Having a dog can be expensive, especially if your fur kid is prone to certain health issues or well…life! Accidents happen but there is a lot you can do to keep your fur kid safe and avoid major vet bills.
5. Feed A Quality Dog Food
Sure, you can go into any grocery store and pick up a bag of dog food but just because it exists, doesn’t mean it’s what you should be feeding your dog. Most vets recommend feeding a high quality dry dog food. The challenge is determining what is high quality. For starters, read the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce them, odds are it’s not a very good food. Look for a dry dog food that is veterinarian recommended and formulated so you know your dog is getting all the necessary nutrients. There’s a lot less regulation in the dog food industry than there is for human food, so you’ll have to be your dog’s FDA and food inspector. Do your own dry dog food comparison looking for a high protein food with minimal to no grain. The best foods are often a bit pricier but don’t give up if you can’t afford the best of the best. Go with the best dry dog food you can afford and don’t hesitate to check with your vet for recommendations and tips on switching dog foods as well. By feeding them quality food, you’re setting their body up for success to fight off infection and stay strong.
4. Give Them Regular Exercise
Maintaining a healthy weight is very important for dogs. Long dogs like dachshunds and corgis are easily affected by a few extra pounds and can develop serious back issues as a result. Larger breed dogs like German Shepherds that are prone to joint issues also have a hard time carrying excess weight but you don’t have to be a marathon runner to keep your dog healthy. For older dogs or dogs with heart conditions, the best exercise is often a regular, steady walk or swimming. You can also use a treadmill to keep them well-exercised rain or shine (this is also a great option for dog parents who aren’t mobile enough to go for regular walks). You may also consider playing a game of fetch or getting into agility classes. Whatever you do, just get your fur kid’s body moving on a daily basis. A dog in good shape is less prone to injuries.
3. Use A Carabiner
This is especially useful if you have a dog who is prone to bolting. You can use a carabiner (often used by climbers) in a few different ways to keep your dog safe while on leash. Personally, I’ve had the problem a couple times of a leash suddenly becoming unhooked from my dog’s collar. With a dog who is prone to running, this is a terrifying position to be in. I use the carabiner as a backup attachment method. I hook it through the dog leash and through the loop on my dog’s collar so if the leash becomes unhooked, I still have the carabiner attaching the leash to his collar. You can also use it to attach a harness to a collar if your dog tends to slip out of harnesses. If they do, they’ll have a little extra “leash” but will still be attached via the collar. I would personally recommend one with a screwgate, which essentially provides a backup locking system. In my mind, you can never be too safe. Keeping your dog well-leashed with a carabiner can help keep them from running into traffic or getting lost which prevents a lot of heartache and potentially expensive vet bills.
2. Keep Up With Regular Vet Visits
In addition to setting your fur kid up for success with good good food and exercise, preventative medicine is also the best medicine. Keep your fur kid up to date on regular vet visits, monthly heartworm preventative medicine (your vet can make a recommendation), and inquire about a good supplement for your dog, specifically. This can help or slow development of health issues down the line.
1. Get Pet Insurance
Consider getting pet insurance. It’s a great idea to get it before you need it to avoid hefty medical bills. Most pet insurance companies offer several plans to choose from so you can find something work with virtually any budget. Personally, I have Pet Plan. I got my first pet insurance policy with them about 7 years ago and while I’ve unfortunately had to file quite a few claims (unfortunately for my fur kids, but glad I had the insurance) they really did make it pretty easy on me. Plus, you can even get coverage to include boarding and even the cost of flyers if your dog gets lost. If you’re interested, you can get a 10% discount when you go here (but make sure to use this link because they don’t advertise this discount on their website).
Feature Image Source: Wikimedia
Have any other tips to add? Tell me in the comments below!
By: Krista White