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Keeping our dogs and cats healthy during a financial crisis

Dogs and cats continue to give us an energy boost to hurdle another stretch of this uncertain time called the pandemic. They make us happy and feel good just by being themselves,  smiling, wagging their tails, purring, or sitting next to us or on our lap.

They also give us a different “purpose”  at this time as we enjoy a fun routine that keeps us grounded: feed the pet, give water, walk the pet, and kiss the pet, among others.

They keep us sane and help us stay positive despite the uncertainty of the times.  They are our bundles of pawsitive energy.

That smile is so infectious! Dathir is a gentle giant whose smile will make you want to  hug him and take him home for keeps. Dathir, a rescued dog of  Save Animals of Love and Light (Save ALL), will eat any vegetable. That is one reason he is healthy and  grew to be a big dog, we think. 
But some pet owners now need help to keep their furbabies  alive and well. A number of pet owners  lost their jobs or earn less these days,  making it difficult for  them to provide food for  all members of the family, including their pets.

This pandemic  will take about one more year, experts said,  as the vaccination of  most of the human population will take that long or even longer.  The effect on the economy will  be felt  two to three  more years after  herd immunity is achieved,  some media outfit have also reported.

Given this, it will take time for humans to get back the semblance of life they had  before pandemic.  This means putting food on the table for humans and in the bowl of pets will  continue to be difficult for those who lost their jobs or  experienced a downgrade in income.

What can we do then to continue  keeping our dogs or cats healthy and well despite a substantial cut in  earnings?

We can start giving natural food.

Dry dog food or dry cat food can be more expensive  in the long run.

Or we can combine  dry pet food with natural or boiled food.

Just seeing  a dog's cute face makes us smile.  Batchie here always evokes a happy feeling among those who see his photos. Like other dogs, Batchie loves lettuce and the crunch of cauliflower.
Here are some  healthy, inexpensive food you can give your pet:

1. Malunggay is  called the multivitamin of vegetables. It is a very nutritious food.  You can mix the leaves (chopped finely for cats) in a chicken broth (water/soup from boiled chicken parts) and  a little rice that was boiled with the consistency of congee (lugaw).  Malunggay is easy to plant. Just  get a branch  and plant in a big pot or  in your garden. It requires very little space and very little care.

2.    You can add pechay Tagalog which you can also grow in a pot or in your garden. This vegetable requires full sunlight and daily watering and that’s it! After 45 days, you will have  pechay you can boil and add to your dog’s meal. The green part can be chopped finely and boiled, and  can be given to your cat. While your pets have food, you too can sautee the pechay in  garlic and onions for the humans to enjoy.  Pechay is very good for the liver of both humans and pets.

3. Another easy to plant  veggie is patola. Our single patola plant gave us fruits for two straight years!  Patola is very healthy for the lungs. But  give patola only twice a week as it is rather sweet. Remove the seeds and skin. Boil.Then  mix with any meat broth and a little rice/lugaw.  Do not put salt or pepper.

4.  Celery can be  put in water and is easy to grow in soil.  And this vegetable is nutritious for dogs.  You can give the stalk to dogs raw and they will love the crunch! Or you can chop finely and add to boiled food of cats and dogs.

5.  Plant other veggies that  are good for pets.  Research please on what vegetables  can be given to dogs and cats, and what are toxic or bad for them. You can plant in pots or  plastic softdrink bottles,  biscuit cans, and other plastic  containers.  

Gandalf is a senior rescued dog of Save ALL who loves to nap on grass and eat veggies.
6. Mix only a little dog food or cat food in natural, boiled veggies-lugaw-meat broth if you do not have the budget for full dry food yet.  In this way, your dog or cat will still get a healthy meal.

7.  Buy beef or pork bones and boil them. Do not add salt or pepper.  Bones cost much less. Keep the stock or broth in  small containers and then put in the freezer. Do not give the bones to your pet. There have been many cases of choking in dogs due to bones. Bring out a container during mealtime, heat, then add to  congee  and boiled veggies for your dog.

These are just some  of the ways we can keep our pets healthy.  We need to ensure they remain  healthy during this crisis as bringing  pets to a clinic will entail a lot of cost, and is very risky to humans who might get infected with  the virus in the said public place.

Topics: dogs , cats , healthy food , financial crisis
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