The Right Way to Save on Pet Care Services

What does it mean to own a pet dog? If you think that it’s more or less the same thing that it was when you are a child, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. In America today, there are more pets than there are people. Pet care services and products have turned into this mega-huge industry with highly paid creative types continually thinking up ways to part you from your money. The moment you pick up that soft-eyed and irresistibly cute puppy at the pet shop, you begin a relationship not only with the little baby dog in your hands but also with the pet care services industry. Just imagine?pet owners in this country spend about $40 billion on their pets every year. It isn’t just inflation that does this. It’s just that the pet care industry has so many new ideas all the time for things you can buy or do for your pet. They try to take advantage of your weakness.

The thing is, it’s not as if cats and dogs have dramatically evolved in the last 50 years. What it takes to make a cat or dog comfortable and happy hasn’t changed. Get your dog a handcrafted collar and leash and it wouldn’t know the difference. The real pet care services that you need?veterinary and grooming care, haven’t risen in cost as quickly as general inflation has. The cost of pet food has risen even more slowly at 4%. Saving on what you spend for your pet without compromising on its health and happiness is easier today than it ever was. Here’s what you need to know.

There are a few pet care services that you could undertake to do yourself. For instance, dental cleaning visits with your pet can cost $200 each. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly right at home can save you a considerable sum. Claw-trimming and ear cleaning can be pretty expensive too. If you’re spending money on these things, you’ll probably try to save by cutting down on the number of times you take your pet in for an appointment. If you learn to do these yourself, and it’s not hard to do these things, not only would your pet be a lot healthier, but you could save a bundle.

Pet medications can be expensive. So can pet vaccinations. The American Animal Hospital Association has put out new guidelines for how often you need to get your pets vaccinated. There are a few that have been moved off the annual vaccination list and put on the list of vaccinations to be done once every three years. Not only does this save you money, it’s even good for your pet.

Buying pet products, you can’t assume that any one place has the best prices. Sometimes, the pet superstores have the best prices. Sometimes places online do. Shopping around isn’t just something you do for pet food and other pet products though. Veterinarians charge wildly different fees all the time. Make sure that you pick a veterinarian for the quality of service he provides and also the prices he charges.

Exotic Farm Animals – Questions and Answers about Alpacas as Pets

Wondering about raising alpacas as pets? Well, wonder no more. These sixteen questions and answers will help you decide if raising exotic farm animals will work for you.

1. How much room does an alpaca need?

One acre will keep five alpacas healthy and happy.

2. What kind of fencing and shelter are needed for camelids?

Alpacas will not challenge a fence. A fence is needed to keep predators out, especially the neighborhood dog. It must be a fence that a camelid can not stick its head through and get stuck, too. 2 x 4 no climb fencing works well. Be sure a dog can not dig under the fence or gate. A three-sided shelter is plenty in most climates, in really cold areas you may want a barn.

3. What does an alpaca eat?

Hay. They will, also, need some feed supplements.

4. Are children safe around alpacas?

Yes. Children can learn basic skills of caring for a pet with these animals as they are very gentle creatures. They can, also, use these exotic pets for 4H or FAA activities.

5. What other expenses are involved in caring for camelids?

These farm animals must be sheared once a year. You need to worm them and vaccinate them depending on the area where you live.

6. Can I own just one?

Alpacas are herd animals and you should keep a minimum of two otherwise they may become stressed and unhealthy.

7. Aren’t alpacas expensive?

Not if you purchase geldings or pet quality females. The price ranges from $500-$1000 each.

8. Can alpacas be trained?

Yes. Alpacas easily learn to lead with a halter on. You can train an alpaca to perform simple tricks if you take time to work with them.

9. What can you do with an alpacas fleece?

An alpacas fiber is very fine. It can be spun into yarn for knitting or crocheting. Or you can felt the raw fiber into garments, rugs, and other items.

10. Besides feeding an alpaca, what other routine care do they need?

Alpacas toenails need trimming about every two months. You’ll need to shear and worm them as mentioned before.

11. How large do alpacas get?

An adult alpaca weighs from 120-180 pounds on average.

12. Do alpacas spit?

Mostly at each other, rarely at humans.

13. What climate is best for alpacas?

Alpacas are hardy farm animals and do well in most climates.

14.Can I show my pet quality alpaca?

Yes. There are show classes for fiber/pet animals.

15. Which type of alpaca is better as a pet, the hucaya or suri?

Hucaya alpacas have crimped fiber that makes the alpaca appear puffy. The suri has straight fiber that hangs from the animals body giving it a dreadlock appearance. Suri’s are rare and it may be hard to find a pet quality priced suri. Either animal would be a great exotic farm animal pet.

16. Where can I purchase an alpaca pet?

Search the internet for an alpaca farm near you and contact them to see if they have any pet quality animals for sale.

Alpacas are exotic farm animals that make excellent pets. These very cute farm animals will win your heart and produce fleece so you can make winter hats and scarfs for family and friends. Check them out. There may be an alpaca pet in your future.

Importance of Complete Vitamin B’s in Supplements

Feeding a supplement that’s missing key ingredients is like trying to drive down the road without air in the tires of the vehicle. Why do so many people feed supplements that only contain a few vitamins/minerals and then expect to attain peak performance from their 4 legged partner?. My life is very busy and full and I want things to be as easy as possible – thus I want all the ingredients in one container and I expect them to do their job. It seems very time consuming to have 3-5 containers of ‘supplements’ that I must feed daily and still be missing important nutrients. Also, that means I have more waste products that I must get rid of and each product is a different size with a different suggested feeding. KISS Keep it Simple ***** That is my motto and I try to follow it.

Vitamins are essential to life – they regulate metabolism and assist the biochemical processes that release energy from digested food and are the foundation of body functions. Some are water soluble which cannot be stored in the body so therefore they must be taken into the body daily – includes Vitamin C and B-complexes. In most supplements there are only some of the B vitamins included in the ration. It is important to have all the vitamin B’s present in a ration as each one has a job to do and if one or more is missing then the ‘jobs’ are not done to the extent they should be. Sure, you will see some improvement, but if you are going to doing something do it to the best of your ability.

I am going to emphasize the B vitamins which help to maintain the health of nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, and mouth as well as healthy muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and proper brain function. They act as coenzymes, helping enzymes to react chemically with other substances and are involved in energy production. They may be useful for alleviating depression or anxiety and it has been found that hyperactivity and aggressiveness in animals can sometimes be remedied by B-complexes. Other indications for giving extra vitamins are during highly stressful situations such as traveling, separation anxiety, the show ring, during pregnancy and being a stressed mother. Sulfa drugs, hormone therapy, cortisone and drugs for high blood pressure rob you animal of some of the B-complex vitamins. These vitamins are very important for older horses because these nutrients are not as well absorbed as they age. Because B vitamins work together, a deficiency in one often indicates a deficiency in another.

1. Vitamin B1 ( Thiamine)

Thiamine enhances circulation and assists in blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism and production of hydrochloric acid which is important for proper digestion. It has a positive effect on energy, growth, normal appetite and learning capacity and is needed for proper muscle tone of the intestines, stomach and heart. Also, acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from degenerative effects.

Symptoms that can result from thiamine deficiency include constipation, edema, enlarged liver, fatigue, heart changes, irritability, labored breathing, loss of appetite, muscle atrophy, nervousness, poor coordination, weak and sore muscles and severe weight loss. Antibiotics, phenytoin (Dilantin- drug used to prevent seizures), sulfa drugs, antibiotics may decrease thiamine levels in the body and a high carbohydrate diet increases the need for thiamine.

2. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin is necessary for red blood cell formation, anti-body production, cell respiration, and growth. It alleviates eye fatigue and is important in the prevention and treatment of cataracts. It aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, Together with vitamin A it maintains and improves the mucous membranes in the digestive tract. Riboflavin also facilitates the used of oxygen by the tissues of the skin, nails, and hair, eliminates dandruff, and helps the absorption of iron and vitamin B6. Consumption of adequate amounts or riboflavin is important during pregnancy because a lack of this vitamin can damage a developing fetus, it is needed for the metabolism of the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted into niacin in the body.

Deficiency symptoms include cracks and sores at the corners of the mouth, eye disorders, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, skin lesions, dermatitis, dizziness, hair loss, insomnia, light sensitivity, poor digestion, retarded growth, and slowed mental response and stool eating. Strenuous exercise requires an increase in the need for riboflavin.

3. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin is needed for proper circulation and healthy skin. It aids in the functioning of the nervous system, in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and in the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system. It is involved in the normal secretion of bile an stomach fluids and in the synthesis of sex hormones. Other symptoms of niacin deficiency include canker sores, depression, diarrhea, fatigue, limb pain, loss of appetite, muscular weakness, skin eruptions and inflammation.

4. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Pantothenic Acid is known as “the anti-stress vitamin” – Pantothenic acid plays a role in the production of the adrenal hormones and the formation of antibodies, aids in vitamin utilization and helps to covert fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy. It is required by all cells in the body and is concentrated in the organs. It is also involved in the production of neurotransmitters. This vitamin is an essential element of coenzyme A, a vital body chemical involved in many necessary metabolic functions. Pantothenic acid is also a stamina enhancer and prevents certain forms of anemia. It is needed for normal function of the gastrointestinal tract and may be helpful in treating depression and anxiety.

5. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine is involved in more body functions than almost any other single nutrient affecting both physical and mental health. It is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid and the absorption of fats and protein. It also aids in maintaining sodium and potassium balance and promotes red blood cell formations. it is required by the nervous system and is needed for normal brain function and for the synthesis of the nuclei acids, RNA and DNA, which contain the genetic instructions for the reproduction of all cells and for normal cellular growth. It activates many enzymes and aids in the absorption of vitamin B12, the immune system functions and in antibody production. Vitamin B6 plays a role cancer immunity and aids in the prevention of arteriosclerosis, acts as a mild diuretic and useful in preventing oxalate kidney stones and in the treatment of allergies, arthritis and asthma.

A deficiency of can result in anemia, convulsions, impaired wound healing, inflammation of the mouth and gums, hearing problems, stunted growth, brain damage, heart and liver disease.

6. Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

Cyanocobalamin is needed to prevent anemia, it aids folic acid in regulating the formation of red blood cells and help in utilization of iron. It is required for proper digestion, absorption of foods, the synthesis of protein, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It aids in cell formation and cellular longevity. Vitamin B12 prevents nerve damage, maintains fertility and promotes normal growth and development by maintaining the fatty sheaths that cover and protect nerve endings.

A deficiency can be caused by mal-absorption, which is most common in the elderly and in those with digestive disorders. Deficiency can cause abnormal gait, bone loss, constipation, depression, digestive disorders, enlargement of the liver, eye disorders, and inflammation of the tongue, irritability, labored breathing, moodiness, nervousness, neurological damage, palpitations, pernicious anemia, and spinal cord degeneration.

Biotin

Biotin aids in cell growth, fatty acid production, in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and in the utilization of other B-complex vitamins. Sufficient quantities are needed for healthy hair and skin. It promotes healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow and helps to relieve muscle pain. Biotin strengthens hoof structure by reducing irregularities in the hoof wall that compromise the integrity of the hoof strength.

Fats and oils that have been subjected to heat or exposed to the air for any length of time inhibit biotin absorption as do antibiotics, sulfa drugs. A deficiency can result in anemia, skin disorders, hair loss, heart disease and weak muscles

Each vitamin B has important functions in the horse’s body and if some are lacking then optimal health is not obtained. The body needs ALL the B vitamins as they work together. Thus, it is very important to read the label and know what you are feeding. Feed for heath.