Your dog will probably visit the veterinarian many times during his life. There are the annual wellness checks and the routine shots and vaccines. Going to the vet can be very costly, particularly if it is on an emergency basis.
According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent an estimated $15.92 billion on veterinary care in 2016. If your pet suddenly ingests something he shouldn’t or breaks a bone, a trip to the vet is necessary. However, there are some precautions you can take to make these emergency trips as far, and few in between, as possible.
Dog Proof Your Home
Just like people have to baby proof their home, the same can hold true for dogs. Dogs can be prone to mischief (especially puppies) and love to chew on chords and string.
- Consider adding safety latches to your cabinets, particularly those that contain cleaning supplies.
- Inevitably dogs will forage through the trash to get at leftovers, so safely secure your trash with a lid.
- Put all medications securely behind a medicine cabinet.
- Keep food out of their reach – even if the food is not harmful, the covering can be.
- Keep the lid on the toilet so your dog can’t drown.
- Move common house plants that may be poisonous out of reach such as philodendron, calla lilies, ivy, jade and more.
- In your garage, keep all antifreeze and pesticides off the floor or driveway – they can be poisonous to your pets. Put them away in a safe place.
- Also, if you set mouse traps, do not use the “sticky” ones as they can be lethal to dogs.
Keep Your Dog at a Good Weight
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight. By keeping your dog at an optimal weight, you can ward off illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. As tempting as it is, avoid giving your dog too many treats or table scraps throughout the day.
Keep Up-To-Date on Vaccines and Parasite Prevention
Fortunately, the rabies vaccine has all but eradicated this disease in domestic dogs. Equally important is flea, heartworm and tic prevention and whatever other parasites exist in your area. Talk to your Vet.
Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth and supplement this with special chews or treats in between cleanings. It’s important to keep the tartar at bay because too many dogs have periodontal disease by the age of three. Pulling dog’s teeth can be very expensive!
Depending on the breed of your dog, regular grooming may even be daily! It’s important to keep their fur from being matted, their ears from being infected, and their nails from being overgrown. Always check your dog for lumps and bumps that could be the first sign of injury or illness.
It’s important to keep your dog in good health and follow as many preventative measures as possible. Also, you might want to look into pet insurance to ensure your pet is covered should the unexpected happen. Be safe, not sorry.