Ask Anette the Vet!

Q. Why do Bulldogs have flat noses?
A. Because they keep chasing parked cars!

Q. I seem to be spending most of my money making my vet rich. How can I avoid this?
A. That is a great question and I was just discussing this with my slumlord the other day.

What if I told you that I had one piece of advice that would take care of many allergy, liver and joint problems, help prevent cancer, decrease urinary issues, and even help prevent kidney issues, which is the number one fatal disease in cats!

I wish the answer were sexier, but here it is.

Good food and plenty of fresh water.

Fresh water helps flush toxins out of the body, improves digestion and kidney function, and helps regulate temperature. A pet not getting enough water may experience symptoms such as nausea, constipation, electrolyte imbalance, hyperthermia and digestive disorders.

Fido has an incredible “honker” that puts our noses to shame.

What appears to be a bowl of fresh water to us may smell like a disgusting, chlorinated, soapy bowl of brackish sludge to Fido. I recommend using a stainless steel or glass bowl, and rinsing the bowl out daily. No soap! Use filtered water if possible. You will most likely notice a great increase in water consumption.

Good Food.

Feeding cheap corn-based pet food to your pet is much like you or me living on French fries and a cheap vitamin pill. While looking at the ingredients label, be sure that the first ingredients listed are meat or fish (not “meal” or by-products!). Avoid corn. Also avoid BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin. Studies have shown these chemicals are carcinogenic.

Contrary to what pet food companies want you to believe, feeding your pet food from your dinner plate is just what the doctor ordered!

There is nothing healthier than a bit of broccoli and a slice of steak or chicken mixed in with your dog’s regular food. I have many clients who have chosen to feed their pet a 100% home-prepared diet. Check with your veterinarian to be sure that the nutritional needs of your particular pet are being met.

Another way to delay vet bills is to provide Fido and Fluffy with dental chews, which may postpone the onset of periodontal disease and help keep their teeth in good condition.

Sometimes, the best way to lower vet bills is to see your veterinarian before a minor problem develops into a more complex and costly situation. An example would be a wound, which can become infected if left untreated.

Anette Heaslet practices holistic and conventional medicine at Lithia Springs Veterinary Care in Ashland, Oregon. More information is on their website at

Vet Tip!

Avoid ceramic litter.
Ceramic litter dust is harmful to your and your cat’s lungs. Use pine or wheat litter, or for a really cheap and healthy alternative, use rabbit food (alfalfa), which can be purchased at your local farm feed store!

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