We all know that heart-sinking feeling when our dog gets ill or injured or has a sudden emergency. But let’s step backward in time before that illness or accident, and take a look at ways it might have been prevented.

Too many of us don’t think a lot about preventive care; instead, we only take action when our dog is clearly sick, badly injured, or due for a vaccination. But that’s backward-looking care, when we should be looking forward.

Joan Merriam: Prevention is the best medicine

One of the most important preventative steps is to take your dog for annual veterinary checkups.