6 Costly Mistakes You Could be Making with Your Pet

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As any pet owner knows, caring for a dog, cat or other furry or feathery friends can be one of the most gratifying decisions you can make. It’s also one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. That emotional investment in pet ownership doesn’t come without cost.

According to a recent report by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, you could end up paying more for your pet’s health and care than for your own. That conclusion was determined through 215,000 claims submitted by the insurance company’s clients during a one-year period.

The study revealed that those costs have climbed, partially because many of the same technologies and advanced equipment and treatment used to treat humans are now being used to treat animals.

And, as with humans, there are some mistakes that you could be making with your pet that contribute to poor health or accident risks. Take a look at 6 things you may not be doing to prevent a trip to the veterinarian.

  1. Don’t give your pet human food. Avoid the temptation to throw table scraps under the table to your pet. You may think you’re being generous but that habit could send your pet to the vet. One of the most common issues reported by pet owners in the Cost of Pet Care 2016 report was related to the consumption of human food. Most of the complaints involved dogs who ended up with stomach-related illnesses. According to the report, stomach ailments can cost as much as $6,000 or more to diagnose and treat. 
  2. Leaving dangerous items in reach. It is equally as important not to leave dangerous items within a pet’s reach, including food or other items. According to one veterinarian, you could end up with a bill of about $500 or more for an emergency room visit, treatment, and medication. Chocolate and raisins are some of the most dangerous items. Raisins can even cause kidney failure. 
  3. Contributing to our pet’s obesity. Just as with humans, we may tend to think of a bit of extra weight on our cats and dogs as normal. Cute even. In fact, you could be contributing to your pet’s heart disease and other health conditions by allowing them to eat too much and exercise too little. Check the Healthy Weight Protocol and talk to your veterinarian to better understand your pet’s ideal weight. 
  4. Choose food wisely. Again, take a few cues from the recommendations humans receive on a daily basis. Talk to your vet about best pet food options and do your research. Avoid pet food with artificial ingredients and fillers. Take steps to incorporate a diet plan and exercise into your pet’s daily routine. 
  5. Skipping well-care visits. Don’t just make a trip to the vet when you notice serious problems with your pet’s behavior. Regular annual checkups are just as important for our furry counterparts as they are for humans. A visit to the vet can detect issues before they become more serious and, as a result, more debilitating and costly to treat. It’s important to check for eye, ear and skin conditions as well. 
  6. Don’t reward bad behavior. Don’t try to compensate for a dog’s bad behavior. If it’s demonstrating aggression, follow the cues of trainers who suggest several paths for dealing with the issue. According to celebrity pet trainer, Cesar Millan, your dog is likely exhibiting frustration as a result of too little exercise or a need or dominance because of a lack of calm-assertive leadership. If you find the behavior is getting worse instead of getting better by addressing those issues, it’s important to seek the help of a certified trainer. The alternative is a pet that worsens until he needs more corrective measures.


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