Costly Mistakes Made By Pet Owners: Part 215.04.17
Looking after your pet(s) can be an expensive exercise. So we asked our vet to share some of the more common mistakes she’s seen pet owners make, to help you save a dime or two. If you haven’t caught part 1 of this blog series you can find it here. Otherwise keep reading below for part 2.
Very few young and healthy dogs need regular pedicures unless they have nail deformities. They should be wearing their nails down naturally through walking. So if your pooch is needing regular nail trims, they may not walking enough. Try get them out the house more often to keep them healthier and to save money on pedicures.
- Breeder vs. Vet
It may sound obvious but a vet has a minimum of between 5-7 years of intensive medical training, while a breeder may not have a medical background at all. There are certainly very knowledgeable breeders out there, however there are no lectures to attend, exams to pass, or compulsory continuing professional development (CPD) points to keep up to date with.
So where your breeder’s advice contradicts your vet’s, think twice before dismissing the latter just because the breeder has been breeding for 20 years.
- Insurance & Savings
For human beings there is almost always an option of government-funded medical care available, even if you don’t have insurance or savings. This is not the case for animals. Prepare for any sudden emergencies without compromising the care of your pet or having to max out your credit card. Think of your animals as a house or car that needs regular check ups, as well as cover for emergencies.
Remember you are legally responsible for anything your dog does (from causing an accident to killing a farmer’s prize ram), so 3rd party insurance that often comes with medical insurance will give you wonderful peace of mind.
Being careful to put away food, medications and any other potentially dangerous things that may be lying around the house (such as Christmas decorations, unsupervised toys, etc) or the garden, such as toxic plants.
- Removing the “cone of shame”
There is a good chance that removing the “cone of shame” too early will result in your cat or dog chewing out their stitches or contaminating their wound, meaning you will need to pay to have the damage repaired - and your poor animal will end up wearing “the cone” for far longer.
- Bandage Care
A wet or slipped bandage will cause more harm than good. For example, your pet ends up not only having a broken toe but also smelly, oozing and painful dermatitis because of a wet bandage. Try to keep the bandage dry and follow the advice of your vet. If it does become wet, make sure you call the vet as soon as possible to get it changed. Even if it looks dry on the outside, the inner layers may remain sodden.
Applying a bandage looks simple but it takes skill and practice to layer correctly, and to get the tension right. Don’t take this lightly - I once saw a dog have to leave without its leg because an incorrectly applied bandage had constricted its blood flow.
- Having Surgery
Surgery often appears to be a scary up-front cost, but on-going medical care of a condition will usually end up costing far more in the long-term (for example, managing a cut pad with bandage changes rather than stitching it).
- Call Your Vet
The more the condition of an animal deteriorates, the harder and pricier it becomes to get them well again. Call early, even if it’s just to get some advice on whether they need to be seen. This is especially important if you suspect that your animal has eaten something toxic.
By self-medicating your pet you can potentially mask symptoms that may have helped your vet make a diagnosis. Alternatively you may have given your pet something that is toxic for that diagnoses (such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, etc). Rather seek appropriate advice early if your animal appears to be ill – it’s much cheaper to call.
Thanks for reading – we hope that the above tips help save you (and your pet) some money. Remember you can catch part 1 of this blog series here, or spoil your special companion by buying them an adorable Lulu & Robbie coat here.