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How To Combat Common Pet Health Issues 

Apr 23, 2024 | Life

Are you a pet parent in South Africa? If so, you’re probably already aware of the unique challenges that come with keeping your furry friend healthy in this diverse country. From the blazing heat of summer to the occasional cold snaps in winter, South Africa presents a variety of environmental factors that can affect our beloved pets.  

To help you keep your furry companions in top shape, let’s dive into some common pet health issues and how you can prevent them. 

The Bugs And Viruses You Can Prevent 

  • Tick And Flea Infestations: Our warm climate provides the perfect breeding ground for ticks and fleas, which can wreak havoc on your pet’s health. These pesky parasites not only cause discomfort but can also transmit diseases, like Lyme disease and tick bite fever. You can prevent infestations by keeping your pet’s living environment clean and tidy to minimise the risk of infestation and regularly using veterinarian-recommended tick and flea prevention products.  
  • Parasitic Infections: Ticks and fleas aren’t the only bugs around. You’ve also got to be on the lookout for other parasitic infections, such as heartworm, tapeworm, and roundworm. These parasites can cause a range of health problems, including weight loss, anaemia, and digestive issues.  You can do your bit to prevent parasitic infections by following the recommended deworming schedule and administering heartworm preventatives regularly. Chat to your vet about the schedule for your pet. 
  • Rabies: This is still a pretty significant concern, so you probably know that this is a deadly viral disease. The best way to prevent rabies is to get your pets vaccinated and to stay on top of these vaccinations.  

Environmental Issues 

  • Heatstroke: With scorching temperatures during the summer months, heatstroke is a significant concern for our pets. Dogs are specifically quite susceptible to overheating, especially breeds with thick coats or short noses. To prevent heatstroke, ensure your pet has access to shade and fresh water at all times. Avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day, and never leave them in a parked car, even for a short period. 
  • Snake Bites: South Africa is home to a variety of venomous snakes, so it’s not surprising that encounters between pets and snakes are not uncommon. Unfortunately, snake bites can be life-threatening, so keep your garden clear of debris where snakes might hide. You could even consider snake-proofing your property. 

Problems At Home 

  • Nutritional Imbalances: Providing a balanced diet is essential for your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. However, with the plethora of pet food options available, it can be challenging to determine the best diet for your furry friend. If you’re worried that you’re not making the right choices, you could always chat to a vet about developing a nutrition plan that’s right for your pet’s age, breed, and activity level. 
  • Dental Problems: Dental issues can be a problem for pets. We’re talking about periodontal disease and tooth decay, which are common among pets, yet often overlooked by pet parents. These issues can lead to pain, infection, and other systemic health problems. You may need to establish a regular dental care routine for your pet, which may include brushing their teeth, giving them dental chews, and even booking them in for a professional cleaning. 
  • Obesity: Just like humans, pets are also facing an obesity epidemic. Excess weight can lead to a myriad of health issues, including diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. To help your pet maintain a healthy weight, it’s up to you to provide regular exercise and portion-controlled meals. We know it’s hard to refuse those doting eyes, but avoid feeding table scraps and high-calorie treats. 

Feel informed?  

As pet owners, we want the best for our furry companions and with pet insurance we’re in a position to make the best decisions for our pet’s health without being constrained by financial limitations.  

If you’re keen to find out what pet insurance could cost, then we can help you there, too!   

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