Responsible pet care includes providing them with medical care, but what happens when you realize you’re spending more each month on your pet’s medical bills than your own? Vet bills for your animals can be costly. None of us like thinking about it, but pets can get sick or hurt, and the cost of vet bills continues to climb. Here are some cost-saving measures that can save your budget while still giving your best furry friends the treatment they need.
Give your pup a healthy lifestyle
Feed your dog a healthy diet and avoid high-fat treats. Providing your pooch regular exercise will not only keep her healthy but also help you keep you healthy. Your dog’s ideal weight should allow you to see her waistline from above but should not permit you to see her ribs from the side.
Pay attention to preventative care
Regular checkups will let you catch issues at an early stage before a problem becomes dangerous and more expensive. Keeping your dog’s vaccinations up to date is a critical part of effective preventative care. Getting your dog spayed or neutered also is important. Preventative care means taking your dog regularly for wellness checks. Annual check-ups are enough for most dogs, but senior dogs older than seven years should see the vet every six months. The same schedule goes for younger dogs that have ongoing health issues.
Investigate pet insurance
Pet insurance can help manage some of the costs of your pet’s health care as one in three people have a claim in the first policy year. You may be eligible for a discount if you are covering multiple dogs and cats. It’s important to understand what is included in the coverage you are buying. These conditions may be accidents such as broken bones or ingested poisons, illness, dental care or cancer. It’s also important to learn what it excludes. If insurance exclusions don’t cover your pet’s medical needs, set up a savings account dedicated to your pet’s medical costs. It’s a way of creating your own personal pet insurance plan. Deposit money automatically each month as an easier way to save.
See if your vet has a plan
Your veterinarian may accept a medical-care specific credit card such as CareCredit and often may be able to process your application on the spot. (This credit card can also be used for human medical bills.) Preventative plans that cover office visits, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and even dental cleaning may be available for a monthly fee. Some veterinarians will give you payment plans that cover high-cost procedures over extended periods. They may also offer discounts on other needed procedures.
Shop for quotes.
Don’t stop with your vet’s quote if your dog is headed for a particularly high-cost treatment or procedure. The cost may vary significantly among different facilities. For example, an abdominal ultrasound may cost anywhere from $450 to $1,350 for the exact same reason. Price shop for different facilities for the procedure.
Check out a veterinary college
Veterinary colleges often provide training for their students by offering basic services at a discount. See if your local vet school offers reduced prices on procedures such as spaying and neutering, vaccinations and checkups.