Lots of us wouldn't dream of skipping our doctor's visits. We need to see how our cholesterol is progressing, maybe, or we rely on our doctors to spot early signs of heart issues and even cancer.When it comes to pets, though, sometimes it can be less obvious what preventative care really does. That may be why, over the past five years, the percentage of households who don't take their dog to the vet in the course of a whole year has gone up by 8%, and a huge 24% for people with cats. (2012 American Veterinary Medical Association U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook
)Catch Potential Issues Early
Make taking your pet for a check up part of your New Year's Resolutions
, and here are some issues you could catch early, saving your pet from pain, yourself from heartache, and your bank account from costly emergency care: hypothyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, hip dysplasia, periodontal disease, cancer, liver disease, and more.Fleas and Heartworm
What's more, incidents of flea infestations and heartworm disease are on the rise, according to the Banfield Pet Hospital State of Pet Health 2011 Report
. These conditions are largely preventable with simple protection measures
But you have health insurance, you say, and your pet doesn't? You're right -- that's a very important difference that can put pressure on your wallet. But did you know that many veterinarians offer preventative care packages or deals? What's more, pet insurance
is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States in recent years. It might be just the solution for you and your pet.