SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

June 14, 2013

How we can be better pet owners

(Continued)

Dogs are pack animals, and they are not meant to be sitting alone all day. They do better if they socialize with other dogs on a daily basis. You can organize group dog walks or get your pup to the dog park. Some hire a dog-walking service so the dogs have a social group.

Finally, pet owners should always be prepared for some sort of animal emergency. Traumatic injuries and serious illnesses are common occurrences and, sadly, many owners will either surrender the pet to a shelter or euthanize this beloved family member simply because of the cost. Plan for these emergencies and major illnesses in advance with a pet health savings plan or a well-researched pet insurance policy. People who use their pet health insurance policy say they could not live without it. Such policies will often times save the life of your best friend. Investigate insurance companies carefully — there are many out there and they are all very different.

Our practice recommends that our clients consider veterinarypetinsurance.com and trupanion.com. These companies have been in the business long term and are very committed to serving the pet and the family.

Your veterinarian is a perfect source of advice on any of these topics. The whole veterinary team wants to see your family stay together, including all of the furry, four-legged members. Working with your veterinarian and making good decisions can help you become a truly dedicated and responsible pet owner — and that’s best for everyone!

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Dr. Elizabeth Bradt is a 1986 graduate of Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and owner of All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in Salem (www.creaturehealth.com). She is a member of the American Society of Veterinary Journalists. Email your pet questions or experiences you’ve had with your pet to docliz@creaturehealth.com. Please title your email “Vet Connection.”

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