If you want to save money on your veterinary bills, not to mention making life easier for your loved pets, we have some safety tips for you.
There is no such thing as a "street smart" dog. Keep your dog out of the streets. Any dog that could get in the street will sooner or later get hit by a car unless he or she dies from something else first. I don't know how many times I've heard distraught owners, staring bleakly at their injured dog on an exam table, say "I don't know what came over him - he just never goes out into the street!"
Keep your cat(s) indoors. I know there are "outdoor cats" and "indoor-outdoor cats" and I am not saying that everyone who has a cat should keep them inside all the time, but most of the bad things that happen to cats happen when they are outside. If you want to avoid those bad things, like bite wounds, dog trauma, car injuries, and pellet gun wounds, keep your cats safely in your home.
- Keep your dog on a leash. Again, I am not saying that you should never let your dog run and play or go for walks off a leash, but dogs run through brush and barbed wire and get grass awns in their ears and lacerations on their legs. They meet with other dogs and sometimes the interaction is not completely friendly. This is especially true when two or more dogs are running together. They can form a "pack" and a pack of dogs takes on a whole new personality. A pack of dogs will do things that none of the individual dogs would normally do. They may ignore owner commands and may attack and kill smaller dogs or cats. Yes! This does happen! Please, before you let your dog or dogs run off leash, take a good look at the area around you.
- Don't let your dog ride loose in the back of a pickup truck. Like dogs that "never go in the street," dogs that "never jump out of the truck" sometimes do. Broken legs and torn knee ligaments are a couple of common results. Orthopedic surgery on a dog can easily cost a thousand dollars and is not always completely successful. I know if you're a rancher with working dogs it may not be practical to restrain the dogs in the back and even less practical to have two or three muddy, slobbering cow dogs on the seat next to you. It may be a deeply ingrained life style of other people and dogs, but there are risks. Many states have laws that require "pickup dogs" to be cross-tie
- Keep your dog or cat out of garbage cans. Cats are more picky and more careful than dogs about what they eat, but either one can find culinary treasures in the garbage. They may also eat grandpa's heart pills left on the bathroom counter, or other medication, and they will readily lap up antifreeze that leaked or was spilled on the driveway. "Garbage Can Poisoning" can cause serious vomiting and diarrhea. If a ten-pound dog or cat swallows a dose of medication intended for a 200 pound human, expensive vet bills, or worse, can result. Even a tiny dose of antifreeze can cause fatal kidney failure.
- No matter how many times I tell people, lawn edging is still going to put my kids through college. Lawn edging, sprinkler heads, metal stakes, & barbed wire are just some of the culprits responsible for the wide variety of lacerations & wounds we treat. The injuries can range from as slight as a small cut to a deep laceration severing major blood vessels, nerves, and tendons. Animals can easily obtain permanent injuries. Prevention is the best medicine, take some time to inspect your pet's environment and insure these hazards are removed. You can use concrete lawn edging or purchase lawn edging capping material from home stores.
The following are a few tips to keep your pet safe:
*Keep pets on their regular schedule for feeding & exercise.
*Watch pets around lit barbecue grills.
*Do not allow your pet to have table scraps including bones.
*Keep sweets, especially chocolates away from pets.
*Do not give your pet alcoholic beverages.
*Make sure garbage is disposed of & left overs are put away immediately.
*Watch pets around lit candles.
*Keep pets away from plants.
*Put pets in a secure, quiet place when company visits.
*Watch your pet around doors and make certain they are wearing identification.
Have a Fun & Safe Party!
These are just a few of the many things you can do to help prevent avoidable veterinary expenses.