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PET CARE Keeping the cost of pet care down

Nurturing
Beat the recession, keep the pet


Ask the Vet
Esther Van Luipen


I’m sure you don’t want to hear the word ‘recession’ anymore. However, even pet lovers will have to face the fact that with a tightening budget, it can seem hard to look after a pet properly. Nevertheless, it is important to do so, especially because pets can give you so much love and comfort – which is more important than ever nowadays.

Keeping costs down
The best advice I can give to keep the cost down is prevention. Keeping your pet healthy and out of harm’s way is the best way to keep your vet bills down.

If you live near a busy road, prevent accidents by keeping your cat indoors and always keep your dog on a leash.
  • Bring your pet to the vet once a year for its vaccination and an overall health check. That way problems can be spotted at an early stage, before they become big ones.
  • If you have a senior dog, bring it to the vet twice a year and have blood tests taken once a year to see how its internal organs are doing.
  • Keep poisons behind lock and key, especially when you have a puppy that chews everything. Plants with bulbs, like daffodils and tulips, are poisonous to dogs so be extra vigilant this time of year. Also Xylitol based sweets, chocolate and raisins and your own prescription medication can be poisonous to your pet.
  • Keep the weight down of your pet to prevent heart disease, joint problems and  diabetes. Measure your pet’s food, keep treats to a minimum and ensure it gets plenty of exercise. If your pet is overweight, get your veterinarian’s help to reduce weight slowly to avoid the health risks of sudden weight loss, especially in cats.
  • The cheapest and most healthy way to feed your dog is to give it good quality nuts. Nuts cost a lot less than tin food and are much healthier too. They scrape the tartar off the teeth so they keep gum disease under control. Look out for nuts that all have the same size, shape and colour, so there are no additives in them. It also has to say ‘complete food’ on the bag. That way you can be sure your pet gets a well-balanced diet.
  • I also recommend pet insurance (it really pays to shop around for this). As a member of the family they deserve quality health care.

Esther van Luipen is a veterinary surgeon in Claremorris Small Animal Practice. Feel free to contact her with any of your small-animal concerns on 094 9373955 or at living@mayonews.ie.