#8: Good Food - The list of health problems caused by diet problems is a long one. I've seen dogs literally starving to death on cheap, trashy foods. Spending a little extra will save money on vet bills in the long run. See our FAQ for tips on choosing good food without spending a fortune.
#7: Exercise, Activity & Fun - They need something to do. Toys, getting another companion animal and including your pet in family activities can prevent boredom from turning into destructive behavior.
#6: Vaccinations & Worming - Some of the most serious and expensive problems veterinarians deal with are 100% preventable.
#5: Flea & Tick Prevention - Remember the worst case of poison ivy you ever had? Too many people let their pets go around feeling like that all the time. It's criminal! Also, These pests can result in allergic skin disease, hot spots, Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, etc. Spay and Neuter - This one thing could prevent so many health and behavior problems - cancer, aggression, sexually transmitted disease and on and on. And it could put an end to killing in our nations pounds and shelters. DO IT!!
#4: Training - Most dogs are much more pleasant after basic obedience training. If you're having trouble housebreaking or with barking, digging, chewing, etc., don't try to find your pet a new home - no one else wants to deal with it either. Behavior problems account for a huge percentage of pets put to death in shelters. Invest in professional training. A good trainer can work miracles and save lives.
#3: Heartworm Prevention - another 100% preventable cause of vet bills, illness and disease. A Safe Place to Live - I'm still amazed that I have to point this out to owners but letting pets run loose is dangerous. The money spent trying to save pets that have been hit by cars, hurt in fights, attacked by other animals, shot, poisoned or caught some disease is astronomical. Fences are much better investments!
#2: Identification Tags - Accidents happen. Doors and gates left open, fences damaged, burglaries, auto accidents .. even the most conscientious owner can loose their pet. If they have a tag, odds are very good that someone will call you. If they don't have a tag, odds are very good that no one will. Tag your pets! Microchips provide a good back up as most pounds & shelters now scan before euthanizing.
#1: Love - the one thing we all need and deserve!!