How often should you take your pet for preventative treatments?
Wellness visits are essential for your canine companion. Most pet owners know that their cat or dog needs regular checkups to stay healthy, but do you really know how often you should be taking your pet to the vet?
This is the ultimate guide to preventive care for any responsible pet parent. From vaccinations and tick treatments to keeping those pearly whites clean with regular dental care, you’ll be an expert in routine care in no time.
What is preventative care?
Many people confuse vet visits with preventative or routine care. Vet visits refer to consultations when you think there might already be something wrong with your pet due to an illness or accident. Routine care is different and includes vet visits for treatments that help your vet to prevent, detect and treat any health concerns before they become an issue (which will be far more expensive to treat).
Wellness cover or routine care cover ensures that your pet’s day-to-day healthcare costs are always taken care of. This includes dental treatments, deworming, tick/flea prevention and more! Remember, the amount of necessary routine care checkups vary depending on the type of treatment.
Here is a basic-breakdown of the most important routine care treatments your pet will receive in their lifetime:
1. Keep your puppy tick-free and tail-wagging
At 16 weeks old, your vet will need to give your puppy treatments for flea and tick prevention. The most common flea amongst both dogs and cats is the Ctenocephalides felis which occurs worldwide and is currently the biggest nuisance for most domestic animals (something most pet owners can attest to). What’s worse is that ticks can even transmit Lyme disease if left untreated.
The good news is that, with the right treatment, fleas and ticks are completely preventable. There are all sorts of flea treatments out there, so it can be hard to know which is the best for your perfect pet. That’s why it's best to take your four-legged friend to the vet for professional preventative treatment.
Oh and one more thing: keep in mind that the number of treatments your pup will require depends entirely on the product your vet chooses to use for the treatment.
2. Vaccination visits
Just like people, dogs and cats need immunization boosters and annual vaccinations too. Since your loyal pup or fluffy feline is not naturally protected against bacterial infections, this is especially important if you’ve just added a young pup or kitten to the family. For small pups or kittens, vaccines will be a lot more frequent as most pets receive the majority of their vaccines before the age of one.
Your furry companion usually has their first vaccine at around 8 weeks old. Another set of vaccinations is necessary at 12 weeks and then again at 16 weeks. After that, your pup will only need annual vaccinations.
For older pet’s, the vaccines will typically be once a year and coincide with their annual checkup. Here are the basic guidelines for the standard vaccines your pet should be getting.
Heads up: vaccines can be really expensive. That’s why having a reliable animal pet insurance provider like Oneplan at your side could really help you juggle the costs of each consultation and make things a little easier on your budget each month.
3. Treating those pearly whites
Your pets need regular preventative dental care to keep the bad breath at bay. These treatments are usually done by a vet and include professional teeth scaling & polishing.
Don’t make the same mistake as most pet owners and underestimate the importance of dental care. It is absolutely essential for all animals as plaque might build up on the surface of your pet's teeth which could mineralize into tartar and cause periodontal disease.
This is bad news for any furry friend as it can cause painful inflammation and an infection in the tooth or gum. This could result in tooth loss or even spread the infection to the rest of the body.
We all know that prevention is always better than a cure. So, make sure that you take your playful pet for regular oral exams, cleanings, and dental X-rays about once a year from about 6 months of age.
4. Stress-free sterilisation
At around 6 months old, you should bring your puppy to the vet to be spayed or neutered. Spaying is super important for your pup’s health and wellbeing. Not only does it help prevent unwanted litters but, what most people don't know, is that it also prevents some pretty serious health conditions from developing.
Spaying a female pup can reduce the chance of uterine infections and breast tumors, and choosing to spay your pup at a young age before her first heat provides the best protection from these diseases. Neutering a male pup can also prevent testicular cancer or prostate problems.
Here’s where things get serious: sterilization can cost up to R1 200 to sterilise a male dog and between R1 300 to R1 600 to sterilise a female dog. Prices can also vary depending on where you choose to get the treatment done.
But there's no need to fret over the small stuff yet. A good animal health insurance provider will help you handle the burden of your pet’s health care costs so that you don’t have to do it alone.
Here at Oneplan, our affordable pet insurance offers an optional Routine Care Plus add-on that will give you better cover for vaccinations, wellness exams, sterilization and more.
5. Deworming to prevent disease
Most dogs will be infected with worms at some point in their lives, but new-born puppies are usually most at risk. If left untreated, worms can lead to serious illness in puppies.
As a responsible dog owner, it is important for you to deworm your dog regularly. Since dogs with worms may not show signs of illness, it’s especially important to take your dog to the vet for deworming treatment even if there are no symptoms.
Most pets should be treated at least 4 times a year, with no more than 3 months between each treatment.
Why join our Oneplan family?
We know that the costs of day-to-day care can really put a dent in your bank account, which is why we’ve included cover for the most common preventative treatments. Our routine care cover is a must-have for any responsible pet owner.
The healthcare benefits we cover include: sterilisation, consultations for vaccinations, deworming and parasite control, tick and flea prevention, anal gland expression and dental care.
Wondering what to do if your animal health insurance plan doesn’t include routine care cover? Not to worry. Our Routine Care Plus option allows pet owners to include even more cover to their existing pet plan.
But don't just take our word on it. Have a look at the numbers:
- Our Pet Classic Plan: provides R720 per annum limit for preventative care with an option for an additional R720 with the Routine Care Plus add-on
- Our Pet Super Plan: provides R850 per annum limit for preventative care with an option for an additional R850 with the Routine Care Plus add-on
- Our Pet Hospital Plan: provides a Routine Care Plus add-on benefit of R350 for preventative care while letting you stick with your original pet insurance plan.
**Please note that these prices are subject to change, to ensure you are updated, click here.
We don't know about you, but we think that sounds like a paws-itively perfect deal for any loving pet parent.
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