For many of us, our pets are our children, and we will go to extraordinary lengths and expense to keep them healthy and happy. For the folks that share their "children" with us, it is just a way of life but we do try to offer some money saving tips to help.
Pet owners are spending more on veterinarian bills than ever before. The American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans will spend $12.2 billion on veterinary care this year, up from $11 billion last year and $8.2 billion in 2006.
Advances in veterinary medicine mean more extensive, and expensive, treatments are available for animals, but even ordinary costs like flea and tick protection, shampoos, collars, crates, pet beds, and a multitude of other things can add up quickly. Here are some ways to curb those costs while still giving your pet the best of care.
DRUG DISCOUNTS If a pet needs regular medication, discount chains such as Costco can be cheaper than a regular drug store or the vet’s office. You can ask for veterinarian for a written prescription. One of the things D&B's offers is a pharmacy prescription card to our clients to use. It may be used for BOTH HUMANS AND ANIMALS. It is a prescription card we have obtained from PSI (Pet Sitters International) and can be beneficial to anyone without a prescription drug plan but also can help with co-pays on existing plans.
THE RIGHT VACCINES Keeping up with a pet’s shots will save money, not to mention misery, in the long run by preventing many serious illnesses. But that does not mean a pet needs every vaccine available. Your veterinarian can tell you what vaccines are recommended for your area. Bortadella is the kennel cough vaccine. If you are going to a board your dog or use a groomer, this vaccine is usually required. It is required by us.
We post regularly, the dates when MVP Low Cost Vaccination & Microchip Clinic as well as as the low cost Big Fix Spay & Neuter will be in town (or in Southern Utah). There are also the links for other locations. We have individual pages for these on our website so please click on the link for more information
A HEALTHY DIET. Many vets sell prescription and high-quality pet food, but the same brands are sold for much less at many pet supply stores or Web sites. Locally, IFA, CAL Ranch, Desert Reef Pets and Urban Dawgs carries high quality food. Many times skimping on your pets diet will lead to problems. Cats, for example, are carnivores and aren’t meant to eat carbohydrates. Feeding them only the cheap dried food can lead to diabetes or blockages that will cost you a lot more in the long run than the price you’ll pay for the right food.”
There are also websites where you can purchase high quality pet food at a lower cost.
Do not assume that tick and flea treatments or heartworm medications are cheaper at the big discount chains. Manufacturers want to distribute these medicines through veterinarians’ offices, so they often offer promotions and discounts there that are not available elsewhere. The vet I used to work for offered, "buy 4 months and get one free".
CONSIDER PET HEALTH INSURANCE It is a booming industry, growing more than 20 percent every year, although only an estimated 3 percent of pet owners have bought policies. But like health insurance for humans, pet insurance can be complicated and highly restricted. Some policies will not cover older pets or genetic conditions that certain breeds are known to have, such as hip dysplasia in retrievers. Others limit coverage to only one treatment per illness. So if your dog develops asthma, for instance, some policies will cover just the first trip to the vet although treatment will require multiple visits. Prices for pet insurance can range from $12 to $50 a month, depending on the type and age of the pet and any pre-existing conditions. In almost all cases the pet owner pays up front, then files a claim for reimbursement. Costs are higher to insure older, sicker pets, or for policies that cover preventive care, such as vaccines and veterinarian office visits.
PSI recommends using Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance. The findings indicate that pets visit the vet for many of the same reasons you might visit your doctor.