My dog Molly is the light of my life, but her medical care has been very expensive for the 15 years she has lived with our family.
Although I have never forgone treatment for cost reasons, I am looking for ways to save money on her expenses whenever possible. In my years as a pet owner, these are the top five ways I’ve found to save money on pet care.
1. Get pet insurance
The best way to save money on pet care is to buy animal insurance when your pet is young and healthy. With pet insurance, you can pay predictable and affordable premiums to be covered for illnesses and injuries. Although you still have to pay out of pocket for routine care (unless you add an optional wellness plan), pet insurance can be a real lifesaver as it will cover the bulk of big pets. unforeseen expenses.
I did not purchase pet insurance for Molly, and I ended up spending a fortune out of pocket on cardiologist appointments that would have been covered if we had a policy in place. With all future dogs, I will make sure to get pet insurance as soon as possible.
2. Get regular preventative care
A great way to ensure your pet stays healthy and avoids the need for expensive veterinary services is to follow preventative care. That means visiting the vet once a year for a checkup so you can catch small problems before big ones develop, and it means getting regular dental care to avoid costly tooth extractions. It also means using flea and tick medication, getting regular vaccinations when needed, and using heartworm preventative. All of these routine care tasks can prevent your pet from developing costly problems that you will have to pay for.
3. Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise
Just like with humans, exercise can dramatically improve your pet’s health. By ensuring your pet is in good shape, you can reduce veterinary care costs that can result from illnesses that develop due to a sedentary lifestyle.
4. Choose your pet’s food carefully
Your pet’s food can make a big difference in their overall health. In our case, for example, when Molly eats certain types of food, she develops ear infections that require an expensive trip to the vet.
By buying a high-quality food that you have carefully researched, you can avoid all sorts of problems, from allergies to obesity, and ensure that you don’t end up spending money on problems that could have been avoided. .
5. Call for pricing before going to the vet
Lastly, I have found that it really makes a difference to call several different veterinary practices to ask about the prices for the services you are interested in. For example, I was paying for an annual blood check at a vet and when I called and got the prices I found out I had overpaid almost $100.
Of course, you don’t want to choose a vet based on price alone, but it’s always worth shopping around for reputable care providers to find the most affordable options for your pet’s medical needs.
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