(Photo: Marie and Cubby - taken by Lyn Thomas)
As a responsible pet owner, we are obligated to provide care for our pets. In a world where the cost of everything is rising, you need to know how to reduce the added expense of an emergency or an expensive disease.
Some things you can do are:
Schedule regular wellness exams. You may pay an exam fee but it is well worth it in the long run. Your pet should be examined yearly, even if they don't need vaccinations. It is a good time to check lumps and bumps and monitor weight, check a stool sample and perform a heartworm check. You can also shop around and compare prices at different veterinarians.
Spaying or neutering your pet can save a lot of money by preventing serious health problems including uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers. It also reduces roaming, which can lead to fights with other dogs and an expensive trip to the vet to care for the wounds.
Dental disease can lead to heart and kidney problems and expensive procedures. Start a dental routine to keep your pet's teeth and gums healthy. Don't use toothpaste made for people, which contains fluoride and may irritate your pet's stomach.
Flea and tick infestations can cause a host of costly medical problems from minor skin irritations to life-threatening blood loss. Stick with a topical flea and tick solution to keep the critters at bay. Make sure to only use products as directed. Never use a product intended for a dog on a cat.
If you smoke, consider quitting. If not for yourself then for your pet. Secondhand smoke CAN cause asthma, bronchitis, oral and nasal cancer in your pet.
Buy high-quality pet food for your pet. It is more cost effective than trying to maintain a homemade diet. You can even cause more problems with a homemade diet if you aren't using the proper nutritional balance in your homemade diet. Also, avoid overfeeding that can cause obesity and other health problems.
Taking on the responsibility of a pet can be overwhelming, always prepare and be informed of the needs of your pet whether it is a kitten, a dog, or a fish.