The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
Massachusetts reporter Joe Reppucci's news and resources for those who love pets
The Ruff Report: Dogs and Health
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About this blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School ...
The Dog Blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School and of Suffolk University in Boston. He writes often about nutrition, behavior and saving money on pet supplies and insurance.
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Feb. 16, 2013 11:05 a.m.

This formula is certain to sicken your pet
A popular formula that more and more pet parents are using on their dogs and cats every day is particularly dangerous because it seems to be beneficial, has no apparent side effects and is inexpensive.
But this thing, which has no taste or smell, may appear to be good for you and your pet now, but it will assuredly ruin the health of your dog or cat later, animal welfare advocates warn.
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Story continues here
The seemingly harmless formula: Skipping routine veterinary visits and buying cheap pet food to save money.
Dr. Rebecca Ruch-Gallie of the veterinary teaching hospital at Colorado State University says the number of sick pets visiting animal clinics has been increasing, an indication that owners are skimping of food and health care.
"We're seeing more emergency and problem visits rather than just routine checkups," she states in a media release. "It's probably due to people cutting back."
This short-sighted approach to pet care is actually more expensive in the long run because your dog or cat is more likely to get sick from poor nutrition and lack of health care, resulting in much higher medical bills, animal welfare advocates say. They say providing routine health care now for your pet - which includes regular exercise, quality diet and preventative maintenance - is a better healthier formula that will avert costly veterinary expenses in the future.
Dr. Ruch-Gallie offers these suggestions to keep your pet healthy:
  • Feed your pet high-quality food. Less expensive foods often have lower nutritional value because have non-digestible fillers such as grains. Ultimately, any savings by buying low-cost food are eliminated because a pet needs to eat more of it to be satisfied and to obtain good nutrition.
  • Groom dogs and cats daily or every other day at home. Brushing distributes oils in the animal's coat, which improves the health of their skin and fur, decreases matting and lowers risks of skin infections and irritations. Also, people who groom their pets often notice changes and abnormalities in skin and coat and may notice body changes, lumps or other indications of the early stages of illness. Finding illnesses early often means treatments are less expensive.
  • Practice good dental hygiene. Daily brushing of a pet's teeth - particularly against the gun line with an enzymatic, pet specific toothpaste - has significant returns. It decreases the risk of infection in a pet's mouth which often spread to the blood and into organs such as the kidney or into joints.
  • Be creative when giving treats. If you only feed a dry food, consider giving a small amount of canned food as a treat.
Dr. Ruch-Gallie suggests skimping in areas other than food and health care to save money. Her money-savings suggestions:
  • Curb impulse buying. Shop around for treats, bones, toys. Significant savings can be found online or at discount stores.
  • Buy fewer toys, and trick pets into thinking those toys are new. Pets need toys to keep their minds and bodies engaged. Keeping a stash of five to 10 toys and rotate a few of them periodically to make them appear to be new.
More reports about dogs and health:
This formula is certain to sicken your pet
An all-natural substance that makes pets sick
Try this fountain of youth for your pet
A wonder drug guaranteed to help your pet
For pets, your dirty hands are really sickening
Favorite pastime a leading cause of illness
Alarming rise in heartworm a threat to pets
Purebred dogs needlessly suffering, report says
Dog heart medicine research results promising
Cushing's drug receives FDA approval
Paralyzing diseases of dogs, people linked
Warning issued about alternative medicine
More reports about dogs and health
Reports about dogs and flea, tick control:
Pet deaths prompt tougher rules for flea, tick items
Use of flea, tick products a must despite EPA warning
Stop ticks from dogging - or killing - your pet
Your dog may have you sleeping with thousands of fleas
Get pets ready for invasion of blood-sucking insects
Reports about dogs and oral health:
The stinking truth behind smelly dog breath
Good oral care can be a lifesaver
Reports about dogs and cancer:
Major breakthrough in canine cancer treatment
First-ever canine cancer drug developed
Making strides in fight against canine cancer
Worldwide effort to cure canine cancer
We all hear horrible stories about pets who are forgotten or neglected which is truly heartbreaking, Robert Nager, owner of the Boston-based pet-sitting service Decadent Dog, states in a media release. No matter what, please do whatever you can to take care of them. It's the right thing to do.
Nager, who was named pet sitter of the year by Pet Sitters International, urges owners to make careful choices about pets, health care and household budgeting. As pet owners, lets not forget that a pet should be included on a family's priority list.
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