Aside from the ongoing cost of feeding, veterinary costs undoubtedly represent the largest expense that pet owners face. Just like with our own medical care, high-quality veterinary care is certainly not cheap – and it’s not just older, sick animals that are expensive. Even the routine annual physical examinations, vaccinations and preventative health care for the young, healthy pet can prove costly.
So can we possibly save some money without necessarily sacrificing the quality of our pet’s health care?
Here are just 5 ways to save on veterinary bills:
Humane societies or mobile clinics often hold low-cost spay/neuter clinics, typically to benefit low-income or senior citizen owners. So if you have recently acquired a new pet, it’s well worth enquiring about this possibility in your local area to see if you qualify for this service.
Additionally, your local humane society or mobile clinic (or even your local veterinary office or pet store) may also run low-cost vaccination clinics on occasions. Sometimes they may also extend low-cost services to include things like provision of routine de-worming medications or heartworm testing.
Learn some basic techniques
Often we take our pet to the veterinary office for some relatively basic, but essential, procedures – techniques that don’t necessarily need to be performed by a veterinary professional. These include things like clipping nails, trimming beaks, or even grooming procedures in some cases – all procedures that you could likely perform yourself. Next time you visit your veterinary office, ask your veterinarian or a veterinary technician to maybe show you how to clip your dog’s nails. With a little training, you can easily do this yourself and save on regular visits for this reason at least. Brushing your pet’s teeth is another simple but important way in which you can help reduce pet care expenses – regular brushing of your pet’s teeth, along with the feeding of dry pet foods, can guard against dental disease, and reduce the number of costly dental procedures they might need.
Insurance policies for pets are becoming increasingly popular as a means of helping with veterinary bills. Many insurance companies are now offering health plans for pets, so it is worth shopping around and comparing quotes for the different plans available, as well as to determine whether your pet actually qualifies for coverage. Such policies are a better alternative to going into debt if your pet is unlucky enough to require costly veterinary treatment. Additionally, and depending on the type and level of coverage that you opt for, they may cover a wide variety of office visits, expensive surgical procedures, and medications for the cost of a relatively small deductible.
Lower-cost prescription medications
There are various ways for you to save some money on regular prescription medicines that your veterinarian wishes to dispense to your pet. Instead of purchasing these from the office at the time of your visit, ask your veterinarian for a written prescription instead. This enables you to shop around for cheaper alternatives of the same drug – regular pharmacies or online pharmacies, for example, often sell the same drugs at lower costs.
So, although owning a pet is never cheap, there are certainly some ways for you to save on cost without affecting the quality of care that your beloved pet receives.
By Dr. Susan Wright DVM author of numerous dog care articles and lead expert at Dog Fence DIY the dog containment system experts. Susan has over ten years of experience in veterinary practice and is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America.