Maintaining the well-being of our companion animals

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Pets of all species are an important part of our lives. As owners, we commit to making their well-being a priority. Proper nutrition is important for pets to have good digestion and prevent illness. As with humans, a balanced diet provides pets with needed nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Appropriate nutrition for pets varies based on their stage of life as they grow and if they are pregnant or lactating. As meat eaters, dogs and cats have a high protein requirement. They need key ingredients that are included in prepared foods made specifically for pets rather than table scraps to stay healthy. Table scraps can cause an upset stomach and be life threatening for pets, depending on the ingredients.

Spaying and neutering a pet is another example of preventative care that insures the health and well-being of our pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pets have longer lifespans on average than those that do not have this surgery and are at a lower risk of disease.

Female pets will be more protected from urinary infections and breast cancer. They will also not go into heat during the breeding season. Male pets will be less likely to develop testicular cancer. Neuter surgeries can also decrease unwanted behavior issues, such as marking and aggressive behaviors. Unneutered males are more likely to travel farther from their home in search of a mate than neutered males. In addition to providing preventative care, pet owners will help reduce unwanted litters and overcrowded animal shelters by spaying and neutering.

These surgeries can be done at a spay and neuter clinics for a lower cost. There are also some low-cost programs that make it more affordable, such as the Lillie’s Fund through Chatham Animal Rescue and Education (CARE). It is specific to Chatham County residents, whose total household income is $40,000 or less. After an application is approved, pet owners receive a voucher that they can use at CARE’s participating veterinary partners. This program also includes the cost of vaccines, including rabies and microchipping. CARE is currently offering a “3 for FREE” special through June 30 for up to three female pets in a household to be spayed for free.

Additional resources

CARE is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that promotes the health and safety of dogs and cats in Chatham County. You can visit chathamanimalrescue.org or call 919-542-5757 to learn more about Lillie’s Fund and access an application.

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