Yoshi (A497284) is a three year old Akita who came to Pasadena Humane as a stray. As an Akita, the ideal home is a home where Yoshi would be the only dog. They are defined as strong-willed and brave, but extremely loyal to their family. He is now available for adoption! (Pasadena Humane)
Ask a pet owner what the biggest challenge is caring for their pets and they will tell you the high cost of veterinary care.
According to a recent report by Modern Pet Parent, what stresses pet parents the most is that their pet is getting sick (76%), their dog / cat has a chronic / long-term illness (73%), and potentially unknown health issues (73%) . Additionally, 77% of pet parents are concerned about their pet’s future health.
It’s not just that we don’t want to see our pets sick. We also emphasize how one can afford expensive diagnostics and treatment.
It’s no secret that a visit to the vet can easily lead to a massive onset of your wallet. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize the financial burden associated with taking care of your pet’s health.
I have a word for you: prevention. The best way to avoid high veterinary bills is to keep small problems from turning into big, painful, and expensive problems. Here are some options.
Pay attention to your figure. I know I talk about it a lot, but portion control and serving quality food are so important to your pet’s overall health. In fact, I believe that is the main reason my pets live such long lives (seriously, my dogs are almost old enough to be served alcohol in a bar).
Use a measuring cup with meals and choose pet foods that list real meat as the first ingredient – not cornmeal or wheat. This allows your pet to maintain a healthy weight, which translates into fewer veterinarian bills to deal with pancreatitis, diabetes, and a host of other health conditions triggered by obesity and poor diet. Sniff shop coupons or contact your favorite pet maker and request coupons.
Check and clean their ears regularly. I recently read about a really effective ear cleaning solution that you can make at home. It’s easy as pie. Simply mix three parts rubbing alcohol with one part white wine vinegar. Put a few drops in each ear, rub it around, and wipe it clean once a week to ward off ear infections, especially in swimming dogs and breeds with heavy ears like cocker spaniels. Alcohol kills bacteria and evaporates moisture, while vinegar kills fungi.
Good oral hygiene = better breath and general health. Brush your dog or cat’s teeth at least twice a week with toothpastes, brushes, and tooth gels and pet chews. Home dental supplies are inexpensive when compared to professional teeth cleaners, which cost between $ 150 and $ 400.
Pack the necessary vaccinations. Check with your veterinarian about what vaccinations your pet really needs and judge them based on age, health, and outdoor access. If possible, opt for 3-year vaccinations instead of annual vaccinations. This will definitely save you some money.
Also, keep in mind that Pasadena Humane has a community vaccination clinic with inexpensive vaccinations for dogs and cats. Just visit our website to make an appointment online!
Take out pet insurance. Pets can get sick or injured, so prepare for the unexpected. It is less expensive to get insurance when your pets are young. Review guidelines but typically cover 80% of surgical procedures.
You can also deposit a certain amount into a savings account every month for pet care. I’ve been doing this for a few years because my dogs are old enough to drive.
Do you have a veterinary college nearby? Check out what they charge for their services. They usually offer a sizable discount on the local veterinary clinic and clinic fees because they have many students who need hands-on experience. Your pet will be seen by a student, but all care will be overseen by an experienced veterinarian.
For help finding a school near you, see the American Veterinary Medical Associations list of accredited veterinary schools.
Get paper prescriptions. Most veterinarians significantly increase the drugs they sell. Insist on a printed copy of every recipe your pet needs so you can find the best deal. If it is a drug that is also used to treat people, your local pharmacy may be able to dispense it.
Shopping online for medicines for pets can also save you money, but you must be careful not to get scammed. The FDA has a few guidelines to follow to make sure you are dealing with a reputable pharmacy.
Do you feel more comfortable buying from your vet? Then compare prices and see if they’re ready to hit the lowest price you could find.
Of course, free prescriptions are even better. Always ask your vet if they have free samples available before you rush to fill out a script. This is an especially smart move if you’re trying a new drug that you’re not sure your pet will be okay with.
It’s okay to poke around. Whenever your veterinarian recommends a treatment or procedure, request a written estimate of the services to be performed. This gives you a clear overview of what you can expect to pay and what is and is not included in that fee. If you see something that you don’t understand or that seems unnecessary to you, you can ask for it too. There may be additional services that could be removed to lower the total.
Do you want to shop for a better deal? With a copy of the cost estimate, you are well prepared for this. When you have everything in writing, it is easy to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Because a cheaper offer is only a better offer if you receive the same quality of service.
With advances in veterinary medicine, there are almost no limits to what you can do for your pet. But by making healthy choices for your pet every day, you will drastically reduce the cost of veterinary care. Believe me, it’s worth it!