Skip to main content

With the economy down and jobs disappearing, many pet owners are foregoing pet healthcare because they just can't afford hundreds of dollars in vet bills. While it is still important to visit your veterinarian yearly for an examination, you can cut out many unnecessary tests and procedures by keeping your pet as healthy as possible throughout the year. Not only is this money saving, it is great for your pet's health and longevity.

  • Invest in Quality Food — choosing a high quality natural pet food is your best chance at long term pet health. The right food can help you eliminate problems with allergies, intestinal problems, obesity, diabetes and other food-related diseases. Although you will spend more at the check-out line, the overall investment should save you hundreds!
  • Avoid pet obesity — Obese pets can suffer from many costly conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes just to name a few. Feeding your pet the correct portion will control unwanted weight gain and keep them out of the vet.
  • Avoid dangerous treats — many treats can become lodged in the esophagus, stomach, intestines or trachea (windpipe) of pets. Avoid things like rawhide chews, pig's feet or other chews that are too hard and dissolve poorly.
  • Brush Teeth — pets suffer from the same dental problems as people and should have their teeth brushed daily to avoid costly veterinary procedures. Apply pet toothpaste to either a soft pet toothbrush or gauze wrapped around your finger to clean their choppers. Tooth and gum disease can result in infection, pain, loss of teeth and even organ damage in pets. A quick brush a day can keep the vet away!
  • Routine eye care — Keeping your pet's eyes clean will contribute to their health and wellness by preventing irritation and infection that can be painful and possibly lead to loss of vision. Careful inspection and cleaning once weekly to open clogged tear ducts and prevent infection will keep your pets eyes clear and bright.
  • Routine ear care — Keeping your pet's ears clean will help prevent painful irritation and infection that can lead to hearing loss. Clean your pet's ears once weekly with a natural pet product like Herbal Ear Wash to keep them out of the vet with costly ear infections.
  • Proper flea control—Fleas can be an expensive problem year round. Not only do they cause itching and sometimes troublesome hot spots—they can also infest your pet with intestinal tapeworms. There are many topical products available to control fleas. If you are looking for a natural approach, try an herbal dip with citronella and other oils that will aid in natural flea control.
  • Bath and groom your pet regularly—Choose a natural shampoo without detergents, colors or fragrances as these ingredients may contribute to allergic reactions. There are many instructional books and videos that can help you learn about proper pet grooming to minimize this expense. Don't forget to wash your pet's feet every time they go outside. This can help them avoid ingestion of chemicals that may be in the grass or on the sidewalks and streets.
  • Pet-proof your home and yard—Every year thousands of dollars are spent on treating pets for accidents and poisonings. Pet-proof your home so your pet has no possible access to rat bait, snail bait, ant bait, prescription medication, cleaning supplies or even the kitchen cupboards. Pets are amazing…they can smell chocolate through a cupboard door! Insure your yard is safe—that boards are not loose in the fence, the gate latches securely, the trash and recycling bins are sealed tightly and there are no hazards in the yard.
  • Exercise! Pets get the same health benefits that people do from exercise. Try it together…it will be healthy and fun for both of you!

Image: JStaley401 / Shutterstock

More to Explore

The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Pets

5 Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Does Alzheimer's Disease Affect Dogs and Cats?

How to Recognize the Signs of Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

Help us make PetMD better

Was this article helpful?