Routine Pet Maintenance Now Can Save BIG $$$ Later
1. Pooch protect your home & lawn!
Keep chewable and toxic products hidden. (If you buy plush toys meant for 2-legged kids, remove the plastic parts). Add baby locks to cupboards, lock outdoor gates, close doors (especially to bathrooms) and keep your lawn chemical-free. When walking Fluffy in public, make sure she doesn’t eat the grass (you don’t know what’s been sprayed there)
2. Be your dog’s dentist!
Routine brushing of Fido’s teeth is a lot easier than it looks! There are many “stock” dental kits for dogs, and it can save you thousands in the long run. Periodontal disease can lead to not only decay, but teeth removal later (not to mention bad breath!) A healthy chew bone will keep her teeth tip top as well.
Professional teeth cleaning by a Vet may be necessary later if oral hygiene is overlooked.
3. Bathing Brushing and grooming
I’m often baffled by dog’s nails that have become talons due to lack of proper trimming. In extreme cases, the dog is walking on the inside of their paws because the nails are in the way. Keeping long-haired coats shorter will help guard against uncomfortable matting and prevent “safe harbor” for fleas and ticks. A clean coat also prevents dander build up. Regular brushing helps spread their natural oils throughout while a good oil rinse (available in pet stores) adds back moisture that may be depleted in the summer months and in warm climate areas.
4. Vet Wellness Exams
An annual check-up is well worth the cost! Beyond routine vaccinations, a Veterinarian-administered well-ness check might flush out any underlying conditions preventing expensive treatments later.
5. Guard against Fleas and Ticks
If either of these nasty critters breeds inside your home, via a free ride on your dog, termination via fumigation is an inconvenient and expensive solution (you may need to book a hotel while your home is treated).
6. Good Nutrition
Fortunately, greater attention is being given to the necessity and importance of higher-grade pet food for our dogs and cats, naturally-born carnivores. I love this dissertation from Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM, from the book “It’s Like a Miracle” by Drs. Richard Soltero & Connie Stoffels:
“Imagine waking up to breakfast…soybean grits, mixed with tainted cattle-meat meal…add a few feathers and beaks…smother with processed sugar syrup and chemicals, preservatives and dyes. Pressure cook the heck out of it, let it cool and dig in! And this is the same meal you get to eat every day for the rest of your life!”
I always admire the dog guest who consistently, and without protest, eats his commercial dry-food down to the last kibble. As pet sitters, those guys and girls make our jobs easier!
However, it is more common to observe the guest who, after one whiff of another dog’s food, suddenly loses interest in his own fare and wants to sample something different (or refuses to eat at all because he’s simply bored with the same ol’ thing)
It is a joyful aspect of our job to lovingly prepare specialty meals for those dogs that arrive with (example) salmon patties, raw meat medallions, cooked chicken, raw vegetables and/or grain-free products that are consumed with exuberance.
If you care about the longevity of your dog’s life, please consider a change from commercial pet food to healthier alternatives. The argument that organic, raw, or non-chemically treated dog food is more expensive is a valid one! So is the cost of Vet bills to treat cancer, intestinal disorders and other diet-related illnesses. Even healthy people-food is better for your dogs!
Just chat with your Vet or consult with a board-certified Vet Nutritionist about it!