Our pets give us their best every day. How can we make sure we are taking the best care of them in return?  Our goal is for each pet to live the longest, happiest life possible.

Nose-to-Tail exams every 6 months
All animals need routine care.  Dogs age much faster than we do.  We perform preventive care, nose-to- tail examinations every 6 months, which is like every 3 years in dog years, to monitor their health and catch warning signs early.

Yearly vaccines based on their lifestyle
All dogs receive yearly vaccines.  We can set up a reminder schedule for you based on your pet’s history and lifestyle.  Canine Influenza has become a threat in Huntsville, Alabama. Any dog that comes into close contact with other dogs to be exposed to their respiratory secretions is at risk to contract Canine Influenza. Green Cove Pet Hospital carries a vaccine that covers both viruses involved, H3N2 and H3N8.  Some of your dog’s vaccinations help to protect you from diseases that are contagious to humans.

Socialization and training are critical for dogs to be good citizens. It is critical to socialize them with other animals, humans, and environments.  Controlled socialization with animals that you know are healthy and vaccinated is preferred during the vaccine series.  Some local training options are Huntsville Obedience Training Club, Muttley Manners, or even Petsmart.  You can always work on leash and kennel training.  The Gentle Leader is a great tool to help with leash training, most include an instructional DVD.  Even if your pet isn’t going to stay in a kennel it is good to get them acclimated to kenneling prior to any emergency boarding or day care situations.  You can also routinely play with their ears and paws.This will help them get used to ear cleanings and nail trims.

Twice daily meals
Most dogs do best on twice daily meals.  The amount will depend on the size, age, and lifestyle of your pet.  We recommend Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Advantage and Purina Pro Plan diets. Meal fed animals are statistically less overweight than grazers.  Meal feeding can be done by putting the food down only for 20-30 min at each meal time.  They will adjust to eating when food is available.  Zukes and Nutro are both low calorie treat options. Let us know if you would like to hear more details on how to choose which high quality food is best for your dog.

Dental Care
All dogs will eventually need a dental cleaning. Depending on their tartar build up, some pets need dentals every year to maintain good dental health.  We know that dental disease can affect the entire body. The American Heart Association has found that humans with gum disease have three times the risk for a serious cardiovascular event, like a heart attack or stroke.

Parasite Prevention
It is necessary to be on flea and heartworm prevention year round.  Even indoor only animals are exposed to fleas that come inside on our shoes and mosquitoes that fly in through doors and windows.  Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes.  It is life threatening to have and life threatening to treat heartworm disease. It is much cheaper to prevent heartworms than to treat them.  We can help you choose the product(s) that is best for you and your pet. Heartworm testing is done every year prior to their heartworm prevention refill.  Let us know if ticks are a problem in your area or if they will be going to the woods regularly as part of their lifestyle.  We perform routine intestinal parasites screenings on fecal samples also. Some intestinal parasites are contagious to humans. Fleas can also carry diseases that are contagious to humans.

Spaying and Neutering
Spaying and neutering between 6-12 months is recommended to prevent sexually mature behaviors (i.e. territorial aggression, marking, roaming, and humping).  It also helps to prevent unwanted litters. In females, spaying reduces their risk for breast cancer.  Spaying older females that are not being used for breeding helps to prevent life-threatening uterine infections, called pyometras.  Neutering older males may be required if testicular or prostatic issues arise. It is also a great time to microchip.

Microchipping is the only way to give your pet a permanent piece of identification. Collars and tags are easily lost.  Without a microchip, 90% of lost pets are not returned to their family.

Internal health screenings
Yearly bloodwork and urinalysis is an excellent way to establish a baseline and catch changes early.  All patients can benefit from yearly early detection labwork, especially those four years or older. Catching subtle changes can allow us to make changes to diets or supplements to slow progression of disease and prolong quality of life for your pet.

Please, let us know how we can partner with you in your pet’s preventive care.