Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Vet Care
Whether you’re feeling the pinch of a slowing economy or looking to trim household costs, your pet’s health is still a top priority. But how do you make smart decisions about budgeting for veterinary care? To help you protect your furry beloved and avoid “pet debt,” ASPCA experts have drafted a list of the top 10 ways to save money on your pet’s veterinary care.
Here’s a sneak peek at their advice:
- Prevention is truly the best medicine—it’s much more expensive and risky to treat illnesses than to protect against them.
- Keep your pet smiling by regularly brushing his teeth. Chronic dental problems can lead to heart and kidney disease and pricey procedures.
- Seeing a veterinary specialist in the early stages of a serious health problem can save time, money and heartache in the long run.
- Pet insurance is a safety net, especially for those who can’t afford emergency vet visits. Research plans, but always read the fine print!
- Overfeeding your pet is not only a strain on your wallet, but can lead to obesity and other costly medical conditions.
ASPCA Executive Vice President and Science Advisor Dr. Stephen L. Zawistowski cites spaying or neutering as an essential way to protect your pet. “It will have an important impact on your pet’s future health,” he says. “For females, it dramatically reduces the risk for breast cancer, and ovarian and uterine cancers disappear.” Spaying and neutering saves untold future dollars in treatment, not to mention the economic burden of an unplanned litter.
To prepare for the unexpected, Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, suggests creating a dedicated savings account for your pet’s medical expenses. “By putting a specified amount into a savings account each month,” she says, “you’ll build a nest egg should your pet need treatment.” Some employers will even deposit a portion of your paycheck directly into said account. As an added bonus, your contributions will continue to earn interest and grow beyond your monthly investment.
If the unthinkable does occur, and you find yourself caring for a sick pet and facing a heap of bills, don’t panic. Check to see if your vet accepts Care Credit, a program that allows pet owners to make monthly payments—similar to a credit card. Before applying, however, be sure you can cover the card’s monthly balance to avoid the added burden of finance charges.
“Cutting back” shouldn’t have to extend to our loved ones’ care and well-being. Therefore, it’s essential to provide for our pets in a smart and savvy way. To read our experts’ complete list of ways to save money on vet care, visit ASPCA online.