such as toys, clothing, garbage and rocks), other animals, and vehicles. Pets are like toddlers and they need a responsible adult/babysitter to protect them from danger. Puppies and kittens need to start their vaccines at 8 WEEKS (and they need boosters too!) to protect them from deadly diseases.


Have a plan in place, know your nearest emergency clinic, have the ASPCA phone number on speed dial. Know basic first aid training and CPR. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE FINANCIALLY PREPARED. The cost of medical treatment in an emergency, and the owners’ ability to pay for it, is probably the most important factor that determines whether a pet will receive the medical care it needs. The best way to protect yourself is to have good medical insurance for your pet. Do your research.

**REMEMBER**: WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM, with the best interest of the patient as everyone’s first priority. Let your vet do what he/she does best, and don’t try to grab the steering wheel and obstruct your vet from doing his/her job. We are all in the same car, we are all headed to the same place, but only one of us has the driver’s license (meaning, only the vet has the medical training and background to “drive the car”).

Please remember to spay/ neuter your pet, and to donate to your local animal shelter- they really need your help!


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