If you share your life with a pet, you will not be able to avoid vet bills. They’re part and parcel of keeping them in good health and treating illnesses and injuries. Fortunately, there are ways you can keep your vet costs as low as possible and they’re not difficult to implement.
1. Vaccinate your pets. The cost associated with treating your dog for parvovirus is so much more than the cost of a routine vaccination to prevent this disease. Your vet will be able to advise you on an appropriate vaccination schedule for your pet, and this can save you money should they become ill with a vaccine-preventable disease. It also avoids the distress of seeing your pet ill.
2. Keep on top of parasites. This means that you must treat your pet for fleas, heartworm, and intestinal worms on a regular basis. These parasites make your pet feel miserable and can potentially be fatal. By investing a small amount of money on preventative treatments on a regular basis, you’ll avoid having to cover the higher cost of their recovery from flea allergy dermatitis or hookworm anemia.
3. Good nutrition. A good quality nutritionally balanced diet is important for maintaining good health. Deficiencies in nutrients as seen with an inappropriate feeding regime can lead to illness. Another aspect of appropriate nutrition is how much you feed. If you put too much food in your pet’s dinner bowl, they are very likely to become overweight. This comes with its own health problems such as joint pain and diabetes. The result is a double whammy on your family budget – the excess cost of feeding too much, and the financial burden of the obesity-related illnesses.
4. Neutering is very important. For females, it can reduce the risk of breast cancer. It also avoids the expense of emergency cesarean deliveries and raising unexpected puppies. Neutered males aren’t as likely to wander the neighborhood so there’s less chance of them getting involved in a fight or being injured by a car.
5. Keep your pet restrained, and don’t let them walk around unattended. Outdoor cats are at greater risk of fight wounds and abscesses, and may become infected with feline immunodeficiency virus. This can result in chronic and repeated illnesses and the costs associated can really add up. If you walk your dogs off leash or they manage to escape your yard, they, too, can get into a tussle with another dog or be hit by a car.
6. Should your pet become ill, don’t adopt a “wait and see” approach. You may find that your pet’s condition will get worse and treatment will be more complex (and thus more expensive). If you’re concerned about your pet’s health, a visit to your vet sooner rather than later can save you dollars.
7. It’s well worth thinking about pet insurance. It’s very helpful in covering those unexpected vet bills when, in spite of your best efforts, your pet becomes ill or injured. It also has the added benefit of reducing your stress when there’s an emergency, because you won’t be worried about money while you’re worried about your pet. Here are pet insurance policies recommended by LovePets.
When it comes to saving money on vet bills, prevention is definitely better than cure. There’s no way to avoid them altogether, but if you follow these guidelines, you’re likely to have fewer, and possibly smaller, veterinary bills.