Pet MedsTen of thousands of pets are poisoned every year by loving pet owners giving human medications to dogs and cats. When pets are in pain, do not give them drugs intended for human use. Just one tablet of over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can cause serious harm or death.

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Preventive pet medications can benefit healthy dogs and cats by protecting them from many common illnesses and diseases.

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Did you know that pet medications aren't just for sick animals? All too often we wait until our pet has a health problem before we do something about it. While it's true that many medications are prescribed to treat and manage a specific health condition, there are also many pet medications that can benefit healthy pets as a preventive treatment.

Preventive medications protect dogs and cats from many common illnesses and diseases. They can keep many health problems from developing and can postpone or lessen the effects of many other health conditions. Preventing disease is much better for the comfort and health of the pet than treating a bigger health problem, but it can also bring peace of mind to the pets family.

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Five Pet Medications for Your Pets Health

The health and care of your dog and cat depends on many things, including adequate shelter, a healthy diet, and regular exercise. The best source of information regarding the health of your pet is your veterinarian, who can monitor your pets health and administer vaccinations.

The following five pet medications are commonly recommended by veterinarians for dogs and cats as preventive treatments for healthy pet care:

  • Flea and Tick Control
  • Dental Care Products
  • Bone and Joint Supplements
  • Heartworm Preventive
  • Vaccines

Flea and Tick Control

Fleas and ticks are external parasites that live on the outside of an animals body. They not only cause irritation and skin problems, but can transmit diseases to pets and cause disease in humans. Treating and preventing flea infestations is essential not only for providing comfort and relief to your pets, but for maintaining their health as well. Many treatments are available to get rid of existing flea infestations and to prevent fleas and ticks from biting your pet. Since fleas multiply rapidly and can quickly become a major problem, preventive flea control is recommended for dogs and cats. For pets that live in tick-prone areas, there are combination flea and tick control products that can provide complete care.

Dental Care

As dental problems can lead to more serious health conditions, including heart disease and a weakened immune system, taking care of your pets teeth is good for their overall health. Good dental care also helps prevent gum disease, tooth loss, and bad breath. Dog and cat toothpaste are available for brushing teeth of dogs and cats, but some pets don't enjoy this process (thus, neither do their owners). Fortunately, there are other options such as dental formula foods and tartar control treats for dogs and cats which can help promote healthy teeth and gums.

Bone and Joint Supplements for Arthritis

Arthritis is a debilitating disease characterized by joint inflammation that affects a large percentage of both cats and dogs. There are many forms and causes of arthritis, but the most common arthritis in dogs and cats is osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis caused by the bones. Pet arthritis (also called canine arthritis or feline arthritis) may also be caused by an infection, an immune system malfunction (rheumatoid Arthritis), tick bites (Lyme Disease), or hereditary factors (canine hip dysplasia).

Giving your dog and cat bone and joint supplements will help protect them against and lessen the effects of arthritis. One of the most widely recommended supplement combinations for preventing and treating arthritis symptoms is glucosamine & chondroitin. These nutrients help relieve inflammation, increase joint lubrication, rebuild cartilage, and improve comfort, flexibility, and range of motion. Other nutrients that promote healthy joints are omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Although these supplements do not require a prescription, they must still be used with care as even natural ingredients can cause harm if used improperly.

Pets with severe arthritis symptoms may require medications such as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and itching or NSAIDs to relieve pain, fever, and inflammation. These are strong medications that are available by prescription only to avoid improper use and to prevent harm to your pet.

Heartworm Preventive

Heartworms are internal parasites that live in the heart and big vessels of the heart. They cause severe damage to the circulatory system and lungs, often with devastating results. Heartworms are transmitted to the pet through the bite of a mosquito that has bitten an infected animal. Treatment is not always possible, but when attempted it is difficult and can cause great pain and suffering to your pet. Many veterinarians recommend heartworm preventives for dogs and cats that are at risk of getting bit by a mosquito. Heartworm preventives are available by prescription only through a veterinarian, as it is necessary to test and make sure heartworms are not present before starting medication. Consult with your veterinarian and see if heartworm preventives, which are given on a daily or monthly basis during mosquito season, are recommended for your pet.


Some of the most common and serious diseases that affect dogs and cats can be prevented with proper immunization. Many vaccinations are first given while pets are still puppies and kittens, but will depend on each situation and the veterinarians advice. Vaccinations will then continue with recurring booster shots over the years as needed. Your veterinarian will advise you on the recommoned immunization schedule for your dog or cat based on their age, health and risk factors for certain diseases. During routine exams, your veterinarian can administer the appropriate vaccines as well as monitor the health of your pet.