It may sound a bit obvious, but the best way to save money on vet bills is by not having your pet see the vet in the first place. Of course, as a responsible pet owner you must take your pet in for yearly physicals and the recommended vaccinations, and of course, you will have your pet seen when sick, but by simply practicing various preventive strategies, you may be able to considerably lower your vet bills because your pet will ultimately be in good health with little or no need to see the veterinarian.
How to Save Money on Vet Bills
Prevention, as the saying goes, is much better than curing, and this applies both for your pet and your wallet. There are various precautions that as a pet owner you may take in order to save money on vet bills, which by the way, seem to be always on the rise, turning pet ownership into almost a privilege nowadays. And with shelters overfilling because of the failing economy, as an owner you want to make sure your pet stays healthy and happy, and most of all, always with you regardless of your financial situation.
Spaying and Neutering
Good oral hygiene
First of all, it helps to understand that sometimes you must invest some money in order to keep your pet in good health. This well spent money will ultimately save you considerable money and heartaches in the long run. It may be harsh for a pet owner to find out that a hospitalized pet at an animal emergency center may easily amount into thousands of dollars. If owners are caught unprepared this may be a horrible experience, and sadly some pets are put down because owners cannot afford these associated expenses. This is where pet insurance comes into place.
Paying a monthly premium may considerably lower your vet bills should such emergencies arise. Many pet insurances allow you to pay only 10 to 20 percent of the total bill for as low as 20 to 30 dollars a month. However, owners should always have some money set aside for such emergencies because most animal hospitals require a deposit upfront and full payment once the pet is released. Pet insurance, will then take over and reimburse the money spent. If you’re considering pet insurance, it’s wise to start early when your dog is still a puppy. If your dog develops a condition as he grows, it may be tougher to obtain insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Read our article here for more in-depth information on pet insurance.
It can never be emphasized enough the importance of providing premium dog food. Cheap, super-market foods are mostly full of “fillers”. Fillers are grains that are really not necessary for pets but allow pet companies to “fill” the food in order to use less meat, explains veterinarian Karen Becker. Low quality foods, therefore, will mostly have grains listed as the first ingredients. These foods have been linked with causing skin allergies, itchiness, gas and other health problems. Some owners admit that a raw diet is what really benefits their pets best.
That puppy put up for sale in that Sunday newspaper may seem quite cheap but very likely he is the result of a bad combination of genes. Backyard breeders are very common nowadays, you can see them selling puppies often when Christmas is around the corner for extra profits. They are often in the classifies ads and offer no warranties whatsoever. The puppy’s parents are not tested for genetic disorders nor for temperament. They are just chosen and matched up. Puppies may grow up to have unstable temperaments and may have hereditary disorders that may be visible only once the pups grow up. Staying away from backyard breeders may help avoid enormous vet bills once the pet develops hereditary problems that may cost thousands of dollars to repair.
Having your spayed or neutered may considerably lower vet bills because spaying lowers the chances of pyometra, mammary, uterine and ovarian tumors, according to Patterson Dog and Cat Hospital. Neutering, on the other hand, lowers the chances of prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Both surgeries also prolong a pet’s life making them less likely to stray away or get into fights.
Most dogs over the age of five develop tartar and periodontal disease. When this happens, they must go under general anesthesia to have a dental cleaning done and possibly extractions which can be quite costly. Good oral hygiene programs should be started from an early age. Brushing and providing chew toys along with dental chews may help reduce the production of harmful plaque. Dental decay may also cause serious health problems such as kidney and heart disease.
Young dogs need at least some vaccinations and routine general checkups. Geriatric dogs, on the other hand, benefit from seeing their vet at least twice a year. These routine checkups may often find problems at a point where they are still treatable and less costly.
Intestinal parasites sometimes may cause complications that may end up being pretty costly. It is very important therefore to have pets regularly checked for parasites and dewormed. Another thing to keep in consideration is that some parasites can also be transmitted to humans, especially children. It is very important as well to keep dogs on monthly heartworm medication to prevent costly and potentially deadly heart worm disease.
There are more health disorders seen in pets today than many years ago. It could be attributed to the fact that pets are being kept more and more alone at home all day causing them to get fat and lazy. Obesity is a known contributing factor for problems such as joint problems and diabetes.
The Bottom Line
As seen, there are various ways to help keep your pet healthy and considerably lower vet bills. Just as you perform frequent oil changes and routine tune ups on your car, you should ensure your pet receives quality care so to grant many healthy and happy years to come. As in humans, preventive care in dogs can help lower those veterinary bills and insurance can help minimize costs so that your dog and your wallet can thank you.