You may have seen the bumper sticker “Help me be the type of person my dog thinks that I am…” After all, pets love us unconditionally and seem to ignore all our faults, stress-attacks, and bad moods. As a result, it’s our responsibility as pet owners to afford our dogs and cats (aka, family members) the emotional, financial and physical attention that they need – to make sure we’re providing an environment that is healthy, safe, and mentally stimulating to them. As a small token of appreciation to our loyal four-legged friends, let’s dedicate this month to following these 5 simple, veterinary-recommended tips on how to treat your pet right.
1. Cut out 20 - 30% of the food
Loving your pet doesn’t mean feeding it more… in fact, your actions may reflect otherwise. I generally consider obese pets poorly cared for, as the pet owner isn’t looking out for the best health of their pet and may not be exercising them as much as they should be. Studies have proven it – the skinnier your dog, the longer he lives. On average, you can extend your dog’s life by almost 2 years by just cutting out the calories. The same is likely true for humans (and cats!) too. Being that 40-70% of pets are overweight or obese, I can tell almost all of you to cut back on 30% of the pet food right now. First, use a measuring cup when scooping out your pet’s dinner, so you know just how many calories you’re serving, and when in doubt, cut back on the snacks and table scraps.
Find low-fat, high-fiber snacks to make your pet feel more full. Canned pumpkin, green beans, carrots, and low-salt, low-butter popcorn are great places to start! Finally, switch to a senior pet food – even if your pet technically isn’t “senior” yet. It’ll contain more fiber and bulk so yes, he’ll poop more, but he’ll shed more weight in the process!--
One way to help extend their Quality of life is to add this Holistic Supplement
( NOT sold in stores)
Place your dog on the NuVET Plus supplement dailyhttp://www.nuvet.com/81098 ( Buy the GREEN bottle of NuVET Wafers - USE code 81098 for the 15% off on every auto-ship order)
It will help to keep them healthy, active and balanced NOT sold in stores,order HERE
2. Take an extra walk around the block- ( if your dog is elderly, try to just increase play time in your yard) YOU can also do some play inside the house in the winter. Just get them moving a little bit more.
The more you exercise with your dog, the more weight your dog loses, and the more weight you lose too. After a long stressful day, the last thing you may want to do is take your dog on a time-sucking walk or run, but it’s important for your pet’s health and important for your mental health. Take the extra 10 minutes out of your day to take another loop around the block. For you cat owners, time yourself with a clock and laser pointer and dedicate a whopping 5 minutes of exercise time a day with your cat. When you exercise with your pet, you release natural endorphins while burning calories, and it’s a great way for both of you to feel better.
3. Start a pet savings account
If you can’t afford – or haven’t had time to research – pet insurance, do the next best thing. Start a savings account just for your pet, and don’t dip into it unless it’s for a pet emergency. Simply saving a dollar a day will help for those middle-of-the-night emergencies which are costly… and as your pet ages, the more you need to potentially save! My tip is for each year that your pet is over 10 years of age, save that much for each week of his life (i.e., $11/week for an 11-year-old dog!). Or consider pet insurance instead.
LOOK at this !!!! Skip some Vaccines !!!!
4. Skip the vaccines this year Never thought you’d hear a veterinarian say this, right? As your pet ages, the fewer vaccines he or she needs – typically only those that are required by law. Instead, save the money for blood work which evaluates your pet’s kidney, liver and thyroid function, and white and red blood cells. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can detect metabolic problems (like kidney failure or diabetes), and the sooner you can treat them. Talk to your vet about making this switch. LEARN about Blood titer testing
5. Splurge on a good toy
If you can’t afford doggy daycare or a dog walker, splurge on a good toy for your pet instead.
Environmental enrichment (i.e., how to prevent your pet from getting bored at home) is important for all species. For dogs, a treat-stuffed Kong toy may provide hours of entertainment (just make sure to cut back on the dog food since you’re providing more calories this way!), while for cats, a sisal scratching post, feather on a string, or a laser point (human required) is a must. I also love cat window rests so your cat can enjoy the great outdoors from the safety of inside.
For English Bulldogs, I love a Black KONG or an Elk's bone for toys
Marie of Ask the Pet Nurse on Vaccinations:
I do believe in Vaccines.. don't get me wrong.. Just in moderation
I really do feel the over-vaccination of our pets kills them off sooner and may cause Cancer, Immune problems, Serious Allergies, Kidney failure and Liver failure.
Many pets suffer at the hands of our Over- vaccination schedule. The vaccine yearly program was made to KEEP the people in the doors of the VET office. ( research this and you will see what I mean )
If you get them in for vaccines then you can do a good health check. VETS feel otherwise people would not come in often. It's kind of true.. if people were not told to get your BOOSTER shots yearly they may skip a year before seeing the VET..
MONEY LOSS for VET offices
Learn more about Vaccines and how to cut back on some of them: