Family sometimes comes in the form of fur and four legs. These beloved members of the family are there through the good times and the bad. They love unconditionally, offer stress relief and, best of all, give incomparable cuddles. As a pet owner, you want the best for your furry companion—and sometimes that comes at a big cost.
Vet bills can rack up quickly and unexpectedly. They can create a financial dent if not accounted for and leave you feeling helpless when times are tough. While pet insurance is always an option, it’s not always the ideal route to saving on vet bills. We’ve compiled a few ways you can save on your pet finances without adding another insurance plan to your monthly bills.
Use Preventative Care
This might sound obvious, but it’s one that pet owners tend to overlook. Just like your own motives to maintain a healthy lifestyle, your pets need your help in providing the same care for themselves. This includes eating healthy, exercising regularly and creating a positive living environment.
Unhealthy eating habits can lead to obesity, and in turn, produce a higher risk of health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. But managing your pet’s health with proactivity will help you avoid these problems and keep your four-legged friend living a long, happy life.
Consider supplying your pet the daily nutrition they need to fuel their everyday health and energy. Small changes can make a big difference—especially in your vet bills! Ask your vet what foods are best suited for your pet and their health needs.
Use a Vet College
Vet colleges are one of the best alternatives to traditional pet care costs. With students eager to take their professional experience to the next level, vet colleges typically offer a sizable discount in order to give students the hands-on experience they need to succeed. And while your furry family member is in the hands of a student in training, they will be overseen by an experienced veterinarian to ensure the proper care is given.
Although not all pet care services are offered at vet colleges, they can help you cut down costs on services like annual checkups, vaccinations, and even certain procedures. And what better way to care for your pet and saving financially than to help veterinary students launch their career with confidence. To find a location near you, you can visit the American Veterinary Medical Association for a list of accredited veterinary colleges.
Vaccines and Parasite Treatments
Preventative care for your pet isn’t just monitoring proper nutrition through daily food intake, it’s making sure you’re keeping up with yearly vaccinations and parasite treatments. Look at it this way, a $20-$45 investment for a six-month supply of heartworm prevention could essentially save you a $1,000 for heartworm treatment after the fact.
Investing in a wellness plan for preventative care will not only help you stay in check with your pet’s health routine, it can split your annual costs into affordable monthly payments. And depending on your vet, wellness plans can offer discounts on medication and services as a reward for being proactive. Another option is to check with your local animal-control organization to see they offer low-cost vaccines, including shots for rabies.
When in doubt, shop it out. Though this isn’t the fastest route to saving on your pet bills, it can surely pay off in the long run. Researching animal hospitals or asking for recommendations from fellow pet owners can help you compare pricing before making a commitment.
Higher priced practices don’t necessarily mean better quality of care. To ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck, consider this checklist to help you make an educated decision.
- Do they offer all common procedures, including vaccines, checkups, neutering and spaying?
- Do they properly monitor pets after the use of anesthesia?
- Do they use proper and up-to-date equipment?
The quality of care for your four-legged friend should always remain priority over pricing, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice one for the other. Don’t be afraid to ask your local clinic for specials they are running, as some vets even offer multiple pet discounts, as well as discounts for seniors or veterans. By making proactive choices for the health of your pet, you can save anywhere from hundreds to even thousands on vet bills.