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Cutting back on your pet's health care costs
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This is something that pet owners tend to worry about. As you are aware trips to the vet can sometimes be costly but if you can follow some really simple rules then you can cut the cost of care down by a great deal.

1. Go to the Vet.

A number-one money-saver is preventative veterinary care. Veterinary exams can catch health crises early on and can save you a lot of time and money. This includes heart worm preventative treatment, flea and tick control, and a thorough check-up of your pet’s gums, teeth, heart, lungs and internal organs. If it’s been a year or more since your pet has seen a vet, make that appointment today!

2. Give your Pet regular check ups.

Weekly home checkups are a great way to nip potential health problems in the bud. Check their ears regularly for redness or discharge. Make note of any changes in her eating or drinking habits. If something seems off, call your vet right away.

- Check under your pet’s fur for lumps, bumps, flakes or scabs. Check your pet’s ears and eyes for signs sore.

- Learn how to clean your pet’s ears, especially if your dog is prone to ear infections.

- Brush your pet’s teeth regularly with a toothpaste formulated for pets, and check his gums. In some cases, this can help prevent the need for dental cleanings, which can run up to $200 per visit. There are all kinds of brands of tooth paste for your pet, some are flavored and come in different colors, but most are under $4. That is a big difference from $200.

- Check your pet’s breath. Bad breath can indicate a digestive problem that’s better dealt with sooner rather than later.

3. Vaccinate Wisely.

Make sure your pet has all the mandatory shots.

4. Spay/Neuter Your Pets.

Spaying and neutering your pet will have a dramatic impact on their health. For females, it dramatically reduces the potentiality for breast cancer, and ovarian and uterine cancer disappears. Neutering also reduces chances of testicular cancer in males. Not only will spaying or neutering save you on future health care, but it will significantly diminish your pet’s desire to wander and will save you the surprise of an unplanned litter.

Everyday, animal control is called because of a pet that has wondered from home, and 99 percent of these cases, the animal was not spayed or neutered. It is in the animals nature to wander away from home.

And when the pet is not spayed or neutered these animals can multiply in great numbers in a short amount of time.

Example: 1 cat can produce 47,000 off spring in just one year! This is one of the reasons animal control shelters are so full year round.

5. Invest in Training.

Sure this can cost around $100, but in the long run it is well worth it. Over 60 percent of our animals come to us because the owner can not house break their dog, but a well-trained dog will be easier to walk, will be calmer in most situations and will be less likely to get into things he shouldn’t. Teaching your dog to stay by your side and to come when he is called proves far cheaper than paying for expensive emergency care caused by his running off, possibly into the street, and eating items that he shouldn’t.

6. Serve Healthy food.

Buy a good, premium-quality dog or cat food. Don’t go crazy, but remember that cheaper foods will set you back in the end. They are full of less digestible filler material and artificial colors that offer no nutrients and can contribute to allergies and digestive problems. A high-quality, age-appropriate food results in a healthy coat, more energy and fewer costly trips to the vet.

Don’t overfeed. This includes resisting the urge to spoil your pets with too many treats. You don’t need to feed your pets as much as people do. One of the things we’re confronting is a huge obesity problem. Serving moderate portions not only saves you money on food, it also reduces the likelihood of obesity.

And we really want to have a healthy and happy pet.

Buy just the basics, The pet industry is booming with all these cute clothes and collars but does your pet really need these items?

A good quality collar, leash, a few chew toys and a bed is really all your pet requires.

No matter what you dress them in, they are always going to love you.


Reminder: Please never leave your pet unattended in a car. This danger is extremely relevant to these hot summer days and can often lead to serious injury and even death.


Morgan works for Bryan County Animal Control.







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