Pet health advice for 2013: top tips from your La Jolla veterinarian


By Lidja Gillmeister, DVM

The New Year is a great opportunity for individuals to set goals for health and prosperity; and this year, why not consider making a few resolutions to help keep your pets healthy as well? When it comes to

pet health advice

, most veterinarians will agree that preventative health care is the single greatest gift you can give your furry and feathered friends. With that in mind, here are some tips to help jumpstart a healthy New Year for your beloved pets.

Top preventative health tips for pets

  • Schedule a veterinary appointment: don’t wait for Fido to start exhibiting signs of disease or injury. Instead, make regular veterinary check-ups part of your routine – and stay ahead of the game with improved chances for early detection and prevention.
  • Say yes to vaccinations: talk to your vet about the vaccinations that are right for your pet, and stay current with the appropriate treatments.
  • Focus on nutrition and exercise: pet obesity is a grown trend throughout the U.S., and just as in humans it can lead to a number of serious health concerns including diabetes and arthritis. Prioritize active playtime with your pet, and take dogs for daily walks. In addition, make sure to discuss proper nutrition with your veterinarian in order to select the best possible food source for your pet.
  • Take a proactive role: whether the issue is getting your pet spayed or neutered or scheduling behavioral training sessions, it is important to take action early. Unless you are serious about breeding your pets, get them fixed – and invest in some basic behavioral training early on to ensure a better quality of life for both you and your pets.
  • Seek out safe pest and parasite prevention: ask your vet about the right flea and tick prevention methods for your pets to prevent inconvenience, discomfort and the threat of disease. Not all products are safe and effective, so do your homework before giving your pet topical or oral treatments. Also, schedule routine fecal examinations and dewormings to check for intestinal parasites, which can cause disease in both animals and humans.
  • Don’t forget dental care: don’t skimp on dental health care for your pet. Take your dog or cat in for professional cleanings, and make at-home tooth brushing a habit early on. Your veterinarian can give you suggestions to make this process easier and more effective.
Ultimately, preventative health care for pets is all about common sense, customized recommendations and a good relationship with your local veterinarian. If you have a new pet in the family this year, now’s the time to visit

La Jolla Veterinary Hospital

for a complete examination and personalized care. Visit us online to learn more and schedule an appointment today, at