Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Five Tips for Keeping Pets Healthy and Vet Bills Down

(ARA) – When it comes to caring for our pets’ health, most of us don’t bat an eye when it comes to spending money on expensive prescriptions or procedures, even for common health problems like skin allergies, digestive upset and urinary tract infections.

But with the average household owning 1.7 dogs and 2.2 cats, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2007 survey, those visits can add up. Now more than ever, pet owners are seeking out ways to keep their vet bills down while maintaining the health and happiness of their pets.

“We’re all trying to trim daily expenditures to compensate for rising commodity costs, and unnecessary expenses are usually the first to go,” says Dr. Susan Lauten, pet expert and nutrition consultant. “While there may be health problems that require a vet’s treatment, many common pet ailments can be treated and prevented in more cost effective ways.”

Lauten offers five ways to help keep your pet healthy while reducing healthcare costs.

1. Good nutrition is the key to good health. Instead of skimping on your pet food budget, select high quality foods with high levels of meat proteins and whole grains. Healthy pets with strong immune systems, healthy coats and strong teeth are less susceptible to disease.

2. Feeding your pet a variety of foods can minimize the development of food allergies. By providing pets with different proteins and forms, like kibble, canned and raw frozen, the Rotation Diet from Nature’s Variety offers the full spectrum of nutrients cats and dogs need to avoid food-related health problems.

3. Keep your pet clean and parasite-free. Paying extra attention to grooming during the summer months can help avoid skin disease, parasite-related diseases from ticks and fleas, and hot spots.

4. Make sure your pet visits the veterinarian for regular checkups. It’s also important to talk to your veterinarian about the importance of proper nutrition and holistic healthcare options for your special pet.

5. If your pet shows signs of illness, be sure to visit your veterinarian right away. Early detection can reduce the overall cost of treatment.

Lauten stresses the fact that quality pet food should remain a financial priority. “Changing to a low quality food to save money can result in increased food requirements, poor immune health, decreased coat quality and poor skin health,” says Lauten. “In the end, it could result in more vet expenditures and more bills.”

Sage’s Story
Sage was dropped off at the Benicia Vallejo Humane Society in Vallejo, Calif., when she was just a puppy. The underweight Boxer was suffering from severe skin problems, was missing large patches of hair and was in generally poor health. The Director of Human Services, Peter Wilson, was deeply concerned for Sage’s well-being and considered a variety of options for treatment.

“Sage’s skin condition was from a lack of care and possible allergies,” says Wilson. “Nature’s Variety donated product to help with Sage and encouraged us to feed her a Rotation Diet with different forms of kibble, canned and raw frozen food, and different proteins such as chicken and duck.”

The variety of foods in the Rotation Diet provided Sage with more balanced nutrition, which helped to stabilize her health and combat any possible allergies. In a few weeks, Sage’s skin had begun to heal. Sage is now happy, healthy, allergy-free and living with her new adoptive family.

“Sage’s story is a perfect example of the effect a quality diet can have on a pet’s overall health,” says Lauten. “All it took was the implementation of a broader and balanced variety of foods to provide her with the nutrients she needed to get better.”

More Quality Now, Fewer Problems Later
Strong health starts with proper nutrition. Feeding a high-quality Rotation Diet will help keep pets in top condition so they are more resistant to health problems. Adding in exercise and routine check-ups will also ensure your dog or cat maintains optimal wellness.

For more information on the health benefits of balanced, nutritionally complete diets, as well as a feeding guide for determining your pet’s specific needs, visit www.naturesvariety.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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