Bringing a new dog or cat into your home is a time of discovery and joy; that is unless the discovery centers on pet illness.
In the past, most pets were obtained from local sources (i.e. nearby shelters or breeders) and therefore tended to only have diseases that were common to the area. These days, however, some breeders will send their puppies or kittens hundreds or thousands of miles to their new owners or to pet shops. Animals in shelters may also have traveled great distances. This is especially true in parts of the country, like the Northeast, that have managed to gain better control of the animal over-population problem. Animals are now often transported from facilities that are overflowing to those that have available space in another part of the country.
While this is obviously beneficial for the animals that would otherwise have been euthanized, it can occasionally present some problems for their new owners. If your new pet becomes sick, it is now quite possible that the illness may be something that your local veterinarian does not see on a regular basis.
So, what can owners do to protect their new pets? Try to find out your pet’s travel history and pass it along to your veterinarian. This information can be a life-saver by helping your vet determine whether any screening tests should be run. Background info is also extremely helpful in producing a quick diagnosis so that the appropriate treatment and pet medications can be administered in the unfortunate event that your pet does fall ill.
Cats are physiologically different than dogs. Because of this, they are more prone to developing potentially life threatening side-effects from the most common class of pain relievers used in dogs –NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories). This makes keeping cats comfortable in the face of both acute (i.e. post-surgical or traumatic injury) and chronic (i.e. osteoarthritis) pain challenging.
When cats are hospitalized, veterinarians have a wide range of options to choose from regarding pain medication. But once a cat is scheduled to go home, the choices become more limited. Below are a few of the more commonly used pain relievers for cats commonly available from retailers like http://www.vetdepot.com. Many are also good options for dogs.
- Buprenorphine – good for acute and chronic pain but can get expensive with long-term use
- Tramadol – good for acute and chronic pain
- gabapentin – good for chronic pain
- amantadine – good for chronic pain
- Joint Supplements – good for chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis and possibly some other conditions
- Metacam (meloxicam) – this is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that has been used in cats, but repeated use increases the risk of side effects. It may still be an option for some individuals.
If you think your pet is in pain, talk to your veterinarian and ask if any of the aforementioned pet medications might be appropriate.
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
5. Golden Retrievers
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.
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!
Pets rely on us for everything. We provide them with food, water, attention, veterinary care, pet medications and everything else their furry little paws aren’t able to provide for themselves. But what recent studies show pets can give us in return is invaluable- our health.
Owning a pet is linked to a variety of health benefits including lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, a slower heart rate and less stress. Thanks to plenty of walks and play time, pet owners also typically lead a more active lifestyle than those who don’t own a furry companion.
Pet owners not only usually experience better physical health, but also benefit mentally. The love and companionship provided by a pet has been shown to decrease feelings of loneliness and depression, outbursts, and instances of mood disorders. It’s no wonder why therapy dogs are now specifically being trained to comfort the elderly, Alzheimer’s patients and even cancer patients.
Pets improve both our physical health and our quality of life. So the next time your sweet pup is not so sweetly chewing up something he’s not supposed to, remember all the benefit you’re getting from his tail wagging companionship!