Visits to the vet can get expensive, especially with an aging dog. A lifetime of preventative care and good health will make your pet’s life long and happy, while saving you money when you visit the vet.
Whether you’re looking to save some money next time you visit the vet, or if you have an aging pup, or if you have a new puppy at home, here are 15 ways that you can save some money on your vet bill.
1. Watch your pup’s weight
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will reduce your pup’s chances of diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure. Diseases such as these will decrease the number of years you get to spend with your furry best friend and will be expensive in later years when you visit the vet.
2. Three year vaccinations
Three year vaccinations are just as effective and will save you money. Many vets these days give these rather than one year vaccinations so just bring it up with them next time your pup is getting his shots.
3. Schedule an annual checkup
Staying on top of your pet’s health is the best way that you can prevent diseases. An annual exam will cost you much less than emergency health care for your dog. Be prepared for your appointment and ask all the questions you can think of.
4. Maintain good dental health
Tooth pain can slow your pup down immensely. Preventing dental issues will keep your pup and your wallet happy. Invest in dental bones and treats for him to chew on regularly. Tooth surgery is very expensive so what feels like a splurge on these special treats will be worth it in the long run.
5. Pet insurance
A couple of dollars per month can save you thousands. Investigate pet insurance companies in your province or state.
6. Ask your vet about discounts
Many vets offer discounts for seniors, students, veterans, and current military personnel. If you fall into one of these categories, talk with your vet next time you’re in.
Often, if you have more than one pet in your household, vets will offer multi-pet discounts. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!
7. Premium dog food
Feeding your dog premium dog food gives them an advantage over grocery store brand dog foods. These premium foods have high quality ingredients that are approved by vets and scientists. Also, your dog shouldn’t need to eat as much premium dog food since it’s so nutrient rich.
8. Avoid emergency vet visits
Vets charge more after hours. So do your best to avoid emergency calls. Staying up to date on annual exams and keeping a close eye on your pup should prevent any emergency vet visits.
9. Nutritional supplements
That’s right! Your pup might not be getting everything they need in their food. Omega-3 and fish oils are often added to dogs’ diets to improve their fur and skin. Chat with your vet about ways you can improve your pup’s health with supplements.
10. Pet proof your house
Again, preventative care is the best thing you can do for your dog. Make sure that anything hazardous is out of reach for your dog. Most dogs can be pretty determined, so think like them for an afternoon as you move around your house. Put away anything that could hurt them or cause health problems down the road.
Plants are one thing that people sometimes don’t think of, but many can be poisonous for dogs.
11. Be aware, watch for changes
Knowing your dog and watching them closely can save their life. Sudden changes in demeanour or personality can mean something is wrong. Watch for things that are out of the ordinary and you could save their life.
12. Contact local animal shelters
If you’re tight on cash, talk to your local animal shelter. They often have in house vets that can see your pet for a discounted price. They also might know of vets in your area with lower prices.
13. Look for rural veterinarians
Rural veterinarians often operate with lower overhead. They also deal with people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and often have lower pricing. Again, chat with your local animal shelter about a rural vet who might be able to help. You can also reach out to your social network on Facebook and Twitter about vets in your city that are less expensive.
14. Find a college of veterinarians
Colleges of veterinary medicine often have student run clinics that are much less expensive. If you’re lucky enough to have one nearby, take advantage!
15. Set up a payment plan with your vet
Often times, just chatting with your vet and being honest about your situation will be to your best advantage. They might even be able to set up a payment plan with you that you pay off gradually.