Preventative Care
for Dogs & Cats

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—or in this case, a pound of fur. And our fur babies, just like human newborns, need our help in taking care of themselves.

So what does preventative cat and dog care look like?

Through regular grooming, dental cleanings, vet check-ups, and attentive observation, we can help our four-legged friends live happy, healthy lives. Beyond practicing consistent pet care every day, we can protect our pets by monitoring them for warning signs and seeking veterinary guidance if anything seems off.

Our team of Certified Pet Lifestyle Experts are sharing tips to help bolster your pet’s well-being through the creation of 360° Pet Lifestyle Plans.

Clean Coat, Happy Pet

A-B-Cs (and D-Es) of Pet Hygiene

Proper cat and dog hygiene is all about consistency and maintenance. Rather than waiting for a problem to arise and then addressing it, you can follow these A-B-Cs of a solid grooming experience:

Always be aware of abnormalities

Brush and bathe regularly according to breed

Cut their claws once a month

Demonstrate daily dental care

Engage in an ear cleaning to avoid infection

Spot the Warning Signs

Brushing and Bathing Basics: Skin & Fur

Unfortunately, our pets can’t exactly tell us what’s wrong. However, they can usually show us. Consistently check for abnormalities around the eyes, ears, and mouth, and inspect your dog’s for fleas, ticks, rashes, and other irritants.

Remember these visible and behavioral warning signs and act accordingly:

Dental issues

Bad breath, sudden drooling, tartar build-up, or avoiding facial contact

Time for a bath

Dandruff, bad smell, and excessive itching or rubbing against the carpet (as well as obvious visible signs like muddy or matted hair and mites or fleas)

Ear infection

Head shaking or tilt, ear scratching or itching, red, swollen inner ear, dark discharge, and altered balance

Nails need a trim

Toenails clicking against hardwood floors

An underlying health problem

Obsessive or complete lack of self-grooming in cats, or sudden personality changes in dogs and cats

Practicing Proper Pet Grooming

Brushing and Bathing Basics: Skin & Fur

Each breed has vastly different needs, which is why you should always ask a veterinarian about your

  • Slowly, calmly introduce your pet to brushing and bathing over time.
  • Use unscented, pet-friendly shampoo and conditioner.
  • Brush dogs daily or every other day to avoid matted, tangled fur. If you encounter matted sections, consider taking them to a professional groomer.
  • Always bathe your pet in warm conditions; hot water can be scalding and outdoor baths in cold weather can result in dangerous drops in body temperature.
  • Create a relaxing bathing experience by gently pouring water over your pup, rather than splashing or spraying.

Claws and Overgrown Nails: Tip Top Nail Trimming

Just like humans, your pet’s nails will grow indefinitely. If left unattended, that can cause some serious discomfort and even sharp pain—after all, they’re constantly putting pressure on them as they walk, run, and play.

To prevent overgrown nails, trim their nails regularly but only if you feel comfortable doing so; otherwise, recurring trips to the vet or groomers will be a much safer option.
Cutting their nails too short or clipping the quick can be extremely painful. Use proper equipment, such as specific cat or dog nail clippers or a rotary trimmer, and always keep a cauterizing powder on hand to stop bleeding.

Dental Fundamentals: Key to Pearly Whites

Dental care is about more than clean teeth—it impacts your pet’s overall health and well-being! At minimum, dogs need a solid tooth brushing at least three times a week (daily is even better). Use dental treats and toys to stimulate chewing, which naturally cleans the mouth, strengthens their teeth, and
prevents plaque buildup.

For a full list of dental duties, brush up on healthy oral hygiene tips with us!

Ears: Infection Prevention

Infections require prompt professional veterinary care and should not be treated with at-home remedies. However, you can take an active role in preventing such infections with a regular ear cleaning:

  • Moisten a cotton ball or swab with either warm water or a pet-friendly cleaning solution and gently clean the inside of your cat or dog’s ears.
  • Focus primarily on the ear’s surface and visible nooks and crannies. Do not attempt to “clean out” their ear canals, as you can easily puncture their eardrum.
  • Meticulously dry your cat or dog’s ears after swimming or bathing, as wet ear canals are the ideal home for nasty bacteria and pests.

A Smarter Approach to Preventative Pet Care

At-home preventative care is a great start. When it comes to pet health and wellness, it’s comforting to have qualified, on-demand advice from your Certified Pet Lifestyle Experts and vets.

Receive that much-needed professional veterinary care from your friends at AskVet without making a special (not to mention expensive) trip to the clinic. Ask questions, get personalized recommendations, and inquire about your everyday concerns from the comfort of your home, for a fraction of the price.

24/7 veterinary advice is now right at your fingertips in a simple to use app. To ask a vet, just use AskVet.

At AskVet we take a lifestyle approach to pet wellness. We believe when you live a healthy lifestyle, so does your pet. That’s why our Certified Pet Lifestyle Experts create custom 360° Pet Lifestyle Plans to keep you and your pet on track. The hardest part can be finding that wellness balance—we’re here to make it easy.

With the AskVet mobile app you can:

Chat live with a licensed vet 24/7 to get your grooming questions answered by a trusted professional

Work with your Certified Pet Lifestyle Expert to develop healthy grooming and skincare habits

Enjoy a personalized, guided experience as we anticipate your daily needs

Shop recommended pet grooming and wellness products to add into your healthy routines.

Get all your preventative care questions answered and personalized guidance to build a healthy lifestyle for your pet.

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