We love our pets and they are as much a part of our family as our children – without the tuition costs! These professional recommendations will help you to maintain your pet’s health with the lowest overall costs and aggravation. If you are interested in additional ways to save money on your pet’s care – check out the resource box on the bottom.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Many dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese. And just like people, obesity in pets comes with health risks that include diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.
Overfeeding is the leading cause of obesity, while keeping our pets trim can add years to their lives.
Because pets need far fewer calories than most of us think — as little as 185-370 a day for a small, inactive dog; just 240-350 calories daily for a 10-pound cat — talk to your vet, who can make feeding suggestions based on your pet’s age, weight, and lifestyle.
Make sure the pet food you buy states somewhere on the label that it is AAFCO-approved, meaning it is complete, balanced and appropriate for your pet’s stage in life.
2. Provide an Enriched Environment
Pets need mental stimulation, which may mean daily walks for your pooch, and scratching posts, window perches, and toys for your cat. It means play time with you, which not only keeps your pet’s muscles toned and boredom at bay; it also strengthens your bond with your four-footed companions.
3. Proper Restraint in a Vehicle
You buckle up for safety when you’re in the car, shouldn’t your pet? Unrestrained pets in a car are a distraction to the driver, and can put driver and pet at risk for serious injury, or worse.
To keep pets safe in transit:
Never allow pets to travel in the front seat, where they’re at risk of severe injury or death if the airbag deploys.
Don’t let dogs ride with their head out the window or untethered in the back of a truck bed. Both practices put them at risk of being thrown from the vehicle in the event of an accident.
To keep pets safe, confine cats to carriers, and then secure the carrier with a seatbelt. For dogs, there’s the option of a special harness attached to a seat belt, or a well-secured kennel.