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How do we keep our pets healthy on a budget?

In today’s high tech society; we occasionally stumble upon something that causes us to pause for a moment in which we step back in time. Social media sites provide us with links to old friends, reminding us of our “past” experiences. I had that happen today and recently reconnected with an old friend.

This “pause” made me realize that we have a tremendous cache of information which we rarely access but is a valuable part of our intellect... This cache sets the basis for our beliefs and common sense.

I am pointing this out to show that we already have most of the knowledge necessary to care properly for our furry pets. It’s all stored within our minds; all we have to do is utilize it.

Pets have been part of civilization for thousands of years. They thrived without most of the modern theories being presented today. That happened because we were guided by common sense and experience. Back then, there wasn’t any puppy training classes, manufactured pet foods, flea prevention or vaccinations. The latter are all inventions of the past fifty years or so. Despite the lack of these modern aids years ago, breeders and fanciers were able to develop hundreds of breeds of dogs and cats. These animals didn’t face extinction for a lack of the next “super” drug.

All life, including that of man, is supported by the availability of species appropriate, natural real food and clean, healthy water. We instinctively know that this influences our eating and our pets’ feeding habits. It’s easy to forget the basics we learned in the past when barraged with powerful marketing. Much of this marketing effort is designed to cause us to doubt our instincts and to believe in the so-called experts.

Advertisements for pet foods always shows healthy looking pets running and playing, perfectly socialized, with a side picture of fresh food such as meat, eggs, and fish, giving the impression that they are the ingredients in that packaged food. As you walk your dog or go the groomer or vet, look at the other pets you see. The majority are probably fed dry kibble with variations. Is their coat shiny and sleek like in the advertisement?? Are they energetic and well-behaved or lethargic and ill-mannered? How many have lumps and tumors? How about rotting breath requiring regular dental cleaning? If “crunchy kibble” is claimed to aid in the cleaning of the teeth, then why are dental problems so common today?

We know the answers instinctively. We learned as children that cookies and candy cause dental problems and can make us obese, yet we believe that kibble, which contains many of the same ingredients, is healthy. We learned that all the sugary treats can cause humans to have bad skin and yet the skin problems that our pets have are regarded as a result of some mysterious condition. .

How does your pet act on the days following heartworm or flea treatments or vaccines? Are you advised by your vet that these treatments are safe, however if your pet has a reaction, you must call them immediately or you are prescribed another medicine? Why could your pet react adversely if these drugs are safe? Why do pets being vaccinated still get many of the diseases they are supposed to be protected against? Why do pets taking the preventative medications still get fleas, ticks, heartworms and other parasites?

All these special diets, drugs, medications, testing and procedures all add up to excessive veterinary bills with less than acceptable results. That return trip office visit is never free. Insist on knowing the benefits of following these expensive guidelines. Be sure to ask what the risks are and what the guarantee on the products or treatment is. Also insist on being informed of natural alternatives and if your pet’s care provider does not know, research yourself and find another caregiver more informed.

Start right now and observe your pet today and ask yourself if YOU believe his health is optimized. Evaluate the problems and challenges YOU see and then ask YOURSELF what YOU should do to help your pet on a healthy life journey. Following a simple regimen from years past should lead to less ailments and less costly treatments resulting in a happy, healthier life for your pet along with more savings for the challenges of today’s economy.

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