Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Vet Bills
Everyone’s keeping an eye on the budget these days, and one of the most expensive pet expenditures is veterinary care. With just a little preparation and research, however, you can reduce your veterinary costs, from office visits to prescription medications.
1. Schedule an annual exam
Maintaining an annual exam schedule for your dog or cat is important, and this definitely not the place to trim costs. Spending money on an annual exam — and on spay and neuter — may seem like an expenditure but it’s an investment that will save you money down the road.
2. Maintain good dental health
Good dental care can save you hundreds of dollars in cleaning fees. Try to brush your dog’s or cat’s teeth several times per week using a special toothpaste and toothbrush designed for pets.
3. Ask about 3-year immunization schedules
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the only organization that accredits animal hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada, issued guidelines in 2006 about the frequency of immunizations. Whereas your pet once automatically received vaccinations annually, today the veterinary world is looking at longer periods between vaccinations, depending on your pet’s lifestyle. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations for your pet’s “core vaccines” and see if you can extend the time between immunizations. (The frequency of your pet’s rabies vaccines will be mandated by local law, however.) But make sure you are not over-vaccinating. Many vets recommend shots that really aren’t needed or required. Like with children, we are finding out that we are over-vaccinating.
4. Avoid emergency vet visits with preemptive care
Does something just seem “not right” with your dog or cat? Is it a Friday afternoon? Don’t wait until the vet’s office closes for the weekend; run him by for a quick office visit if possible. The price of a routine office visit is far lower than the cost of an emergency vet visit. If you do wind up needing emergency veterinary care, check and see if follow up visits can be made at your regular veterinarian’s office to save money.
5. Feed your pet high quality food or better yet feed them real food – raw or cook for them
Maintaining a healthy diet is key to good health. Premium dog and cat food containing quality ingredients is an investment in your pet’s health that saves you money down the line. Additionally, your dog does not need to be fed as much high-quality food as he would low-quality food packed with fillers. Less food means savings. Eventually, that premium food can result in lower veterinary bills, too, by keeping your pet closer to his ideal weight and by supplying him with beneficial nutrients.
6. Ask about special discounts
Check and see if your vet offers any special discounts. Whether you’re a senior, a firefighter, a military member, or a full-time student, your vet might have a discount plan for you. Also, if you have multiple dogs and cats, ask if there’s a multiple pet discount.
7. Watch for event-related discounts
Like with human health, there are special months that recognize and draw attention to particular aspects of pet health. Pet Dental Month (February) and Pet Wellness Month (October) are just two times when you might find related specials from your veterinarian. Some have spay and neuter clinics.
8. Investigate pet insurance early
Pet insurance can be a great way to save on unexpected vet costs but, to lower your monthly premiums, insure your pet as young as possible. Most companies won’t insure a pet with a pre-existing condition and, at most companies, premiums are lower the younger your dog or cat is. At some companies, premium will even lock in at that lower rate.
9. Ask about matching drug prices
Before your next trip to the veterinarian, spend a few minutes doing online research on reputable online pet pharmacy sites checking the price of heartworm preventative or other medications you know you’ll need. Remember to take into account shipping costs, too. Print the product page and take it to your vet’s office and ask if they can match the online price.
**Also, there are many natural remedies that can be used in place of meds and chemical treatments which will be cheaper as well as healthier for your pet!**
10. Fill your dog’s prescription at your drugstore
Many pet prescriptions can be filled at your drugstore, saving you money and possibly giving you the option of generic, low-cost equivalents for some drugs. Ask your vet to see if it’s a possibility!
Items like anti-flea treatments and regular meds can often be purchased online for much lower costs.
By Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the authors of Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos (Riviera Books). The husband-wife team are the publishers of DogTipper.com and CatTipper.com, sites featuring daily tips, news, giveaways, and product reviews. Paris and John can always be found on Twitter and Facebook, too!
Re-posted at Just One More Pet
June 19, 2011 - Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, pet products, Pet Recipes | dental care for pets, healthy eating for dogs, Pet Food, real food for pets, Vet costs, veteranarian care, Vets
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Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
Recent and Seasonal Shots
As I have been fighting Cancer… A battle I am gratefully winning, my furkids have not left my side. They have been a large part of my recovery!! Ask Marion
Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!
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