Our mission is to provide a home to animals that have been adandoned or abused, to show them what it is to live in a home where they are loved.

Everyone can afford to have a dog until they need to go to the vet. We currently have loads of dogs and cats and while feeding them is very expensive, a visit to the vet for just one of them is even more so. It's been said time and time again that prevention is better than cure, even if prevention costs a little extra, and in this case it certainly rings true.

Here are some tricks that we use to prevent illnesses and outbreaks in our home and in that way avoid paying vet bills for easily preventable diseases.

Wash Water & Food Bowls

You'd be surprised at how few pet owners actually wash their dogs food and water bowls, simply filling them up twice a day. Washing them not only prevents a build up of the biofilm, but also prevents bacteria that is transmitted by flies from breeding on your dogs bowl.

Their bowls can also be urinated on accidentally, or touched by someone who hasn't washed their hands and is carrying bacterias, fungi or even amoeba parasites, transferring this to the dog's bowl. Ranger died from this. He ingested an amoeba (usually from human origin) which lived inside him undetected for many months. By the time it was found it was already too late, having had already attacked his organs.

Invest in Stainless Steel Bowls

We use stainless steel mixing bowls designed for cooking and baking because they are cheaper. Stainless steel is not porous, so it doesn't hold onto the food, leaving it to soak into the material and rot there,  attracting flies, bugs, parasites and other nasties.

These bowls also last longer, they don't get eaten by the dogs or damaged. Damages can create the perfect hiding spot for bacteria and fungi, allowing them to breed and later be ingested by the dogs.

Daily Cleaning With Bleach

Bleach is the only household cleaner known to kill both parvo virus and coccydia (a parasite that infects mainly cats), two very hardy beasts, with high mortality rates. They enter quietly, no one knows when or how. On the bottom of shoes, on a pair of gloves, on an infected rag. But if every day the entire floor is disinfected with bleach just before the dogs eat, you are killing any traces of these two bugs every single day.

External Parasites: Ticks and Fleas

Examples are Nexgard, Simparaica and Bravecto, amongst others. These not only rid the animal of the discomfort of itching and the consequences of scratching, but also almost entirely eliminates the chance of picking up flea and tick borne diseases and parasites. In Costa Rica the most common of these diseases is erlichia which is treated with 30 days of doxycycline.

These tablets can be shared between 2 or more dogs based on weight but they cannot be opened and refrigerated.

Put into context the treatment for erlichia for a 20 kg dog is almost twice the price of the prevention. Split between 2 dogs, the savings are even bigger. This excludes the price of the tests which could be as much as half the price of the tick and flea treatment.

Vaccinate

Vaccines are the best prevention measures known today and with strict application they have been shown to wipe out entire diseases. The 5-way vaccine that we recommend protects against 5 diseases that are not curable. Picking up one of these diseases will either result in the death of your pet or extremely high vet bills.

Put into context the test for just one of these diseases is twice the price of the entire vaccine that protects against 5 diseases.

Deworm

Let's face it, dogs are not the most discriminatory of all beings. They will eat a piece of chicken dropped in the sand, they eat cat poop and they will chomp on a dead animal if the opportunity presents itself. Hence the need to deworm and regularly! While basic deworming is often the norm it is not always enough. Heartworm that is spread through the bite of a mosquito from an infected dog, is best avoided rather than treated. Treatment and prevention comes from slightly more expensive dewormers such as Endogard which prevent and treat hookworm, heartworm and giardia. Following a regimen of regular deworming can be life saving as well as wallet saving.

Personal Hygiene

Washing your hands regularly and especially when preparing your dogs' food or refilling their water bowl, can be life saving. Ranger died from a human parasite infection that had destroyed many of his organs.

Zero Salt

Humans haven't learnt to live without salt and the more salt we eat the more we want! But dogs don't need it and in fact, adding salt to their food can actually be dangerous causing crystals or even kidney and bladder stones. This is exactly what happened to Paz!

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