It’s a holiday weekend in New Zealand – for Labour Day. And every year this holiday also marks the start of the pre-Christmas season.
As many of you understand, Christmas falls in the summer school holiday period in New Zealand. Many companies shut down during this time and require their workers to take some of their annual leave, since trading can be minimal or non-existent. If workers don’t have enough paid days, then it can mean time off without pay.
And every year, for a range of reasons including more money being spent on holidays, entertaining and gifts, I see owners who can’t fund the full costs of their dog’s care.
This blog post is a reminder about the items you need to set money aside for in your end of year budget. And the time to budget is NOW.
- Costs for vet care, such as visits for required vaccinations if you are boarding your dog
- Boarding and care costs, if you are heading away
Just as in people, medications and supplements are only effective if their dosage is kept up. And dogs on things like pain medication will suffer with break-through pain as medications wear off. In other cases – let’s say heart medication – stopping this medication could be life-threatening.
Because of their stoic nature, dogs often hide their pain and/or owners miss the signals – such as withdrawing from activity – which are indicators of a dog in pain. For this reason, some owners think they can get away with a ‘short break’ from medication.
With supplements, once the loading doses are given and the effective dose is reached, there is a level of stability with the coverage given by the supplement. Stop giving it and you are faced with starting a loading dose all over again. Many owners miss this step and go back to regular dosages, further compromising the value to the dog of giving the supplement in the first place!
When we take on a dog into our family, we’re responsible for lifetime care as with any other family member. When there is only so much money to go around, sometimes the silent member of the family – the dog – is the one to miss out.
Please remember health care is a basic right for all animals and plan your holiday budget accordingly. If that means less money for Christmas festivities – so be it.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand