As a pet owner, I have had my fair share of vet visits. Especially with 6 dogs (at one time) and a cat. Out of necessity, I have discovered ways to save money on veterinary visits and wanted to share them with you, as it is never ok to NOT provide medical care.
Preventative Vet Care
Just like your car, home and personal health, prevention is cheaper than the cure. Catching a problem before it is a problem is the best way to go. This includes staying on top of immunizations, providing a healthy diet and exercise, and spaying/neutering your pet. Annual check-ups is usually enough for healthy dogs under age 7. After that, consider visits every 6 months, or ask the vet what they recommend.
Veterinary college students require training and can typically perform discounted services such as check-ups and vaccinations. Call your local college and inquire about the qualifications and details of their programs.
We never know when an emergency is going to happen. There are several options for assisting with this, but it is a good idea to have a plan ahead of time. Pet insurance can help offset costs- but it’s important to know what is covered, and not. Creating an emergency savings account is always a good idea in general, but considering adding additional funds for your pet, or even a separate account just for pet expenses.
High Cost Procedures
There are times things come up that aren’t an emergency, but are critical or important, and likely, high cost. If a high cost treatment is being suggested, consider these options:
Just as you would get a second opinion on your own procedures or large expenses, do the same for your pet.
Emergency veterinary services can be offset in part by charity organizations designed for such. They may have special connections, a variety of resources or even donors willing to contribute to special needs of the pet community.
Sometimes a payment plan worked out directly with the vet clinic can be less expensive than using a high interest credit card. Ask the vet office about any plans they have to help with costly procedures.
Jill Haffley is a certified dog trainer through the International Association of Canine Professionals. With over 20 years of experience and nearly as many pets in her lifetime, she teaches owner and dog the pack philosophy to change undesirable behavior. She can be contacted at dogtrn07 at msn dot com.