Posts Tagged ‘pet care’

Veterinary Companies Face Lay-offs.

Pet health has traditionally survived economic down-turns, but not this time.

Veterinary companies suffering from lack of business may not bring tears to your eyes (unless you are one of the up to 25% of staff laid off), but it is the pets who are the innocent victims here.

Urgent surgery is still happening for the most part, but preventive treatments have been shelved for the greater good of the family.  And who can blame a family for choosing food on the table over dental treatment for the family dog?

However, skipping such basic medicinal worm treatment for your dog could be fatal.

Now more than ever might be the time to consider pet health insurance.No one would want to be in the situation of having to have a loved family pet put down because they couldn’t afford life-saving treatment.

Click for more info.Nursing a Treasured Pet

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Cutting the cost of pet ownership.

The soaring cost of living and rapidly rising pet costs will be something to consider as we head into the Christmas season again.

It is important to examine where we are spending money on our pets so we can make an informed decision about where we can save money. A personal budget is a very good idea, and so too is a pet budget.

One of the best ways of keeping track is to have a dairy for each of your pets.  That way you can record their medical history to make sure they get all the proper vaccinations and treatments, and you can keep track of the money spent on each pet (we don’t want sibling rivalry to develop!!).  It is also great having a dairy you can look back on to remember all the important events in your pets life – like the day they took their first step.

Once you know where the money is being spent on your pet you can look at ways of cutting back should you need to.

It is very important to realise not all cost cutting measures will save you money.

For example: buying the cheapest pet food might reduce your pet bill by a few dollars a week, but may cost you several thousand dollars in vet bills and medication in the advent of pet diabetes, cancer, or bowl problems.

Choosing not to invest in pet medical insurance may seem like a good cost cutting measure, but again, you may regret cutting costs in this area when a vet visit is required over Christmas.

Instead you should look at areas like basic pet care and hygiene for ways to cut costs.  Are you going to specialists for procedures that you could do yourself, such as grooming and pedicures (or is that pawdicures?).

The most obvious cost cutting examples are in the pet “bling” market.  Does your dog really need custom monogrammed coats made from Yak wool with daimond studs?  Or your cat need a gold laced collar with sterling silver bells?

They may be slightly exaggerated examples (for most people anyway), but you know what little treats you shower upon your pet that are more for your pleasure than your pets.

If you are looking for areas to make cut backs this Christmas revisit this MarketWatch article by Andrea Coombes on keeping the costs of pet ownership in check. Below are just three of her thirteen tips:

  1. Don’t buy the cheapest pet food. Higher-quality food helps keep your pet healthier, and you might save on training costs, Fearing said, as cheap food with fillers can lead to hyperactivity.
  2. Don’t overfeed your pet. Many people feed more than the package guidelines, Zawistowski said. Feeding the right amount saves on food costs — which average about 40% of a pet owner’s total costs — and reduces the likelihood of obesity-related ailments.
  3. Spay or neuter your pet. “Spayed and neutered pets have fewer health problems down the road,” Fearing said, pointing to prostate and ovarian cancer. Also, once neutered, “they roam significantly less, so they’re not getting hit by cars.”

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Old age catches up with everyone – even our cats and dogs and other pets.

Special care requirements are often necessary to ensure the health and well-being of these elderly animals. Old age is not to be regarded as a disease, but as a natural process.
Just because your pet is old, does not mean it is normal for it to look unwell.

Learn to recognize the signs of old age, these may include impaired vision and hearing. For example, extra care is needed so you don’t startle animals with a hearing impairment, especially when they are asleep.

Vision impaired animals may not want to be taken new places for fear of the unknown and bumping into objects. If you see signs of your animal developing vision problems have them checked out by your vet. It is possible they may be able to be successfully treated for cataracts.

Older cats and dogs especially, are prone to cardiac disease. You can spot signs such as coughing, irregular breathing, or a reluctance to exercise that might indicate cardiac problems.

Gum disease is a common complaint amongst the elderly. Look for the obvious signs of dental ill health, including bad breath, drooling, pawing at the mouth, and no interesting in eating food that needs chewing. Again, many dental problems are treatable.

Arthritis is more obvious in dogs, as cats tend to just withdraw and become less sociable. If your pet loses its spring, and doesn’t venture off the floor, or loses interest in exercise then book them a vet inspection. Medication can help relieve arthritic pain and make your pets twilight years a lot more comfortable.

Cats are less likely to develop cataracts, but there are problems that tend to be more cat specific. Kidney failure is one problem common amongst elderly cats. Drinking lots, loss of weight, depression, and vomiting are signs that may indicate a kidney problem in your cat. Kidney problems may also occur in younger cats as a result of infection or tumors.

You may not know what hyperthyroidism is, but you may recognize its symptoms in your elderly cat. These symptoms include long claws, becoming very thin while maintaining a healthy apatite, and becoming shaky and more vocal. Once again there are treatments available to help in this situation.

Elderly pets have different requirements, but this doesn’t mean they can’t have a good quality of life. Just remember they will require more sleep, a slower pace of life, and regular health checks. But they are the same loyal pets that have shared in your family life for many years.

[Source: Dr Elsa Flint Pet]

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Namara Pets is about to launch a new pet community site and we need your help.

If you would like to join our unbelievably friendly community and Beta Test the site for us – you will be entitled to join at the remarkable low price of FREE. Not only that – you will get LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP for the same remarkable low price – FREE.

All we want in return is your opinion –

What does our site need – We will build it for you.
How can we gear our site to help you – We will do it.
If you were building a site for your friends what would you do – Tell us and it will be done.

Join today – and help us help you.

We don’t want to make the mistakes of those who have gone before us – we want to build the site YOU want .. not the site we think you want.

Come Join The Fun

Come And Join The Fun Today

Feed Shark

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American pet owners will spend nearly $11 billion on veterinary care in 2008, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association.

“Our pet is part of the family.” Doesn’t every member of your family deserve the same rights?

No one likes to see another member of their family in pain or suffering needlessly. But what happens if your loved family dog needs a $5000 operation?

Unfortunately, euthanasia is often the choice that families are forced to make when they can not afford costly vet bills to save their pet’s life. With the economy in a downward spiral and household budgets coming under increasing pressure there is little chance of there being large amounts of cash sitting in emergency funds when a pet medical crisis occurs.

There is a solution …

Lassie was the first dog in America, back in 1982, to have health insurance. Today pet health insurance is common place. Swedish pet owners have embraced the idea of being able to fully care for their pet no matter the cost, with around 50% of all pets receiving the benefits of health insurance.

Our pets today have the advantage of advanced technology and treatments available to them. Such proceedures that were reserved for humans are now available to pets, including Chemotherapy, heart surgery and MRIs. But cutting edge technology comes at a price.

With these costs being in the thousands of dollars, the only option for the uninsured may be to have their pet put down or have a leg that could have been repaired… amputated, because it was cheaper.

It may surprise many people to know that pet health insurance is not more expensive than human health insurance, in fact it is cheaper. So shouldn’t you ensure that ALL of your family is covered for the unexpected?

It is not only disease and damage that can be covered…

One of the common ailments that vets have to deal with in pets is foreign bodies that have been consumed. Veterinary Pet Insurance published this list of the most common items needing surgical extraction.

Most common surgically
removed items
1. Socks
2. Underwear
3. Panty hose
4. Rocks
5. Balls
6. Chew toys
7. Corn cobs
8. Bones
9. Hair ties/ribbons
10. Sticks

Pet Health Insurance For Cats & Dogs

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Shocking – inhumane – cruel – negligent. All words used by angry objectors to describe this new phenomenon of renting a pet.

Knee-jerk reaction – unfair – interfering. Comes the response from those in the burgeoning industry.

FlexPetz operates a successful dog rental business in San Diego, Los Angeles, and New York but they have come up against the wrath of pet owners, animal rights groups and animal behaviorists as they look to expand into Boston.

Veterinarians are saying that renting out dogs could inflict permanent damage to their psyches, as multiple owners could confuse their concept of loyalty.

The concept of rent-a-pet is not unique to America. Tokyo’s “Puppy the World” supply dogs by the hour, complete with a leash, tissues, a plastic bag, and strict guidelines on acceptable dog management. Hotels rent pets under under different guises such as the Fairmont Copley Dog ambassador program, where patrons are able to take Catie Copley, a Labrador retriever, for walks. In Stockbridge patrons of the Red Lion Inn are able to request a room complete with its own cat for company.

“It’s incredibly disrespectful to the dog, and it’s also disrespectful to the renter because it devolves the purpose of having a dog in your life. There is no commitment there.”

“This promotes dogs as disposable items,” said Bryn Conklin, an animal protection specialist at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“Dogs need stability in their lives, they need a long-term commitment, and they need a secure environment,” said Ray McSoley, a local trainer who called the company a “four-legged escort service.”


Do you think animals are living beings and not commodities?

Or do you think that it is far better that people have the option of renting a pet to learn the responsibilities involved before they take the step of getting their own pet. Perhaps that way we wouldn’t have a pet dumping crisis on our hands?

Having the ability to rent a pet, which is in 24 hour care when not “working,” could be considered more responsible than owning your own pet and leaving it locked up alone 10 hours a day while you are at work. It is better for a pet to be properly cared for than someone who can only afford a pet part time but going ahead and getting one anyway and having it malnourished and under groomed.

On the other hand some have labelled it animal prostitution. Is this just another example of money hungry people exploiting animals?

Marlena Cervantes says she began the operation as a way of helping families with autistic children. In her job as a therapist for autistic children Cervantes used her own dog in therapy sessions, and had such a great response that she looked for a way to share her dog among the families.

The dogs have mainly come from shelters or are destined for shelters. Cervantes selects the dogs specifically for their temperament and ability to adapt to the multiplicity of owners, and are only in the program between the ages of 2 and 4 before being adopted out. She says that the animals do have structure and a home base where they are much better off than a shelter. The animals live in day-care facilities where they are allowed to roam free and intermingle.

Prospective dog renters are screened for previous pet ownership, good credit, and their ability to care for the dog. A dog trainer educates the client on their responsiblities as a dog carer, teaching them about dog habits, routines, and commands. Time with a dog is then booked via an online reservation system.

But why hire a dog from an agency when you can go through your own local pet shelter and walk a dog for free?

Gary Patronek, director of animal welfare and protection at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, says “If you are feeling a little lonely, we are here.” You can volunteer to walk a dog wearing a red vest that reads, “Available for adoption.”

One of the reasons put forth why people use a rent-a-pet agency is that they are more flexible in hours of operation. Should our animal shelters be looking at ways to address their business practices to be more user friendly? Perhaps they need to address their current marketing practises?

What are your views?

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