Looking after your pet’s health shouldn’t mean having to put yourself into debt. However, with veterinarian prices as they are, many pet owners do this in order to give their pets the treatment they need.
Fortunately, there are ways to make vet bills more affordable. Here are just a few ways to reduce the cost of veterinary treatment, helping you keep your pet healthy without putting you into debt.
Most people stay loyal to one vet, however sometimes it can pay to shop around. Treatment costs vary from clinic to clinic. If you know the type of treatment that your pet needs, you can call around to other clinics to get price quotes over the phone. With this information you might be able to negotiate a better price at the clinic of your choice.
You can shop around for medication. Depending on what it is, you may be able to find a less expensive alternative treatment online. Always check to make sure that you are buying from a reputable vendor. There are many official sites for buying pet medicine where you’re guaranteed quality alternatives.
Keep an eye out for pop-up clinics
Pop-up vet clinics are a great place to save money on routine procedures. These clinics travel from location to location and they run on a limited budget. They offer a small range of procedures.
These clinics are able to charge significantly lower prices than your regular vet, partially as the result of not having the cost of running physical building premises. These clinics are run by qualified professional veterinarians, so you don’t get a sub-standard level of treatment. You’ll usually find pop-up clinics at pet-oriented events such as pet shows and conventions.
Contact your local veterinary college
Veterinary colleges are always looking for pets to diagnose and treat. While it may seem scary to hand your pet over to a veterinary student, any procedure that is done is carefully supervised by a qualified professional veterinarian. Your animal is in safe hands. In many cases, such treatment is free. However, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to use this service. At the time your pet is in need of help they may only be looking to perform a specific procedure, for example orthopedic surgery.
Take out pet insurance
It may be worth taking out pet insurance. In return for a small monthly fee, all or part of specified treatments are paid by your insurer. This can include highly expensive procedures that otherwise you would have to pay for out of pocket.
As with any type of insurance, many factors determine the rates that you will pay. Older animals are more expensive to insure because of the higher risk of health problems. There may be a higher fee for certain breeds of dog, cat or horse that are prone to certain health conditions. For example the Shih Tzu canine breed is prone to blindness.
It’s best to shop around to find the most affordable insurance plan. Certain insurers specialize in older pets or certain breeds, offering cheaper rates than other insurers.
Ask about payment plans
Some clinics offer payment plans allowing customers the opportunity to pay for expensive procedures in installments. If you are faced with an expensive procedure, ask about a payment plan.
Know when to invest in preventative treatment
Sometimes you’ll save money in the long run by investing in certain preventative treatments early on. Routine check-ups may seem like a waste of money, but they can spot conditions that aren’t visible to the human eye. Animals are very good at hiding pain. By the time you can see there is a problem it may require major and expensive treatment.
Exercise your pet
By keeping your pet active you can sometimes prevent the need for medical treatment. Many common pet health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and joint problems are the result of inactivity. Not every breed of animal needs a lot of exercise, but for those that do it’s worth engaging them in physical activity.
Watch your pet’s diet
Your pet’s food has a big impact on their overall health. You will lessen the risk of your pet contracting various health problems with a healthy diet. In addition to not overfeeding your pet, or feeding it unhealthy fattening foods, you should watch out for foods that can harm your pet. For example, never feed a dog chocolate.
Keep your pet well-groomed
Grooming helps prevent your pet from contracting certain health problems. While most cats groom themselves, dogs need to be groomed by their owner. Grooming includes bathing, brushing, trimming nails and brushing teeth. Doing all this will help prevent problems such as a flea infestation or dental decay, which could require expensive treatment.
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