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Dispelling Three Myths Can Lead to Better Care for Your Dog | Families

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Dispelling Three Myths Can Lead to Better Care for Your Dog
Families, Health, Pets
Dispelling Three Myths Can Lead to Better Care for Your Dog


(Welcome to our weekly pet column, courtesy of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla. We post a new article each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Your furry pal is your best friend in the world and there's nothing you wouldn't do for him or her. In fact, many people go above and beyond for their dogs. A recent Western Financial Group study showed that six in 10 individuals always buy their pet a birthday or Christmas present – and nearly one in three consider their dog to be a family member.

Our love for family pets can occasionally make us go a bit overboard. To stop that from happening and to give you a little extra peace of mind – so that you can focus on hanging out with your little friend, worry-free – the following will dispel three common myths that often get pet owners in a tizzy:

1. Fruit is bad for my dog. Pet owners are split on this issue with half for and half against feeding fruit, although it turns out that apples, watermelons and various berries can actually be good for your dog. Always practice moderation to avoid stomach upsets and make sure you wash the fruit and remove all seeds. Large seeds and pits may be poisonous or lead to intestinal obstruction. Never give your dog grapes or raisins, as these foods can cause kidney damage and death in some dogs. Fruit should be fed with caution in pets with health issues like bladder problems and your best bet is to check with your veterinarian to see if this type of food is OK for your dog.

2. Bathing dogs is bad for their coats. Dogs love going on adventures and that sometimes means they accumulate smells. Shampooing your dog occasionally when they are dirty will not cause skin problems. Four in 10 pet owners feel that bathing their pet once a month is OK, but there are a few considerations. You do need to be careful about using the right products for your pet's skin, so always use a pet-friendly shampoo. Baby shampoo can dry out the coat and cause dandruff. Pets with allergies can actually benefit from frequent bathing when recommended by their veterinarian.

3. Pet health care expenses are inevitable. Much like you, animals are prone to all sorts of ailments, ranging from ear problems to arthritis and even cancer. With all of the advances in veterinary medicine, treating your pet for a condition like cancer can become a strain on the household budget if surgery or chemotherapy is involved. Pet parents have to make some very tough choices when choosing to spend thousands of dollars if needed. 

Did you know that pet insurance can alleviate much of this burden? Fewer than 2 percent of pet owners have health insurance for them (according to NAPHIA, 2014), and 47 percent feel that it is too expensive. “Owners need to ask lots of questions when deciding if pet insurance is right for them,” says Dr. Bernie Pukay, veterinarian and chairman at Petsecure, a Canadian insurance provider. “You can ask your vet about possible conditions that affect a certain breed of dog and then go back to the insurance company to make sure you understand the coverage offered. No one should have to make a treatment decision based on money. Insurance provides peace of mind so we can make the best healthcare choices for our pets.”

We go to great pains to make sure our dog gets exercise, eats well and has regular visits to the vet – so let's not sweat the small stuff.

— News Canada

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

Families, Health, Pets

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