A stitch in time saves nine.
Along that line, here are five doggy tips that could save you big bucks in the long run:
- To help avoid breed-specific high-end health care costs such as cancer, cruciate ligament surgery, hip dysplasia, and soft palate problems, follow these 10 common-sense tips when selecting a dog. There is no reason to buy into an expensive canine health care problem. In the long run, nothing will save you more money and heartache than avoiding some Kennel Club breeds. Caveat emptor.
- Get a real leash and use it. Failure to keep a dog on a leash leads to more unnecessary, and expensive, injuries than anything else. And no, a real leash is not a string leash. A real leash is a leather, web, chain or rope leash of the kind used to train dogs. A leash should provide complete control, not partial control, and it should be capable of being used to tie a dog to a fixed point if necessary. And while you are getting a real web leash, get a real web collar and put a slide tag on it with your identification.
- Only give dog-appropriate toys. Pet owners routinely pay a fortune in surgery costs to get tennis balls, rubber squeak toys, socks, and other items out of their dog's stomachs. Most pet stores have an entire "suicide wall" of squeaky pet toys that should never be given to any dog, EVER. Just because a toy is sold at a pet store does NOT mean it is dog safe! Getting no toys for your young dog, however, is the WRONG idea. Your dog will chew on something. By giving your dog a solid well-built chew toy with a food treat inside, you can prevent an expensive surgery bill and (maybe) save your shoes as well.
- Strengthen your solid fence with an e-collar system. For a few hundred dollars you can put an e-collar system inside your hard fence. This is a permanent investment, as your e-collar system can move with you from house to house. A "belt and suspenders" approach to pet containment will prevent "accidents" from dig outs, loose boards, jump-overs and open-gate problems.
- Keep Your Dog Thin. Fat dogs are expensive dogs. Not only are your dog food bills going to be unnecessarily high, but extra weight on the dog will mean hip and joint problems, and an increased chance of heart, liver and kidney disease. About 35 percent of all dogs in America are overweight, and the cure is as simple as putting down less food. Avoid high-end "boutique" dog foods that are loaded with fat and short on fiber. For most dogs, good food means more fiber and less fat -- the same diet advice most people need as well!