Pet Tips: Preventing Illness

Today’s blog had an interesting if ultimately painful origin. There I was sitting at my desk, as I do every day, trying to come up with something to write about. Harvey, my occasionally loving feline, is sprawled upon my lap. She, with her eyes half open, allows me to gently massage her head, now and again nipping at my hand when my technique falters or, I suspect, she feels it’s time to communicate to me that I am only alive because she chooses to allow me to be so.

[I should probably take this opportunity to quickly explain that my cat is named Harvey even though she is a female feline femme fatale. I named her such because I have very fond memories of watching the 1946 musical, The Harvey Girls, with my grandmother at the tender age of seven. It really is very good and stars Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, and Angela Lansbury.]

I’m on day one of what I hope will not be a not too debilitating autumn cold. Harvey is nonplussed by the fact that I am constantly reaching for tissues, blowing my nose and generally destabilizing her chosen perch, my lap. I felt a sneeze coming on. I tried to suppress it but, alas, I could no longer resist it and let forth a sneeze that was both loud and that which sent a shudder through my entire body.

Harvey leapt off my lap but before doing so she dug her claws into my leg, providing the aforementioned painful inspiration for today’s blog. What follows this, undoubtedly cold-induced narcissistic rant is a number of, I hope, useful tips on how you can prevent your pet from getting sick.

  • You may feel the impulse to feed your pet larger quantities of food now that the weather is turning cold. Resist this urge no matter how dramatically your pet may try to sway you to the contrary. Obesity in pets can lead to diseases such as diabetes and osteoarthritis. Keeping your pet on a regular and regulated diet will make them better prepared to combat illness and will save you a lot of money.
  • Don’t skip vaccinations. Most vets have a yearly schedule of vaccines designed to keep your pet healthy. Though these vaccinations cost money they are crucial in preventing diseases such as rabies and other deadly yet easily preventable diseases. Some pet insurance plans will alleviate some of the cost of these vaccines. Plus, what’s money when compared to keeping your furry best friend happy and healthy.
  • On a similar note, make sure to take your pet to their annual exams, or semi-annual exams if your pet is getting on in years. If your pet develops a disease, or shows signs of a life threatening condition, the earlier your vet catches it the better.
  • I love hiking (not with my cat, of course, that seems like a disaster waiting to happen). When I had a dog in college and beyond we used to walk through the woods almost every day. If you do this with your dog as well be sure to check for fleas and ticks after every jaunt out into the woods together. These insects can transmit all manner of nasty diseases to your pet.
  • If you have a dog, don’t skimp on their heartworm medicine.
  • Along with your pet’s regular collar, be sure to have them wear a flea collar. If this is not to your, or your pet’s liking be sure to use some other type of anti-flea product.

Just because you have pet insurance doesn’t mean you can’t save a little money by keeping your pet healthy. Incidentally, if you haven’t yet enrolled your pet in insurance, be sure to read our reviews of companies like Healthy Paws, Embrace, Pets Best and many more right here at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>