Let's face it: The dreaded vet bill. It brings knots to our stomachs, marital arguments and a general all around uneasiness. But, we love our four-legged family members and when it all comes down to it, they are family. So here are 8 ways you can ease a bit of your anxiety and save on vet bills:
- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle for your pet. This means that you should exercise your pet, mentally and physically AND keep their weight under control. Over weight dogs can lead to a myriad of health problems such as: diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and various forms of Cancer. Keeping your dog healthy reduces the risk of treatments that add up to A LOT of money.
- Nutritional Supplements like vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids help promote a healthy immune system and are wise to use in maintaining a healthy canine. BUT, you must use common sense. Talk to your Veterinarian about what supplements are right for your dog and skip the rest, because you will be wasting your money on the promises of the fountain of youth.
- Keep up with your annual exams. Pets aged 1-6 should have a standard yearly physical exam once a year. Pets 7+ should have their yearly exam plus blood and urine tests. You should also keep up on their vaccinations (especially if you want them in daycare!). Regular check ups keep the probability of "Surprise" vet expenses at bay.
- Feed your dog premium pet food. Giving your dog a high-quality food specifically for their breed and size will help eliminate vet visits due to vomiting, diarrhea and all around food allergies. Talk to your vet about what the best food is for your canine.
- Be honest with your vet about your finances: I know it's awkward to talk to your veterinarian about how much you can and can't afford. But by doing this, you will open up communication and maybe your vet will be able to find alternative solutions that best fit your financial budget.
- Ask for a written estimate before treatment: When you are at the vet, you should ask for a written estimate before your dog is treated. Once the statement is in front of you, go through it with your vet and have them validate why the treatment is (or isn't) necessary. This will give you more power in deciding what is financially feasible.
- Make sure you give your dog heartworm medication regularly.
- Set aside money from your paycheck for an "emergency account" in case something unexpected happens. It may also be wise to invest in a pet health insurance. Price shop for insurance plans that fit your needs as well as prescription medications.