How to Properly Muzzle your Pet

A muzzle is an important restraining device for any pet that may be ill or injured.  Muzzles are designed to protect people from bite injuries when an ill or injured animal must be transported or examined.

Many types of muzzles are available and they can usually be purchased at your local pet store.  For dogs, there are basket/cage muzzles, cloth or nylon muzzles and leather muzzles.  Sometimes, a hard-sided Elizabethan collar with proper restraint can have the same effect as muzzling.  For cats, nylon face muzzles are available.

Materials around the house can be used as muzzles for most dogs with a medium to longer snout (these are typically difficult to use for cats or dogs with very short noses like pugs).   A leash, rolled gauze, sock or even shirt sleeve can be wrapped once around the mouth and tied behind the ears if a commercial muzzle is not available.

Any muzzle placed on an animal should not limit their breathing in any way.  It may prevent them from open-mouth panting for short periods of time, but should not restrict breathing.  A muzzle that completely closes the mouth should not be placed on an animal with nasal discharge of any kinds as it may restrict breathing.  If an animal appears to have difficulty breathing, the muzzle should be immediately removed.

Muzzles should also be used with caution for any pet that may be sick enough to vomit.  If abdominal contractions, retching or other sounds of vomiting begin, the muzzle should be removed immediately because if the animal vomits, and the material (vomitus) cannot pass out of the mouth easily, it’s possible the animal may choke on the material or aspirate vomitus into the lungs.

Cats can be a little more difficult to muzzle. Commercial cat muzzles cover the face, with a small hole in front for them to breathe through and velcro connections in the back.  With a little creativity, one can create a muzzle for a cat at home.  A small plastic cup can be used as a muzzle.  Two holes must be made just under the top rim, small enough for some gauze or string to pass through and tie.  The cup is placed (widest portion first) over the cat’s face and the string tied behind the head.  This will allow the cat to see.

Regardless of the type, you should be able to remove a muzzle quickly and easily.  When used properly, muzzles can be helpful restraining devices for protecting people from an animal that is ill, aggressive or in pain.

Is your Pooch One of the Ten Most Popular Dog Breeds?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has released its ranking of dog breed popularity based on its registration statistics.  Here are top 10 dog breeds, according to the AKC:

1.            Labrador Retrievers

2.            German Shepherds

3.            Yorkshire Terriers

4.            Beagles

5.            Golden Retrievers

6.            Bulldogs

7.            Boxers

8.            Dachshunds

9.            Poodles

10.          Shih Tzus

No matter what the breed, save money on all of your lovable pup’s pet medications and pet supplies by shopping on www.vetdepot.com.

 

Is Pet Insurance Right for You?

More owners are looking into and purchasing health insurance for their pets.  Choices range from very inexpensive policies that provide some financial help when dealing with an unforeseen illness or accident to more comprehensive plans that cover preventative care and have high coverage limits.  Of course these latter policies also have higher premiums, but with a little research most pet owners can find a pet insurance plan is a good fit for them.

Here are a few things to remember when considering health insurance for your pet:

  • No policy covers all your veterinary expenses.  You will still need to have savings and/or credit available to cover deductibles, copays, and costs that exceed or are excluded from your policy.  Primarily think of insurance as a way to help deal with unexpected expenses.  Routine purchases like vaccines, heartworm prevention and flea and tick control can be budgeted for and purchased from online retailers such as vetdepot.com.
  • Know what you are buying.  All policies have exclusions, so check the fine print.
  • Preexisting conditions will not be covered, so if your dog or cat has already been diagnosed with a disease, the cost of treating it (pet medication refills, rechecks, etc.) will come out of your pocket.  Consider getting insurance when your pet is young to avoid the pitfalls associated with preexisting conditions.

Tips on Saving Big Bucks on your Furry Little Friend

Responsible pet ownership requires an investment that lasts the lifetime of your pet. In this regard, owning a pet is similar to caring for a child. There are many ongoing costs associated with caring for your dog or cat, but there are easy things you can do to help keep some of these costs down.

Shop Around for Vets: When you’re choosing a vet, call several local veterinary offices and ask them the cost for a routine exam. Often, vets will use this price as a base price for all other procedures. Vets who charge less for a routine exam tend to have lower prices overall. Don’t wait for an emergency to choose your veterinarian; you will be more stressed in emergency situations and may not be as concerned with cutting costs.

Compare Prices Online for your Pet’s Medications: If you buy your flea preventatives and other pet medications at your veterinarian’s office, you are likely being charged a mark-up of over 100% of the wholesale price. Shopping online for your pet’s medication can lead to huge savings, plus the added convenience of receiving your pet’s medications delivered to your door. When you’re comparing prices online, you can often save money by ordering more doses in one time. Make sure you order discount pet medications only from secure sites based in the US that are certified by either LegitScript or Vet-VIPPS like vetdepot.

Don’t Let Fido Eat You out of House and Home: No matter what, your furry friend is always going to want to eat! The biggest ongoing cost pet owners pay is food. Many pet foods labeled as “Premium” or other special diets cost more than double what other pet foods cost. Be aware that there is no legal standard pet foods must meet to be labeled as “Premium”, but any food that is labeled “complete & balanced” or “total nutrition” meets the minimum legal standard required for pet foods. Unless your pet has a medical condition requiring a special diet, you probably don’t need to spend extra on pricey foods that may offer no extra benefit to your pet’s health.

Invest in Preventative Care: You’ve probably heard the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping up with your pet’s routine exams and vaccinations can prevent a wide variety of serious and costly health problems. Clean choppers also make a big difference in your pet’s health. Brushing your dog or cat’s teeth and feeding them dental treats can help prevent periodontal disease, a common cause of kidney and lung problems. Finally, make sure your pet maintains a healthy weight. Have plenty of playtime and don’t overfeed your furball. Obesity can cause diabetes and arthritis, among other expensive problems. Remember, a healthy pet is a happy pet, and a healthy pet costs you less!

Is your Four-Legged Friend Going on a Raw or Organic Diet?

In recent years, Americans have been spending more money than ever on organic and natural foods.  It should come as no surprise that many people are also beginning to buy natural or organic foods for their animal companions. Many of us feel like our dogs and cats are members of our family. As we begin to think more about finding healthy foods for ourselves, many of us are also becoming interested in feeding our pets better foods too. At pet stores around the country, new foods are cropping up featuring specialty ingredients like blueberries, alfalfa and brewer’s yeast.

There is some debate, however, as to whether these more costly “natural” foods actually have health benefits for your pet. It certainly can’t hurt your pet to keep them on a diet made from higher quality ingredients however some brands may be lower in important nutrients such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Grain-free foods also promise many benefits but there is debate as to the truth of these claims. According to some veterinarians, grain-free foods mainly benefit pets with specific food allergies.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide if a natural diet would be a good thing to try with your pet. If your pet has allergies or suffers from any feline or canine digestive troubles, paying more attention to their diet might help improve their overall condition. Rest assured, even if you can’t afford the additional cost of organic, specialty pet foods, more traditional brands are still a safe and cost effective way to fill up that furry little tummy.