While regular exercise, a balanced diet and annual wellness exams are essential for keeping pets healthy, sometimes they require more care. This includes when an animal needs a medication, which can be costly, especially if it's for a chronic condition. Fortunately, if you discover your pet needs a medication, you have options for managing the expense.
(BPT) - If you own a pet, you're in good company. In fact, 67% of U.S. households own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association. Pets provide unconditional love and countless memories, and in return they look to their humans to care for them as best as possible.
While regular exercise, a balanced diet and annual wellness exams are essential for keeping pets healthy, sometimes they require more care. This includes when an animal needs a medication, which can be costly, especially if it's for a chronic condition.
Fortunately, if you discover your pet needs a medication, you have options for managing the expense. Few people are aware that by asking your veterinarian two simple questions, you could lower your costs considerably:
Using your local pharmacy for pet prescriptions
Many pet parents don't know that most of the medications their pets use are the same ones people use, potentially at the same or a different dosage. That means that many of the pharmacies you visit for your needs can also be used for your pets' prescriptions. The top five conditions pets share with people are diabetes, asthma, infections, anxiety and depression.
What's more, filling your pets' prescriptions at a retail pharmacy is often less expensive than getting it filled through the vet, plus it saves time because you can get all your family's prescriptions at once, including your furry family members.
How to get pet prescription discounts
To save even more on your pets' prescriptions, consider using a pharmacy savings card, like the Inside Rx Pets savings card offered by Inside Rx. This free prescription savings card helps reduce costs up to 75% on pet medications when purchased at a local pharmacy or when ordered for home delivery.
The card can be downloaded and presented at one of the 50,000 participating pharmacies located across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. These include national chains such as Kroger Family of Pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens. Learn more at insiderx.com/pets.
Always follow prescription directions
Remember, it's important to follow your veterinarian's recommendations for the prescription and dosage and not try to manage your pet's condition on your own. Do not use over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers you buy for yourself with your pet as experts note this can be dangerous.
"Although these products are approved for use in people, many of them are not safe for pets. For example, acetaminophen can cause severe illness, and even death, in pets. Talk to your veterinarian before you give any medication to your pet," the American Veterinary Medical Association states.
To keep prescription drug costs manageable for pets, ask these two simple questions and explore savings options at your local pharmacy. Laws vary by state, but over 40 states require veterinarians to write a prescription if asked, so it's worthwhile to inquire. You'll help your pets feel their best while helping ease your budget as well.
Sixty-seven percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets. Armed with the knowledge that extra treats and table scraps can have a negative impact on a pet’s health, it’s never too late to make some changes for the better with these tips.
Fight the Beg
Proper feeding habits can help with pet obesity
(Family Features) When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets.
A survey of pet owners by Royal Canin in 2018 revealed that more than half of cat and dog owners always or often give their pets food if they beg for it, and almost a quarter of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their pets to keep them happy.¹
“When sad eyes plead for one more treat or constant meowing reminds you the treats are in easy reach, it’s common for pet owners to give in to the temptation and play into that begging behavior,” said Dr. Eric Mueller, veterinarian and Royal Canin spokesperson. “Unfortunately, in the long run, those quick responses can have some damaging results for a pet’s overall health.”
Estimates suggest that as many as 59 percent of dogs and 52 percent of cats worldwide are overweight1. Yet according to the survey, only a quarter of cat and dog owners describe their pets as overweight. The survey also revealed owners may not understand how much food cats and dogs need or what they should or should not eat.
The strong emotional bond between owners and their pets may be part of the issue. Many owners express affection for their pets through feeding, which can easily lead to the pet consuming more calories than it needs. In the survey, 59 percent of cat and dog owners said they feel rewarded when feeding their pets and 77 percent said their animals get excited about being fed.
However, many owners are not fully aware of the consequences of overfeeding their pets. More than 60 percent of survey respondents were unaware that overweight pets may be susceptible to diabetes and orthopedic disease. Pet owners also reported a lack of awareness in the relationship between their pets’ excessive weight and reduced quality of life, increased risk of heart disease and shorter lifespans.
Armed with the knowledge that extra treats and table scraps can have a negative impact on a pet’s health, Mueller says it’s never too late to make some changes for the better:
Talk to a veterinarian. Obesity is a medical concern. Pet owners should feel comfortable seeing their veterinarian to start a conversation about their pet’s weight. If a veterinarian identifies that there is an issue, he or she can develop a weight loss plan to help a pet reach its ideal weight and body condition, as well as discuss solutions to help control begging during the weight loss process.
Practice smart nutrition. Not surprisingly, proper nutrition is often one of the first solutions a veterinarian is likely to recommend to address a pet’s weight problem. One option your veterinarian may recommend is ROYAL CANIN VETERINARY DIET® SATIETY® SUPPORT cat and dog formulas, which provide great taste and are clinically proven to support weight loss and help reduce begging. The formulas use the highest industry standards and quality ingredients and are designed to help keep pets feeling full and satisfied between meals.
Focus on portion control. Although many varieties of pet food include recommended serving sizes on the packaging, those servings are general guidelines and don’t take into account a pet’s unique circumstances and dietary needs. A better approach when working to bring a pet’s weight down is to measure out the recommended feeding amount directed by a veterinarian.
Encourage exercise. Encourage regular physical activity. This can be anything from brief periods of play to long walks. Remember to adjust the intensity based on the individual abilities of your pet.
Maintain consistency. Changing behaviors can be challenging. Your personal motivation and commitment are critical to the success of your pet’s weight loss program. Remember that a pet is not likely to immediately understand why the treats have ceased or why mealtime looks different. Attention-seeking behaviors may even amplify for a time. Hold firm and be consistent in resisting those begging eyes and you can find the process becomes easier for both of you.
Learn more about managing your pet’s nutritional and dietary needs at RoyalCanin.com .
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images (Dogs playing with ball)
¹ Royal Canin 2018 Online Survey of Pet Owners
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