Most pawrents keep their canines under control, but taming their dog's vet bills can be a challenge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend, on average, $500 a year on vet bills for their dogs, and yours may be more. It's not easy to balance your responsibilities to your pet and your budget. With the help of retired Arcata, California veterinarian Jeri Lou Oliphant, we've put together five tips for ways to keep your vet bills reasonable.
1. Feed your pup prudently. According to Dr. Oliphant, obesity is one of the most common causes of unnecessary vet visits. Most Americans feed their dogs more than the recommended amount, and overfeeding triggers issues ranging from heart problems to diabetes. Buy the highest quality dog food you can afford and follow your vet's guidelines on feeding your pup.
2. Keep up the walks. All dogs need exercise as well as play time with their humans. Getting out to the dog park, fetching tennis balls on the beach or hiking your favorite trails lifts your dog's mood, keeps their weight down and contributes to improved heart health.
3. Stay current with vaccinations. Vaccinating your dog saves money and heartbreak in the long run says Dr. Oliphant. Vaccines can prevent major diseases, including rabies, distemper and hepatitis. Additionally, annual exams are important to detect problems early.
4. Invest in doggy dental care. Only 1 in 10 pet owners brushes their dog's teeth regularly, yet it's an essential part of canine health and can help avoid vet bills for dogs later. Tooth infection can cause serious issues such as organ damage.
5. Monitor your dog's health. The LINK AKC Smart Collar tracks your pet's activity levels, including exercise time, so you always know how much energy he's burning. The collar also keeps their vet records at your fingertips.
Investing time, energy and money in your dog's health in the short term keeps medical bills down in the long run. Start 2018 right by setting up a daily and weekly schedule for walks and brushing your pup's teeth and yearly vet checkups and vaccinations.
- Feed your dog the correct amount of quality food.
- Exercise often with your dog.
- Vaccinate regularly to prevent costly illnesses.
- Brush those pearly whites consistently.
- Keep tabs on your fur buddy's workout levels.
- Make a schedule and stick to it for walks, checkups and other healthy steps.