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Who doesn’t love an easy way to improve their dog’s health while cutting their expenses? I imagine if you’re here you’re paws up for this topic. I especially love the easy everyday ones that really take no extra effort, yet yield great benefits. Did I just hear a big “Me too” on that one? Today, let’s dig into how a simple dog walk cuts vet costs. I bet these numbers will shock you!
Budget tip: Most dog parents will exercise their pups daily in one form or the other. That could be walking or playing vigorously. But the thought of this simple task doing two very good things nearly makes me want to wag my tail (if I had one). These two great assets you get from exercising your dog daily are your dog stays in good health and has a much better probability of avoiding diseases associated with inactivity. And secondly, your dog's future risk of illnesses and consequently expensive vet bills decrease. This includes emergency care expenses due to the inactivity of your dog. As an added bonus, your phsyical and mental health improves as you walk and exercise your dog. That’s a great win-win-win for your dog, your pocketbook, and you!
How does walking my dog cut my expenses?
Do you walk your dog daily? I know I walk my dog, Henry, daily. Or he at gets walked daily. Actually, walks multiple times a day. Sometimes he may only explore our property, but there’s still a great amount of space to explore and he runs during his walks. Sometimes I may even run after him as he likes to be chased.
These are the top six health issues your dog may avoid simply by walking or exercising him or her daily. This means your dog isn’t in pain or discomfort and you aren’t spending money on caring for an illness.
1. Keeps your dog’s weight at a healthy level
Obese and inactive dogs are more likely to be subject to various health issues. Overweight dogs may also be overeating. As a result, obese dogs can have health issues with joints, mobility, and breathing. If you’re overfeeding your dog, then you may inflate your dog budget. This article will help you.
2. Heart disease goes down
This means fewer vet visits, medications, and treatments for the disease. If your dog is inactive without daily exercise and is diagnosed with heart disease you could expect an increase in your dog’s expenses.
Diagnosis – $1,000-$1500
Follow-up monitoring – $500-$2500
Medications – $50-100/month
3. Arthritis risk goes down as your dog’s more active
How amazing is that! Just by moving, your dog’s risk of arthritis goes down. This is also true for pets in general and even humans. Additionally, if your dog does have arthritis then moving may help improve the condition. However, this does depend on your dog’s breed and the type of arthritis. The bottom line is, if your dog is inactive without exercising or walking daily, then you may see your dog’s expenses increase if he or she is diagnosed with arthritis.
Diagnosis – $50-$90
Medications – $25/month
On-going treatments – $500-750/year
Surgery (if needed) – up to $5000
4. Pancreatitis risk goes down as your dog is more active
Although there are exceptions such as a dog’s breed, activity still plays a major role in this disease. In general, if your dog is sedentary and is diagnosed with pancreatitis, then you may see your dog’s costs increase he or she is treated.
Diagnosis – $30-350
Medication – $150/month
Surgery (if needed) – $3,000-$6,000
5. Kidney issue risk may also go down as your dog’s activity goes up
Although, kidney issues and kidney disease can also result from pancreatitis. However, if your dog is inactive and doesn’t go on any daily walks or exercise then your dog may experience any number of kidney issues. In turn, your dog’s costs may increase.
Diagnosis – $80-200
6. Diabetes risk for your dog goes down as your dog’s activity level goes up
This disease is also linked to obese dogs. Thus, if your dog doesn’t receive a daily dose of activity, then he or she may end up with diabetes, and your dog’s expenses increase as you treat your dog.
Diagnosis – $80-200
Medication – $67/month
Treatment – $1600-2900/year
What other issues may arise if I don’t exercise my dog daily?
Do you get bored if you sit for hours? I certainly do. Your dog can get bored too. If your dog gets bored then it can lead to depression. But more importantly, that can lead to behavioral issues. What do I mean? Your dog may start looking for ways to entertain him or herself. Soon you may find your dog displaying behaviors that he or she normally doesen’t do such as destroying such a couch, counter surfing, jumping a backyard fence, and the list goes on and on. However, keep in mind that each of these can easily lead to an emergency vet visit with an injury.
Doesn’t pet insurance cover dog illnesses?
While pet health insurance may cover your dog’s health issues, you may also find there are exceptions. Such as:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Heredity issues
- Congenital issue
Honestly, any of the issues noted above, could easily not be covered by these three exemptions. Although, sometimes urgent care is covered. You’ll need to examine your pet care insurance details.
However, if your dog’s medical care isn’t covered you may still have options. My favorites are:
- Ask your veterinary clinic to finance the cost, some vet clinics will offer financing upon inquiry
- Use CareCredit. Usually, there’s no interest if paid off within a certain time frame such as 6-12 months.
- Use your dog’s emergency fund. Not sure what I mean? Check out this article.
- Get creative with your dog debt. A bit confused? Read this article and learn what other pet parents are doing to pay for their pet debts.
What if I can’t walk or exercise my dog?
I completely understand. There have been many times this year when I haven’t been able to walk Henry even around our property because I’ve been sick. However, there are options. These include:
I’ve called upon my dog community and family to help me exercise Henry this year. He has stayed healthy, I don’t need to stress about it, and everyone has been very kind to help.
How much exercise does my dog really need?
First, again always check with your vet before starting any exercise routine for your dog. This is especially true if your dog has been inactive for a long while or has a health issue.
However, in general, how much exercise your dog needs depends on your dog. You will want to consider, such as your dog’s health, age, breed, and current level of activity. You never want to ask your dog to run a marathon after laying on the couch for a year. Always begin with short dog walking outings.
This is a fun dog walking and exercise calculator by Rover.
What if my dog has developed one of these illnesses?
There are no hard and fast rules in life and that goes for pet care and veterinary medicine too.
While I know, it’s never fun to hear your dog has a health issue that may be ongoing, but look for the positives. For example, Henry was diagnosed with a heart murmur that was at level 2 shortly after I adopted him. According to my veterinarian, that means it was mild but consistently heard. He’s been to the vet twice recently and it hasn’t been detected at all! Yes, a mild heart murmur can resolve itself without any specific treatment. But I’d like to think exercise might have something to do with it.
However, if your dog should get diagnosed with arthritis or some other disease, then you may want to get a second opinion. There are even other alternative medicines such as:
Each of these has shown promise in various studies for different medical issues in dogs and pets. However, always discuss using an alternative method with your vet first. Personally, I’ve tried chiropractic medicine and acupuncture with great success. Although, they were for my horses. But I wouldn’t hesitate to use either for Henry if his vet thought they would help with any issue he had at the moment.
As for massage therapy, Henry is a great enthusiast for it and loves receiving a good rub down after his brushing.
What other benefits are there when I walk my dog daily?
Besides you and your dog getting exercise, you get to:
- Steps To Build A New Dog Budget
- How to Find the Best Vet
- 17 Things to Look for in a Good Dog Walker
- 10 Benefits of Daycare for Dogs
- Great Exercises With Dogs
- 10 Ways To Bond With Your New Dog
- Quick Simple Dog Massage Therapy at Home
- Is Turmeric For Dogs A Waste Of Money?
- Dog Chiropractors – Pros and Cons
- Easy Dog Fence Jumping Solutions
- Easy Dog Yard Digging Solutions
- How Can I Turn a Bored Dog Into a Happy Dog for Pennies?
- Is There a Cheap Easy Way to Train Your Dog?
- Secret World Of A Dog Parent Community
- How Can Fish Oil Cut Dog Costs?
- Are There Really Safe Cheap Dog Meds?
Summary of how a simple dog walk cuts vet costs
You may think that walking and exercising your dog is just a mundane chore. But there are a lot of benefits to it. Most importantly your dog stays healthy and maintains a good level of mobility and health. This means your dog isn’t in pain and is comfortable. Plus, you are getting exercise. And if that weren’t enough, simply by walking or exercising your dog daily you are decreasing the risk of future inactivity-related diseases and associated vet care bills. I’m all in on these proactive cost savings for Henry. Besides, he loves his walks and it keeps me grounded in what’s really important.