- 1) Talk to Your Veterinarian: If your pet needs care and dollars are limited discuss this with your veterinarian. It is important that your vet provides you with all the health care options including the tests that are helpful for diagnosis. In some cases, like non-critical conditions, it may be possible to treat your pet based on findings from the comprehensive physical examination without running tests. Your veterinarian should discuss all your options.
- 2) Keep Your Pet at It’s Appropriate Weight: So many health conditions are the result of pets being overweight. Some of these include degenerative joint disease (arthritis), diabetes , liver disease, breathing disorders, and much more. These conditions are costly to treat and often preventable just by keeping your pet lean. It’s also been shown in dogs that keeping them at their appropriate weight can lengthen life by almost two years. If your pet is overweight, your veterinarian can help you return your pet to its appropriate weight and save you money on dog food as well.
- 3) Vaccination:
- 1)Vaccination saves lives and money. We recently diagnosed a 12 year old dog with parvovirus. This disease, like so many others, is preventable with simple vaccination. Thank goodness that pet survived, but at great expense to it’s owner. We also diagnosed a 14 year old dog with seizures. After referral to the university, CT scan, and many tests, she was diagnosed with distemper. She had not been vaccinated in four years and sadly did not survive.
- 2) Not every pet needs every vaccine. Your pet’s vaccination program should be custom developed based on lifestyle and where you live. After the initial puppy/kitten series and one year booster, your pet’s vaccination program should be designed based on your discussion with your veterinarian.
- 3) Some vaccines are only needed every 3 years. The immunity for some vaccinations has been shown to last longer than one year. Ask your veterinarian which vaccines are needed annually and which can be given every three years.
- 4) Consider Buying Pet Health Insurance Pet health insurance can really help with veterinary expenses. Many programs pay 80% of health care costs. However, not all pet health insurance programs are worth it. We have had some that after the annual renewal did not continue to pay for the pre-existing conditions. Please discuss with your veterinarian which pet health insurance companies do a good job.
- 5) Using a Line of Credit Payment Plan: A payment plan can enable you to provide the veterinary care your pet needs when you need it interest free. Your veterinarian pays a percentage of your pet’s care to the company in order to provide you with this payment option. Our practice use a company called Care Credit. (You may be familiar with Care Credit for your own health or dental needs.) You can get an interest free loan for your pet care and make monthly payments over 3-6 months.
- 6) Pet Proof Your Home and Learn About Pet Safety: Many serious injuries and surgeries can be avoided by learning different ways to keep your pet safe. You can learn helpful pet safety tips on our Website Blog:
New Year safety tips,
Cold weather safety,
- 7) Feed Only Pet Food: So many veterinary trips could be avoided if you feed only pet food. We see many animals with vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and a potentially life threatening condition called pancreatitis, all from eating “people food”. Also, some people foods are not safe for pets to eat (food to avoid).
As you can see, many things can be done to lower your veterinary expenses. Work together with your veterinarian to keep your pet expenses as low as possible and to help your pet live a long, happy, and healthy life!