Caring for your canine can be expensive, especially if you buy the designer products that are less about value than novelty. Each year, owners spend billions of dollars on things that can cause a monthly budget to buckle. Experts suggest that the current economy has led many owners to simply abandon their dogs due to the high cost of providing for their care.
The good news is that there are several steps you can take that will lower your long-term dog care expenses. We’ll share five of them with you in this article. These steps are preventative; by taking action on them today, you’ll reduce the likelihood of expensive veterinary bills in the future.
#1 – Select Appropriate Vaccinations
As an owner, you’re required by law to have your pooch vaccinated with certain vaccines. But that program is broad and meant to cover all breeds. If your canine is susceptible to specific infections or diseases, your veterinarian should design a program that addresses his exposure. Otherwise, you could presumably follow the vaccinations required by law and still watch your pooch become sick.
#2 – Enroll Into Professional Training Classes
The value of professional dog training cannot be overstated. Most owners consider classes in the context of reinforcing certain behaviors while discouraging others. The training can also help your pooch stay calm when he is exposed to other pets and owners. He’ll be more inclined to respond to your voice whenever you call for him or issue a command. If you’re outside together, that responsiveness can protect him from running out into traffic or confronting another animal.
#3 – Watch For Signs Of Illness
You should be aware of any warning signs that suggest your canine may be sick or injured. For example, if he exhibits a mild limp, that may imply he’s experiencing the early stages of arthritis. A persistent rubbing of the eyes might suggest the onset of glaucoma. Diseases and illnesses can evolve rapidly in dogs. Unless they’re identified and addressed quickly, they might lead to long-term disability.
#4 – Schedule Regular Veterinary Appointments
You should have your pet’s veterinarian perform a routine examination at least once a year. This is the best way to identify health problems early. The earlier such problems are detected, the earlier the vet can design a treatment program to resolve them.
Regular visits are also useful for making sure your pooch receives periodic dental checkups, deworming treatments, and flea and tick medicine. You might initially think these routine visits are expensive, but the alternative – allowing your canine to become sick – is far more costly.
#5 – Provide High-Quality Dog Food
Many of the dog food brands you’ll find in grocery stores contain filler. This filler is included in order to give the product bulk. It’s digestible, but contains very little nutritional value.
By contrast, high-quality commercial brands are formulated for specific ages. They offer a blend of nutrients and vitamins that are designed to accommodate your canine’s activity level. He’ll enjoy more energy and better health over the long run.
One quick note regarding food: avoid serving portions that are too large. Dogs will normally eat anything you put in front of them (assuming they like the food). The problem is, unless your pooch is extremely active, overeating will lead to obesity. That, in turn, will cause health and joint problems.
A healthy canine is a happy one. And a happy canine makes a much more pleasant companion. Use the suggestions above to ensure the long-term health of your pooch. Taking action on these suggestions may require a larger investment upfront, but you’ll enjoy greater savings over the lifetime of your dog.