Preventative Care

One of the primary goals of The Pet Fund is to inform pet owners about preventative care practices which can help to avoid medical crises in future. By making the long-term health of our pets a priority on an ongoing basis, we can avoid many medical problems and increase the well-being and longevity of our furry and feathered family members. The Pet Fund is not responsible for the outcome of any medical procedure or preventative care measure listed below, but we hope that pet owners will be able to benefit from the common sense approaches we include on our website and in our Pet Fund publications and materials. While the staff of The Pet Fund cannot advise anyone regarding medical treatment of any kind, we hope that you will find the following suggestions useful. The following are a list of suggestions and resources that may be useful to pet owners to both enhance overall pet health and develop good preventative care practices. 

Pet Care Practices

  • Spay or neuter your pets. By spaying and neutering your animals, you will decrease their chances of getting mammary tumors and prostate disease, they will be less likely to wander and get injured or lost, and pregnancies can be avoided. Not only are pregnancies potentially risky for your pet, but additional puppies or kittens will add to already significant overpopulation problems and will also cause a financial burden for you. Many areas offer free or low-cost spay and neuter programs, so it is well worth your time to take advantage of these programs and spare your pets disease, injury or death.
  • Vaccinate your pets. By vaccinating your pets, you decrease their chances of getting serious and preventable illnesses. Many communities also offer low-cost vaccination clinics, so be sure to ask your veterinarian about these services.
  • Feed a good quality diet. Consultation with your veterinarian is the best way to determine the correct diet for your pets, and spending a little extra money on a quality product can promote long-term good health for your pets.
  • Use preventative heartworm medications. Your veterinarian can advise you about the risk in your area for heartworm infestations. This is a preventable problem, and a potentially fatal one if ignored.
  • Get regular “well-pet” checkups. Waiting to see the veterinarian until problems develop is not using good preventative care practice for your animals. As with humans, problems are easier to detect and treat when they are caught in the early stages, and regular checkups will help insure the long-term health of your pets.
  • Walk your dog every day, and make sure they get enough exercise. Ask your veterinarian about the amount of exercise your breed of dog requires, and provide them with plenty of exposure to fresh air and sunshine. Spending time playing with your cat can also help them to stay active and increase their longevity.
  • Maintain proper weight for your animals. Avoiding obesity can also help prevent associated conditions like joint problems, heart problems, and diabetes, so it is critical that your pets maintain a healthy weight. Again, consult with your veterinarian about the ideal weight for your pets.
  • Keep your dog on a leash in public at all times. Do not let your dogs wander loose for any reason – the chances of being hit by cars or getting lost are too great to risk letting them run free. Keeping your cats indoors will also help them live longer and prevent them from being injured or killed in traffic as well.
  • Consider getting your pet microchipped. If your pet does get lost for any reason, this will help them be located and returned to you. Be sure that your dogs and cats are wearing ID tags on their collars at all times.
  • Keep your house and yard safe for your pets.
  • Bring your car to the gas station to change the antifreeze rather than have this deadly poison anywhere around your house, yard, or garage. If you must keep this product (or any other dangerous product, like transmission fluid) around your house, make sure that you keep your pets away while it is being used and use extreme care to clean up thoroughly afterwards. Do not spill these products into the gutters or street—other pets in the neighborhood may be exposed to these dangerous poisons and you may be liable for their injuries.
  • Do not use any toxic pesticide, fungicide, or fertilizer on your yard where your pets have access to them. If you must use these products, do so very carefully, and keep your pets indoors.
  • Store all potentially toxic household products including detergents, etc. out of reach of your pets.
  • If you use non-stick pots or pans in the kitchen, replace them with non-Teflon coated kitchen pans if you have birds—the fumes from heated non-stick pans are fatal to birds.
  • Be mindful of your pets while you are cooking—keep them away from the stove or other potential dangers in the kitchen.Keep all drugs including aspirin, Tylenol, and all prescription medications for humans away from dogs and cats – these can be fatal. Ask your veterinarian before administering any medication used for humans for your pets.
  • Use appropriate flea and tick control. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about these products, and if you must buy these products without veterinary consultation, choose products carefully and be sure to follow the instructions very carefully. To avoid problems and choose appropriate products, it is best to ask the advice of your veterinarian.
  • Brush your dog or cat’s teeth on a regular basis with a toothpaste formulated for dogs or cats – never with toothpaste designed for human use. This practice can help avoid expensive and serious dental problems later on.
  • Socialize and train your puppies early. This will help avoid confrontations with other dogs later in life and will also help avoid behavioral problems which can be difficult to deal with in adult dogs.
  • Spend time with your pets every day. Pets should be regarded as members of the family, and spending quality time with them will help their emotional well-being and thus enhance their overall health.
  • Never keep your pets in the car on a hot day. Temperatures in the car, even with the windows down, can reach fatal levels within minutes. If the outside temperature is over 68 degrees Fahrenheit, it is already unsafe to keep animals in the car.
  • When traveling with your pets, keep dogs in a dog carrier or restrained with a special dog seatbelt (not a human seatbelt) and keep your cats in carriers as well. This will help prevent your animals from being injured in an accident, and bear in mind that even at low speeds, unrestrained passengers in the car (whether human, dog, or cat) can be seriously injured.
  • Consider insuring your pet with a pet insurance program. There are several national pet insurance programs which will cover your pets’ needs in the event of an accident or illness. However, these programs do not cover care at the time of treatment, which means you will need to be ready to pay for medical care when your animal is treated. In addition, these plans have restrictions on which procedures are covered by policies, so read the policy limitations carefully. These policies are not a substitute for having a savings account available to cover needed medical care.
  • Have a savings account for your animals. This is a critical part of preventative care for companion animals. All pets will need medical care throughout their lifetimes, and costs for medical care are continually rising. Veterinarians typically require payment up front before your animal can be treated, so it is important to prepare for emergencies and illnesses ahead of time.


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Covetrus, a global market leader in animal health-technology, has a helpful web page dedicated to pet owner education about diabetes detection and treatment. Link below:

You can also watch a helpful Covetrus video about managing diabetes here:


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Pumpkin® is a pet health company and pet insurance provider on a mission to "help make the best care possible fur all."™ Through helping families afford the best, most advanced diagnostics and treatments when their pets get hurt or sick and prioritize crucial wellness care that prevents life-threatening diseases, Pumpkin’s pet insurance plans and wellness packages are designed to help the cats and dogs we love live longer, healthier lives. 

As an advocate of preventative care, Pumpkin worked with leading veterinarians across the US to create our wellness package – Preventive Essentials. It’s not insurance, but an optional benefit pet parents can add to their Pumpkin insurance plan to get refunds for key preventative care services that keep pets healthy year-round, including annual wellness exams, vaccines, and parasite screening tests. 

To learn more about Pumpkin’s insurance plans and wellness packages, visit



Pet Pace - A wireless smart collar that non-invasively monitors your pet's health.Pet Pace provides early detection of diseases and real-time alerts for both dogs and cats. PetPace helps with everyday monitoring or with pets undergoing intensive veterinary care.    

For information about PetPace click here:


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Pet Hub is a smart tag that will allow pet owners to protect their pets and get missing pets home faster. Allows anyone with a smart phone to see your information and contact you directly without the need for a microchip scanner.For more information click here:


Animal Wellness Magazine

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Animal Wellness Magazine will donate 25% to The Pet Fund for all new subscribers who use Promo Code: ThePetFund. To learn more about this invaluable resource for pet owners, click on the following link: (Enter Coupon Code: ThePetFund).


Whole Dog Journal

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Whole Dog Journal - The Whole Dog Journal offers well-researched, in-depth articles about all aspects of dog care and training. They feature natural care, diet and training advice, information about complementary therapies like chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and homeopathy, and advice from experts in the field. They also test, review and evaluate products, and they are 100 percent subscriber-supported−they do not carry advertising.

Rx Vitamins for Pets

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Rx Vitamins for Pets - Rx Vitamins for Pets is a nutraceutical company providing veterinarians with nutritional formulations designed to enhance patient outcomes. Since 1998, Rx Vitamins has developed formulas that provide the veterinarian with a wide choice of treatment options to complement the conventional care of companion animals. All formulas are manufactured in NSF audited facilities.

If you are not a health professional your veterinarian can order products for you.

Rx Vitamins website:


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ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center - 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435). Fee is $45 per case; credit cards only; no extra charge for follow-up calls. 1-900-443-0000. The charge is billed directly to caller's phone. Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-426-4435. There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

IPM Institute of North America

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The IPM Institute of North America has the following advice about flea and tick prevention that is both eco-friendly and safe for your pets:

Use these simple tips to reduce your pet’s exposure to tick vectors:Use these simple tips to reduce your pet’s exposure to tick vectors:
1. Exclude tick carriers: Construct fencing to exclude stray dogs, cats and wildlife species such as deer, coyotes, raccoons, feral swine and other furbearers.
2. Repel tick carrier: Limit the use of landscaping plants around the home that attract deer, birds and rabbits.
3. Go native: Convert the irrigated areas of your yard into native plants or more dry landscapes.
4. Reduce soil moisture: Remove and compost all leaf litter and other vegetative debris as it accumulates from the yard and kennel areas to facilitate soil drying. Use mulching materials to create and maintain a 3-4 ft vegetation-free border zone around woodlot edges and landscape plantings in or adjacent to the yard.
5. “Solarize” the soil: Increase the amount of sunlight reaching the ground and reduce the survivability of ticks by pruning overhead tree branches.
6. Regularly mow lawns: Mow the lawn to about 3 inches of blade height.
7. Distance your pets from tick habitats: Keep bird feeders in open, bare ground areas away from pet kennels and bedding and away from the home and garage/storage shop entrances.
8. Kill ticks with heat: Use a steam cleaner/sprayer when disinfecting pet crates and kennel housings, paying particular attention to steaming cracks and crevices in concrete slabs, pavers of outdoor kennels and along home foundations where ticks may hide. Pouring boiling water can, also, control residual ticks along edges of slabs and into gaps around outdoor flooring.

For more information, click on the link below for additional reading and resources.

UC Davis

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University of California at Davis listing of plants which may be poisonous to pets. There are other plants which may not be listed here that may also be poisonous to animals. Please consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about any plant your animal may have consumed or with which your animal may have come in contact.

Tex Vet Pets

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Veterinarians from the Texas Veterinary Medical Association have compiled a resource for pet owners searching for veterinary information about common health and behavior issues. You can read these articles by clicking here: