How to Cut Back on Vet Costs
There’s no two ways about it: pets are expensive! You don’t just have to feed them, but you have to get the pet equipment, take them to the vet regularly, get them spayed or neutered, give them inoculations regularly, and the list goes on.
Trips to the vet are probably the most expensive part of caring for your pet. Vets charge a pretty penny to treat whatever problems your pet is having, and even just a basic checkup will be a bit pricey.
So how can you cut back on vet costs?
- Prevention – Of course it’s always best to PREVENT health problems before they set in. If you notice that your pet is looking a bit run down, its coat/fur is looking dull, or they are always fatigued, do what you can to help them improve. Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise every day and that your cat has a place to play. Check the label on the food you are giving them to ensure that it’s high quality. It’s always cheaper to prevent health problems than to pay for the vet to treat them!
- Home Remedies – What sort of health problem is your pet currently dealing with? Do they have diarrhea, stomach problems, conjunctivitis, constipation, or another issue? You’ll be glad to find that there are many home remedies that you can use to treat the pet health issues. Tree Hugger has over 20 different remedies to help you naturally deal with all sorts of health problems, and these remedies are MUCH cheaper than taking your pet to the vet for some minor issue.
- Take Multiple Pets – Want to cut the cost of your vet visits? Take all of your pets (if you have more than one) at once, and you’ll find that the vet will usually offer you a multiple-pet discount. It’s cheaper this way than taking them in one at a time, though it can make for one hair-raising ride to the vet!
- Annual Visits – To ensure that your pet stays in good health (and thus avoids problems that would require a vet visit), make sure that they are checked out at least once per year. The annual vet visit won’t cost you any less, but you’ll be able to detect any health problems before they become serious.
- Low Cost Services -- You don’t have to take your pet to the best vet in town! If there is a veterinary school in your city, it may be worth taking your pets there. The veterinary students will have a chance to practice on your pet, and you’ll get the services at a much lower cost. Local dog parks may also offer various services (such as microchipping and vaccination) at a lower price, thanks to programs started by the city. Animal shelters are another good place to check out if you are looking for low-cost services.
- Think Carefully -- Does your dog really need X-rays to confirm that it’s just a bit of constipation making them sick? Are heartworms really a problem in your city? Sometimes the vet will recommend tests and treatments “just to be safe”, but you may not need them in the long run. Give it a day or two before making big decisions like that, and the problem may clear up on its own.
- Shop Smart -- Use your Costco or Sams Club membership to purchase drugs for your pet at a much lower price. You may end up buying larger bottles than you would at Wal-mart, but at a price you can handle.
- Visit the Vet at the Right Time — “Emergency” hours cost about 50% more than the regular hours, so if it can wait, let it wait! Unless your pet is exhibiting signs of a very serious problem, try to wait until the vet’s business hours to bring the pet in.
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