Preventative care can be used for our canine friends as well as us humans. Like us, caring for your dogs before anything tragic happens can, in the long run, save you large amounts of money in potential medical care later on. Here are some of the ways we save money by caring for our dogs.
We always have an annual check-up for each one of our dogs. Keep in mind that dogs cannot verbalize to us when they are feeling ill or uncomfortable, so it is therefore very important that they are routinely checked out by a veterinarian to be sure that they stay healthy. A veterinarian can catch conditions early on, before it becomes something major, expensive and possibly even not treatable.
We always brush our dog’s teeth once daily. Doing this will not only keep your dog’s breath from becoming unbearable but like us, it will keep them from building up tartar and plaque.
Keeping your dog’s mouth clean will also help to keep them from getting ill. Our veterinarian, Dr. Phillip Baker from Baker’s Veterinary clinic in St. Louis has told us that tooth problems in dogs, just like in humans can even adversely affect a dog’s internal organs and shorten their life span!
When we get a new dog, we always have them neutered or spayed. (You can usually have this done at a lesser cost at your local humane society than at a regular veterinarian.)
Having your dog fixed can prevent them from developing cancer and other types of medical issues. Dr. Baker explained to me that a dog’s hormones in middle age and later often causes tumors to form in both male and female canines. Also with my male dogs, I have noticed that after they are neutered they become less aggressive and are easier to housebreak, so this is a nice benefit. Often, there are clinics and charities that will neuter and spay dogs for free for a nominal cost for those who are unable to afford it otherwise.
Simple grooming can be considered preventative as well. Did you know that a clean coat of fur means that there will be fewer problems with a dog’s skin?
Ask your vet for their advice on the best type of dog shampoo to use on your pet. Instead of taking my dogs to an expensive groomer, I have learned to shampoo and brush them myself. I also clip my dog’s claws myself.
If you take a dog to the vet to have their claws trimmed, they will usually charge between $10 and $20, so do it regularly, but I recommend doing it yourself. There is now the type that will file them as opposed to clipping them if you find it easier for you and your dog.
What you feed your dog can make a big difference as well. I highly recommend feeding your dog one of the higher quality brands of food. Have you ever noticed that when you feed your dog cheap food, not only do they eat more but they also poop more? I used to be guilty of that! I bought them the cheapest food I could find until one day I noticed that not only were their stools larger and more frequent, but they also were beginning to have a dull look to their fur!
You would be amazed after doing a bit of research on the internet at some of the horrible ingredients that are put into dog food! (chicken claws and beaks as well as other disgusting things that you would not want to eat!) I switched to a brand that does not use any kind of additives or fillers and began feeding it to them instead of the cheap brand.
Now I feed them Nutro. Within a few day’s time, I could see a big difference. Their stools were smaller, less frequent and more solid and their coats began to shine. My dogs love Nutro, although there are other brands as well that are high quality too.
When taking on the responsibility of owning and caring for a pet, it is best to use a few guidelines for the welfare of your animal, and in the process, save yourself a lot of money as well as a lot of heartaches. Have a happy pet!