There are a number of common sense ways to save money on our dogs’ veterinary bills over their lifetimes. Most involve a little time and effort on our part as owners and handlers of the dogs. Common sense prevention not only will save money but also can add years to our dogs’ lives.
The best money spent at the veterinarian’s office is for vaccinations against all sorts of preventable diseases and conditions such as parvovirus, distemper, rabies, and worms. The vaccinations are not expensive–especially if a little research has been done to find the right veterinarian. Prevention of disease and death from many viruses and parasites is very inexpensive in comparison to the cost of treating the disease both in terms of dollars spent and heartbreak to the owner.
After making sure our dogs are vaccinated, the number one health issue we have nearly complete control over is diet and exercise. In almost all cases, the only way our dogs can be overweight, is if we allow them to over eat. If our dogs are given a high quality food and it is fed in the right proportion, along with giving them the right amount of exercise, our dogs should have a perfect figure. Yet recent studies have found that as many as 17 million dogs (40 percent) are overweight. Just as in humans, dogs can experience a number of health risks from carrying those extra pounds such as diabetes, heart and respiratory problems, joint issues and arthritis. Tragically, many of our dogs suffer from maladies that are as simple to prevent as not over feeding.
Dental health in dogs is just as important as it is in humans. Yet, by age three it is estimated that eighty percent of dogs suffer from periodontal disease in which the gums and supporting bones of the teeth may deteriorate. If nothing is done to reverse this problem, harmful bacteria can enter the blood stream and cause serious damage to vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. Bad breath in dogs is a warning sign that the dog is suffering from dental Best Dentist In Town problems. Brushing a dogs teeth with a toothpaste formulated to be safe for dogs (not human toothpaste) and rinsing the teeth regularly with a mouthwash made for dogs can help in the prevention of plaque build-up. There are products that can be added to the dogs’ food that prevent plaque formulation. Offering the very tough nylon bones for chewing also helps remove the plaque. Keeping up on the care of our dogs’ teeth can add two to five years to our dogs lives.
Keeping our dogs away from certain human foods is important. Most of us have heard that chocolate is harmful to dogs. But an even more serious threat to our dogs health is the ingestion of grapes, raisins or currants. Eating even a few raisins can cause kidney failure in some dogs. Also on the list of extremely dangerous foods are coffee, tea and other caffeine, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, mushrooms, spoiled or moldy food, human vitamins containing iron, and Xylitol, an artificial sweetener. Onions and onion powder added to many human foods, including baby food can cause anemia and damage red blood cells. Many dogs are counter surfers and if you have one of these it is important not to leave that trail mix with the raisins and chocolate on the counter.
Dogs overheat much more easily than humans. Not only do many dogs die every year from being left inside cars that heat up to deathly temperatures, but many dogs overheat even on cool days after prolonged and intense exercise. Gun dogs such as German Shorthair Pointers and Labrador Retrievers participating in the excitement of opening day for pheasant, for example, can quickly overheat when the weather is warm. Dogs will exuberantly “beat the bushes” in order to find the elusive birds. They don’t realize that their body temperature is rising to crisis levels until they fall panting to the ground and have trouble standing up. A dog’s normal temperature is around 101′ F. At 106′ F, the dog can be in serious trouble. Avoiding letting your dog get overheated is the best money saving option. Once the dog gets seriously overheated, a trip to the vet is urgently needed.
Training your dog is important to maintain health and prevent many injuries. A dog who is reliable off leash or on, will sit and stay whenever and wherever we tell them to, will come immediately when called no matter what level of distraction is around is a dog that will stay safe in extremely dangerous situations. Many owners How To Heal A Cavity Without Fillings of gun dogs are familiar and comfortable training their dogs with remote (or electronic) training collars. A remote training collar combined with expert training is helpful to train obedience for any size or breed of dog. Maintaining control of our dogs in extreme situations will prevent many accidents from happening.
Sometimes due to injury or illness, a trip to the vet is absolutely necessary. Veterinary care can be incredibly expensive. Having pet insurance on our dogs is a big help with major expenses. It is important to have the insurance in place well in advance of any emergencies, since once an injury or illness presents itself the dog will no longer be insurable for that issue.