No One Should Lose A Precious Pet Because They Can't Pay The Vet

It's a pet parent's worst nightmare.  Your dog or cat gets hit by a car, attacked by another animal, or is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. You suddenly realize you can't afford to pay the high cost of Veterinary care that could save your beloved pet's life.  What happens if you can't afford critical vet care, do you have any options?  


🐩 No one should have to say goodbye to a pet they love and cherish because they can't afford critical Veterinary care.


A few years back while volunteering for the Phoenix county animal shelter, a woman brought in a beautiful German Shepherd.  He was clearly an older dog. I always have a soft spot for senior pets so I went over to greet them. The woman was sobbing because she had to surrender her precious dog to the shelter.  


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I can't imagine being faced with saying goodbye to one of my pets because I couldn't afford veterinary care.  What could be more heartbreaking?
I said "Don't worry, we'll take great care of him and find him a loving home".  The woman just shook her head.  She didn't speak, she just gave our Intake staff member the dog and quickly left, still sobbing. The dog had a cancerous tumor and she was dropping him off to be euthanized.  She couldn't afford treatment and there wasn't an available rescue to help pay for it.  She couldn't even afford to have him euthanized at a Veterinarian's office.

I was so shocked.  I couldn't believe she had to leave him there to die.  I could see it tore her apart to leave her dog like that, I felt horrible, especially for the dog. I knew that being unable to pay for expensive Veterinary care is often one of the reasons people surrender pets to a shelter.  I didn't judge. I wasn't walking in her shoes so I couldn't know the circumstances she was in that led her to believe she had no other choice.

I cried all the way home that day.  I still think about that sweet dog and wonder why nothing could be done for him.

In the animal health world, the gut-wrenching choice to say goodbye to a pet primarily because pet owners can't afford Veterinary care is known as "Economic Euthanasia".  

Because no pet parent should have to say goodbye to a pet they love and cherish when they can't afford life saving Veterinary care

This post is sponsored by Waggle® . I am being compensated to share information about  Waggle, a crowdfunding organization that helps families who can't afford Veterinary care for their pets. As always, Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them only shares information we feel is relevant and helpful to our readers.

🐕 "Each year, an estimated 500,000 pet guardians in the U.S. face a harrowing moment: The realization that the potentially life-saving treatment their pet needs is beyond their reach." -Waggle

Waggle is a crowd funding platform that provides a much needed service for people who are at risk of not being able to afford critical medical care for their beloved pet. Waggle partners directly with Veterinary providers, nonprofits and pet parents to help provide options and second chances for cherished pets.

🐶Waggle's mission is to  "Provide a last-chance safety net for pets in medical crisis by creating a network-based solution to end economic euthanasia of pets🐱

We've all seen requests in email or on social media from various crowdfunding sites, some non-profit and some for-profit. A dog or cat has a serious injury or illness and the pet owner can't afford Veterinary care, so they reach out to the public for monetary donations.

In cases where we know the pet or their owner we want to answer the call for help and donate.  However, sometimes the  pet and owner are total strangers.  I don't know about you, but when I don't know the pet or their family, I'm suspicious.  Sadly, the internet is fraught with deception, and online requests for monetary or other donations are no exception. How do we know the need is real and that the person making the donation request isn't a spammer? The truth is, we don't.

Waggle is the only pet-dedicated crowdfunding platform that partners directly with leading veterinary providers, non-profits and pet parents.  This process verifies the recipient and ensures the need for help to pay for critical vet care is real. 

The partnership between Waggle and it's Veterinary partners ensures that funds go directly to the pet's medical care.  This gives me confidence!

Waggle has many pet success stories, one of which is Cece a six year old Portuguese Water Dog from Connecticut. Cece had been playing in the yard with a neighbor's dog when she suddenly collapsed.  She couldn't stand or put weight on her back leg.  When her family took her to the veterinarian, they discovered Cece needed surgery to remove a damaged ligament in her knee.  A "false" ligament then had to be inserted to stabilize her joint. Afterwards she would need weeks of rehabilitation and therapy. Waggle helped raise $2,000 to help get Cece the critical veterinary care that would help her walk normally again.


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Adorable Cece, cuddling with the human sister who loves her to pieces!

Cece's owners Tom and Margaret had this to say in appreciation of the help they received from generous donors, Waggle, and their expert veterinary partners:

"Tom and I want to thank everyone for their donations and get well wishes for our Cece. She is home from The Saybrook Veterinary Hospital and is doing well. We would especially like to thank Dr. Suzanne Magruder of the Saybrook Veterinary Hospital for telling us about Dr. White who performed Cece`s knee surgery. Dr. Magruder also initiated us to get financial help through Waggle Org. We also want to thank the whole staff of the Saybrook Veterinary Hospital. Their kindness and help was greatly appreciated."  --Tom & Margaret Mazzella

You can read more about Cece's  heartwarming story here.

A heart wrenching story was Kenji, a 2 year old Welsh Pembroke Corgi who needed $1,200 to treat severe wounds following a viscous attack by another dog.

Kenji is a sweet, gentle dog who touches the heart of everyone he meets.  A neighbor's dog escaped out the front door of his house and attacked Kenji, unprovoked.  The dog's owner tried to get him off Kenji but to no avail. It took several minutes for the dog to let go of poor Kenji.  Following the attack Kenji's wounds were severe and he was rushed to the animal hospital for immediate treatment.

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Sweet Kenji, viciously attacked by a neighbor's dog.

Kenji needed surgery to clean and drain his wounds.  Although he was sent home with drains inserted in the affected areas, after a few days his condition worsened and he had to return to the hospital.  This poor sweet boy needed more surgery!  Kenji will need numerous follow-up visits and constant attention for quite some time as he fights to fully recover.

Read more about Kenji's frightening ordeal here.

I can't even imagine how frightened Kenji's mom must have been seeing her furbaby viciously attacked like that and fearing for his life.  What a nightmare.  I'm so glad Waggle was able to help Kenji's family fund the critical veterinary care he needed.


LEARN ABOUT THE PROCESS OF HOW WAGGLE WORKS AND WHAT MAKES WAGGLE  DIFFERENT FROM OTHER CROWDFUNDING SITES


Visit Waggle on Social Media and follow along with more of Waggle's success stories to see how they are changing lives for pets and their owners.


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Providing critical funding for pet parents at risk of losing their beloved pet, simply because they can't afford critical Veterinary care.


Do you ever worry about not being able to afford critical Veterinary care?  Please leave us a comment and share your thoughts!


The Health Benefits of Adding Pumpkin to your Dog's Diet

I've been adding healthy pumpkin to my dogs' diets for quite some time. Not only do Icy and Phoebe love the taste of pumpkin, but pumpkin is super healthy for dogs! 

As soon as pumpkins become available in my area, I buy a few both for Halloween decorations and to cook for my dogs so I can add the health benefits of pumpkin to their diet.  I boil chunks of pumpkin and add some of the pure, fresh pumpkin to my dogs food each day.  I like to use it in making pumpkin flavored dog treats as well. There are a million different ways you can make homemade dog treats that include pumpkin.  You can even add a touch of cinnamon to your dog treats for the full effect of Fall flavor!

🎃 Don’t use a carved pumpkin that’s been sitting outside for weeks to feed to your pet.  A carved Halloween pumpkin may have picked up bacteria and fungi while sitting outside with it’s inside exposed to the elements. 🎃

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Pumpkin has many health benefits for dogs

I initially started giving Phoebe pumpkin because she was often constipated.  She would strain while defecating and scoot on the rug afterwards.  To help her, I looked for a natural source of extra fiber that was safe to feed dogs rather than use a stool softener for pets.  

Pumpkin was the perfect choice for Phoebe because it's high in fiber, has a large water content, and has other health benefits for dogs as well.  Phoebe also loves the taste of pumpkin.  Adding pumpkin to Phoebe’s diet helps her constipation tremendously.  Icy loves pumpkin too, although she doesn't need the extra fiber as much as Phoebe does. 


Pumpkin provides added health benefits for dogs:


** Pumpkin is low in fat and cholesterol.

** Pumpkin helps calm a dog's upset stomach and provide an immune system boost.

** Pumpkin Contains beta-carotene and Vitamin C which are two major antioxidants.  It also contains Vitamin A which is an essential supplement for dogs.

** Pumpkin is made up largely of water and fiber.  


🐶 Don’t feed your dog Pumpkin Pie Mix, as it contains added salt, sugar and spices.  I only give my dogs 100% pure pumpkin with no added ingredients. 🐶


ACCORDING TO Dr. MARTY BECKER AND INFORMATION FOUND IN PETMD ARTICLES:


** The oils in both the flesh and seeds of pumpkin can help support urinary health in dogs (and cats too!).

** A great source of fiber, pumpkin can help with digestive regularity.  If your dog is either constipated OR has diarrhea, adding pumpkin to their food can be beneficial.  I add 1 to 2 tablespoons to Icy and Phoebe’s food daily, but consult your own Veterinarian about amount and frequency of adding pumpkin to your pet’s diet.

** Canned pumpkin is low in calories and high in fiber. If your dog needs to lose weight, replacing a small portion of their food with pumpkin can help your pooch slim down.  I've read that it’s recommended not to replace more than 10% of your pet’s diet with pumpkin. 

** The fiber contained in pumpkin can help move furballs along a cat’s digestive tract. Small amounts of canned pumpkin, about a teaspoon or less per day, given to cats can help prevent furballs from forming as well.

** The antioxidants and essential fatty acids contained in pumpkin seeds can help moisturize your pet's skin and fur.


I mix a small amount of pumpkin directly in with my dogs morning meal, a teaspoon for little Phoebe and a tablespoon for my Husky Icy.  I also like to give it to them stuffed in a Kong toy as a treat.  I mix it with plain Greek yogurt (it's thicker and won’t leak out of the Kong), peanut butter, cooked sweet potato, banana or other fruit.  You can mix it up, place it in treat dispensers and freeze it for later too.  Icy and Phoebe love frozen treats, even in the colder weather! 

IMPORTANT:

Raw pumpkin is not very digestible, so I don’t give my dogs any raw pumpkin.  I always use either canned (100% pure pumpkin) or cooked pumpkin.  ALWAYS consult your Vet before adding any new food, treats, or supplements to your pet’s diet, even foods labeled as "natural" or "organic".

HOW TO COOK PUMPKIN TO FEED TO YOUR DOG:


STEP 1:  Cut off the top of a fresh, ripe pumpkin



STEP 2:  Scoop out the seeds inside the pumpkin.  You can dry these out to later crush finely and add to dog food or homemade dog treats.  Pumpkin seeds have health benefits too.



STEP 3:  Cut the pumpkin up into chunks. I start by slicing it into larger wedges, then I cut those into chunks.




STEP 4:  Boil the chunks of pumpkin on the stove


STEP 5:  After boiling until the chunks are soft, strain the water out. I retain the water and add it to my dogs' kibble.  The water retains some nutrients so I hate to throw it away!  You could also steam or microwave the pumpkin chunks until they're soft if you prefer.


STEP 6:  Once the pumpkin chunks are soft, I remove the rind in order to mash up the pumpkin.  Many people like to retain the softened rind and place it into a blender, as the rind has nutrients in it.  I just don't happen to do that myself.

This short video shows how the softened pumpkin enables you to easily remove the pumpkin rind: (there's background music in the video)


STEP 7:  After removing the pumpkin rind, mash up the softened pumpkin chunks, similar to making mashed potatoes.

This short video shows how to easily mash up the softened pumpkin chunks.  You could place the chunks in a blender if you prefer. (there's background music in the video)






In the U.S. there’s an abundance of fresh pumpkins in September and October, and they are often still available in November.  During other times of the year when fresh pumpkins aren’t available, I buy 100% canned pumpkin at the pet store or grocery store for my dogs.  I check the label carefully, as canned pumpkin from grocery stores usually contains sodium and sugar. Even the “organic” brands, often contain up to 10 grams of these ingredients!  My dogs love pumpkin and I want the health benefits associated with pumpkin, but I won’t give them pumpkin with salt or sugar added.

I've used to have trouble finding pure canned pumpkin with no added salt, sugar, or other ingredients at the grocery store.  Then I found 100% pure canned pumpkin at PetSmart, and at Target!  PetSmart carries canned pumpkin made by Authority, which is PetSmart's own brand of pet food.  Target carries 100%  pure canned pumpkin made by their own brand, Market Pantry, as well as pure pumpkin made by other brands. 

Whether it's fresh cooked or canned, pets can enjoy the many health benefits of pumpkin!

NOTE I am not a Veterinarian or Vet Tech, nor do I play one online! I am sharing what I have learned on my own and what my own experience has been in adding pumpkin to my dogs' diets.  Always check with your Veterinarian before adding new food, treats, or supplements to your pet’s diet.

For more pet health information:

Check out more of my Pet Health and Wellness blog posts.
Follow my Pinterest board on Pet Health and Safety where I share PINs with pet health information & tips from some of the most knowledgeable sources!


Do you give your dog or cat pumpkin?  Tell us about it in the comments!