As a responsible pet parent, you need to provide quality health care for your pet. Unfortunately, doing so can be costly. The hefty cost of healthcare for pets continues to be the largest pet expense for pet parents. It causes stress and anxiety for many pet owners around the world.
According to the Australian Veterinary Association, dog owners spend on average over $25,000 per animal in their life span, while cat owners – in addition to the initial costs during their first year – will spend around $880 every year, although that is highly dependent on the pet’s breed and your location.
However, taking your pet to the vet doesn’t mean you have to become broke or go for the cheapest options. Here are some things you can do to save on vet bills without sacrificing the quality of service your pet receives.
Consider Pet Insurance
As much as many pet owners overlook the importance of taking pet insurance, it’s necessary to cover emergency pet bills. Pet insurance works similar to human health insurance with detachable and reimbursement rates.
Purchasing pet insurance can help you save on vet bills. However, you need to understand what is covered and excluded before purchasing your preferred insurance cover.
When purchasing an insurance cover for your pet, make sure to compare rates from several companies to see which one gives the best deal. Most importantly, consider purchasing an insurance cover that is accepted by your vet.
Vet charges differ from one vet to another. If you are looking for a vet, call different offices to enquire about their fees. Pet offices in high rent areas tend to charge more compared to vets in less posh and trendy neighbourhoods.
Once you have identified the vet you want to work with, use your bargaining power to ensure you get the best deal and care for your pet.
Services like ultrasounds, blood work and other diagnostic tests vary from one vet to the other. Make sure to call around and choose a service provider that charges reasonably to help you save on pet bills. You can later forward the results to your vet for treatment.
Embrace Preventative Care
Annual checkups might be enough for healthy pets. Senior pets and pets with ongoing health issues are recommended to have checkups every six months. This however varies according to the breed and age of the pet.
Spaying and neutering your pet is also important as far as their health is concerned. This prevents your female dog or cat from getting uterine infections and breast tumors in about 50% of cats and 90% of dogs. Neutering male cats and dogs will also help prevent testicular cancer and prostate problems.
It’s also important to keep your pet up-to-date on vaccinations. Also, always make sure that your pet is fed with the right and balanced diet, and has their routine checkups for their dental health.
It is important to make sure that your pet gets plenty of exercises. This will depend on their weight and breed. It is estimated that about 41% of cats and 32% of dogs are considered obese or overweight in Australia. Pets with healthy weight are likely to suffer less from diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer. Getting rid of the extra weight means spending less on pet food and also saving on vet bills. It’s a win-win situation for you and your pet.
Try a Veterinary College
Do you have a veterinary college near you? Visit them to inquire about how they charge for their services. They offer sizable discounts compared to other local vet clinics and can be the best option to save on vet bills.
Your pet will be seen by a student who will be under the supervision of a qualified vet, therefore, you need not worry. Vet students offer services like routine check-ups, vaccinations and basic procedures.
The students need training, so they often offer basic services at a discounted price for pet parents in financial need.
Local Rescue Groups or Animal Welfare Charities
Local rescue groups offer discounted prices for services and you can use them when you are not in a position to afford normal medical rates. They may also be in a position to direct you to resources in your area.
Animal welfare charities are also a great alternative to save on vet bills you can’t afford. Australia requires that all animal owners should take good care of their animals and should always seek necessary assistance when need be.
Request for Written Prescriptions
Some vet clinics may exaggerate the price of the medications they sell. Ask your vet for a hard copy of the prescription so that you can look into possibly purchasing at a lower price elsewhere, such as an animal pharmacy.
If you are still more comfortable buying medicine from your vet, you can compare prices and see if your vet will be in a position to match the prices.
Take Advantage of Special Offers
Most of the time, human doctors don’t run special offers but many vets do. If you are in search of a new vet, ask if they offer a new patient discount. Also, inquire if they offer discounts for their other services. If they do, make sure to schedule an appointment with them.
Make use of Pop-up Pet Clinics
Pets offer much joy and comfort to pet owners. Today, many organisations offer vaccinations, spray and neuter events to ensure all pets get the basic care they need.
You only need to show up to take advantage of the discounted prices. Make sure to check with your local organisations to find out when the next pop-up clinic is scheduled.
Take Care of your Pet’s Teeth!
Keeping your pet’s teeth and gums clean helps keep away oral bacteria which is the root cause of infections. Keep cooked bones out of the reach of cats and dogs since they tend to splinter and damage their gums.
Are you tired of high vet bills that usually stress your wallet? The above tips will help you save on pet bills and still ensure your pets are healthy and happy.
Feel free to join our online community through the PetsForever app for more information and advice about how to save on vet bills. You can also ask pet related questions and get tips from other pet parents and pet professionals. The app is downloadable on Playstore and Appstore where you will be in a position to connect, interact and have fun in a community of pet parents like you!