Although pets bring great joy to a person's life, they can also bring great expense, so planning thrifty vet visits is a good way to keep costs down. In general, the larger your animal, the larger your veterinary cost, so be sure to work that into your household budget when you bring your pet home.
Pet Problem Prevention
The best way to save money at the vet is to avoid visiting in the first place. While you do need to bring your animal in for yearly check-ups and vaccinations, you can avoid additional costly visits by doing some simple care yourself:
- Exercise your animal. Avoid weight-related problems by keeping your pet's weight in the proper range.
- Provide healthy food and treats. Feed your animal properly and provide healthy treats so it has a nutritionally-balanced diet.
- Vaccinate your animal against common illnesses.
- Use preventative measures, such as flea and tick collars and rubs, to help keep annoying pests away.
- Brush your pet's teeth on a regular basis.
- Groom your animal regularly. Bathe your animal as your vet recommends and brush fur once a week.
- Watch for any warning signs of trouble to nip a problem in the bud. For example,
long-eared dogs are more prone to infections, so routinely check their ears for an odor or odd-looking buildup.
- Provide a safe living and playing environment for your pet. Look for problem areas, such as holes in the yard or a cage with a broken latch, and fix them.
- Spay and neuter your pet when it reachs the proper age.
Do research into your particular pet. Visit the library or a national pet club organization to get medically-sound advice on the proper care of your pet species and follow your veterinarian's recommendations. Simple preventative measures like the ones listed above will keep the number of vet visits down, along with their cost.
Pet Health Insurance
Getting pet insurance is one of the newest tools pet owners are using to help keep the costs of care low. However, like regular insurance policies and companies, the options and costs vary. Ask your vet for an insurance company recommendation, like VPI Pet Insurance, then read the policy's fine print carefully.
Remember that even with insurance, you will still be paying a monthly cost into the company, along with a deductible. Make sure you understand what is and is not covered under your insurance plan. Discuss treatment options with your vet that make the most sense, given your particular insurance.
Thrifty Vet Visits Save Money
Saving money at the vet is something every pet owner wants to do. Try the following tips at your next visit to get the most life out of your pet and keep the most money in your wallet:
- Shop around for routine checkup deals if you have a healthy pet. Look for savings coupons in your phone book or newspaper for "new customers." Just be sure to get a signed and dated record of the visit.
- If your vet charges a flat fee for each visit, see if you can combine several pets into one appointment. This way, you only pay for one visit, not three.
- Ask your vet for pet samples and freebies of food and treats. Vets might also have coupons you can use at a later visit, too. You just have to ask.
- Look for a vet that offers payment plans for expensive treatments. Also, check into whether or not your vet has a membership club that offers discounts for visits or products purchased.
The ASPCA offers more tips for saving on vet care, like checking into a specialist and buying high-quality food. If you still cannot afford even thrifty vet visits, the Humane Society of the United States offers a long list with options available to you, including links to groups that provide financial assistance.
Prevention is key to reducing the costs of pet care and ownership. Plan thrifty vet visits by working the costs of your pet into your budget, buying pet insurance and talking to your vet about different cost control options.