Our pets bring us joy in our lives. There’s nothing like getting home to a greeting from your furry friend after a hard day at the office. Your pet is always there for you, no matter what emotional rollercoaster you’re experiencing in your life, your dog, cat, or pet turtle can help you deal with your emotions.
Pets bring us a sense of responsibility. Without us, they have no reason for existence. They also have no idea of what’s beyond the walls of your yard or the perimeter of your neighborhood. They have no worldview because you are their world. Your pet’s only concern is that you, as the alpha, are feeling happy. they want to know that they are doing everything they can to spend every minute they can with you.
So, when something happens to your pet, and they get injured or sick, they rely solely on you for support and protection. Unfortunately, most of us have no idea of pet biology or medicine, and we rely on veterinarians to assist us when our animals are experiencing a health crisis.
The Costs of Pet Healthcare
Sometimes, it’s as much of a stressful experience for the owner as it is with their pet when dealing with an emergency. When you’re rushing to the vet to help your canine or feline – or reptilian, friend, you’re concerned with their life. There’s no time to think about what the vet bill will be after the treatment.
So, when your pet’s feeling fine after seeing the vet, and you’re stuck with the expense of a sky-high vet bill, you may feel differently about your reaction to the situation. A bill for your pet’s treatment could easily exceed $6,000 if it’s a severe health emergency, like dealing with an injury. Pets don’t get sick very often, but when they do, it costs you a fortune.
Preparing for future accidents of health emergencies concerning your pet is a prudent strategy to ensure you don’t have to deal with outlandish pet healthcare costs. We put together this article to give you insights into finding affordable healthcare for your best buddy.
Finding Cheap Vet Care
Finding affordable healthcare for our pets is usually something we only think about in hindsight. After the vet bill arrives saying you owe $4,000, for the last operation on your pitbull, you’ll make preparations for the future.
Sure it was heartbreaking panic to see him run into traffic and get hit by a car. You rushed off to the vet, only to find that you could have visited somewhere closer, and more affordable. Sometimes it feels like the vet’s charge more than doctors, but when your pet’s life is on the lines, we worry about the financial costs later.
Having a list of dependable, affordable, and professional vets and vet alternatives on-hand can save you thousands of dollars in an emergency. Here are a few tips you can use to reduce your pet’s healthcare costs.
Local Vet Schools
The first place to look for affordable and reliable healthcare for your pet is at the local vet schools. If you live near to a university campus, then there’s probably a few vet schools in the near vicinity. Students studying toward a degree as a veterinarian require plenty of time in both theoretical and practical classes.
As they reach the end of their training, graduates need to spend more time focusing on treating pets, similar to a way a doctor takes up a residency at a hospital. However, there are no pet hospitals, and students often work in vet schools to get the experience they need.
These vet schools are open to the public, and because your pet is getting treated from an unlicensed vet, you get a steep discount on the service. Vet schools are excellent sources of affordable pet healthcare, and they do everything from basic checkups to advanced surgeries.
Alternative Options for Treatment
Sometimes alternative treatments are a better option. For instance, your dog decides to snack on that chocolate bar that you accidentally drop on the floor. The pooch has no idea chocolate is deadly for dogs. However, by the time she’s done licking her lips, you’re already packing her into the car on the way to the vet.
After arriving at the vet’s offices, they give you two choices. The first option is to pump your dog’s stomach and take her home afterward, where you monitor her for the next 48-hours. You’ll have to add some activated charcoal to her diet to absorb the toxins, but she should be fine. The second option involves leaving her in an animal hospital overnight, where they flush her kidneys to ensure that there’s no chance of blood poisoning.
Sure, the overnight stay may sound like a better choice for the dog’s safety. However, it costs $2,600. Taking the first option only runs you $600, which is still no small fee.
Taking the Advice of Your Vet
Your vet does not want to commit your dog to a hospital if it’s unnecessary. The above example is a useful reference for finding an ethical veterinarian. An ethical vet will not want to make extra money off you at your dog’s expense.
In most cases, they will recommend the first option of pumping your dog’s stomach and then taking her home for observation. However, if you are panic-stricken with emotion, they may take the dog into their care to give your relief.
It’s vital that you listen to the professional’s advice instead of your emotions. Taking charge of the situation and relying on their information will save you plenty of money.
Pet Owners in Need of Financial Assistance
If you’re struggling with your finances, there are resources for affordable healthcare for your pet.
- The AMVF (American Medical Veterinary Foundation).
- This organization can provide financial assistance through the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund (VCCF).
Check out the official website for further information on financial assistance programs for your pet’s healthcare.
Local Vet Clinics
It’s common for many local veterinarians to offer financial relief programs for clients that can’t afford the costs of their pet’s healthcare. If your vet understands your financial situation, and they see that you aren’t trying to take advantage of goodwill, they may offer you a deep discount on their services.
Look at a Healthcare Plan
There are dozens of pet healthcare plans available from insurers online. Taking a healthcare plan for your pet may seem like a silly idea at first. However, with the rising costs of trips to the veterinarian’s office, a healthcare plan for pets starts to sound like a prudent strategy to avoid large vet bills you can’t afford.
Pet healthcare insurance costs anywhere from $30 to $120 per month, depending on the breed of your dog and your home state. Similar to health insurance for people, pet insurance relies on discovering the risk in insuring your pet, before calculating premiums.
Still, paying $50 per month is way better, than landing yourself with a $10,000 vet bill.
Low-Cost Prescriptions for Pets
Shopping online for pet medications can save you a bundle. Search online for pet medications, and get them cheaper than what you would pay from the vet. In our research, we found that most dewormer medications were roughly 30-percent cheaper online than buying them from the vet.
You might think that your vet will protest you getting your prescriptions online. However, if you explain your financial position to them, most of them will be happy to write you a prescription and help you save some money.
Inquire with Your Vet
If you can’t afford vet services, then contact your vet anyway. Your vet is a central part of the animal healthcare community in your area. As a result, they have their finger on the pulse of any available options locally.
Contact your vet and explain your financial situation. They may offer you alternative options for cheaper healthcare services in the immediate area. For instance, they could point you in the direction of a local vet school that takes in new patients.
Make Use of Special Offers
Some vets also offer days of the week or month where they either donate their services to the community for free or charge a discounted rate for treatment. Check with your vet, and ask if they participate in any of these programs.
Some vets may also offer seasonal specials on certain services. For instance, they could offer a day in the early spring for discounts of deworming. They might even provide specials on checkups, as well. You don’t know if you don’t ask, so contact your vet and inquire about exclusive deals that can save you money.
Trade Your Time
If you don’t have money to pay for the vet’s services, ask them if you can donate your time to pay off the bill. You might be able to help with handyman jobs around the premises, such as painting the offices or fixing a fence.
If you show the vet that you’re willing to help, then they might be more lenient on your bill. Plus, you get to develop a relationship with your vet, and they’ll take kindly to you and your animals in the future. Every vet got into the business to help animals, and none of them like to see animals in distress. By trading your most valuable asset, your time, for the vet’s assistance, they will take it as a compliment.
Preventative Care is Important
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. The chances are that someone told you that adage already. It’s a truthful statement, and you can apply it to your pet’s healthcare needs as well. Taking care of your pets is of paramount importance if you want to avoid unnecessary trips to the vet’s office.
- Use the recommended pet food by your vet. Like humans, pets are what they eat. If you feed them some generic food from Walmart that you got in a 40-pound bag, then your pet’s digestive health is at risk. Using a premium-brand specialized food may cost more, but it saves you from medical costs in the long run.
- Keeping your pet active is also incredibly important for maintaining their health. Dogs need regular walks to maintain their mobility and keep their hips healthy. Brushing your dog’s teeth is another essential task that many pet owners don’t do often enough, if at all. Your dog’s teeth are also at risk of decay, and regularly brushing them will ensure that they have healthy teeth and gums.
- However, you mustn’t use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. This toothpaste might damage their teeth and gums. Instead, visit a pet store and pick up some specialized toothpaste for dogs instead.
As we mentioned at the start of this article, you are your pet’s entire world. Animals rely on you to keep them happy and healthy. If you care for your pet, they’ll be your best friend forever. Apart from spending time and money on their healthcare, you also need to provide them with entertainment.
Your dog loves spending time with you, and they are never happier than when they are playing a game of fetch or hanging out with you on the couch. The more quality time you spend with your furry friend, the happier and healthier they will be throughout their life.
Wrapping Up – Start a Savings Fund
It’s not so challenging to save a few dollars every month, and it will rescue you and your pet when it comes time to visit the vet.
Account for your pet’s healthcare in your monthly budget. Our animals bring us so much joy, and it’s only right that we look out for their future. Your pet deserves the best healthcare possible.
Follow the tips in this guide to find healthcare services for your animals that don’t break your bank account.