Vet visits are expensive, that’s no secret. A pet’s unexpected illness or injury is enough to wreck even the most carefully planned budget. While it’s impossible to anticipate every medical expense, there are ways to cut back on vet bills without compromising your pet’s health. Here are a few practical tips to help you keep the cost down at the veterinarian.
Make Healthy Choices
The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” definitely applies when it comes to the health of your pet. Make sure that you follow your vet’s advice about the type of food you offer and the amount of daily exercise you provide. There are also specialty foods that a vet can recommend that will save you money in the long run. This will prevent many health problems, especially those related to excessive weight gain.
Keep Regular Appointments
Don’t skip regular checkups or vaccinations. Annual vet visits may seem unnecessary when your pet is healthy, but missing these exams can actually lead to more costly appointments and procedures in the future. Keeping regular appointments can prevent small problems from turning into large ones, which will keep your pet healthier and leave more money in your wallet. Some vets even offer discounts for regular appointments or can set you up on a “monthly plan” that will save over the course of the year.
Shopping around isn’t just for household appliances, it can also help you save money at the vet. Make a list of all the veterinarians and animal clinics in your area, then make some calls to see if you can get a lower price than what you are currently paying. Keep in mind, however, that it’s only a bargain if your pet receives high-quality care. Make sure that the office you’re considering has a good reputation and is able to provide the services that your pet requires.
Don’t blindly agree to every suggestion that the vet makes. Get details about every medication, test or treatment that is recommended. Explain that you’re on a budget, so that only necessary care is offered. If the vet you now use is reluctant to answer your questions, it may be time for a change.
Look for Discounts
Some clinics and hospitals offer discounts on services, but many times you won’t receive them if you don’t ask. Inquire about new patient discounts, multiple pet discounts or even senior discounts, if this applies to you. The amount your bill is reduced by may not be large, but the savings will add up over time.
Ask for Help
There are many groups that help people struggling to pay for their pet’s health care. Contact your local animal shelter if you’re not sure where to start. Some shelters offer programs that help with the cost of spaying, neutering, and vaccinations. If the shelter is unable to provide the help that you need, they may be able to point you to an organization that can.
Try a College
You can save a significant amount on your pet’s health care if you have a veterinary college in your area. These colleges offer exams, vaccinations and basic treatments at a discount. The students are closely supervised, so there’s no need to worry about your pet’s safety. Taking advantage of this opportunity saves you money and helps future veterinarians develop the skills that they need.
With the price of veterinary care on the rise, almost all pet owners are looking for ways to reduce costs. By being proactive, you can save money at the vet’s office and still give your companion the care that he or she deserves
This article contribution was made by Sunnyside Veterinary Clinic, a local Idaho Falls veterinarian. Dr. Nield and his staff of 4 are ready to help with your animals needs in a new building, and with the latest procedures.