The How-To’s of Affordable Veterinary Care
1. Be proactive in your pet’s healthcare. There are many common problems in our pets that are easier to resolve if caught early. Dental disease is a good example. Appropriate home care and regular dental cleanings will help avoid the severe dental infections that require advanced treatments or extractions, which can be costly. Another example is getting a pet spayed or neutered while they are young. Delaying the procedure can open the door to prostate or uterine problems that can dramatically increase the cost of the procedure.
2. Ask your veterinarian about flea and tick control. We work with these products every day and have heard from thousands of people about which ones really do what they claim. The world of flea and tick medicines has become very crowded, and nothing is more expensive than buying a product that doesn’t work. Countless extra trips to the veterinarian each year can be avoided if the appropriate products are used first.
3. Shop around for your veterinary care. Common tests, such as bloodwork, x-rays, urine tests, and common procedures such as anesthesia, dental care, and surgeries can often be double or triple the price at different hospitals. It may be that the ‘free cookies’ aren’t as free as you think.
4. Avoid emergency care. We can’t always control when our pets become ill, but afterhours you will often pay two or three times the cost of daytime care at your regular veterinarian. If it is not truly an emergency, you might be better to call your veterinarian first thing in the morning. We will always find a way to see your animal if needed.
5. Buy your medicine in larger quantities. Flea and heartworm medicines are considerably less expensive when bought in 6 or 12 month supplies, and you will often get manufacturer rebates as well. If you buy these medicines one at a time, you’ll pay almost 50% more at the end of the year, not to mention the price of gas!
6. Establish a relationship with a veterinarian. This can save money in several intangible ways. It is much easier for us to give simple advice if we have seen a pet regularly. We will make time for your pets and help avoid costly emergency care. Payment plans are available for regular clients to help spread out the costs of unexpected veterinary care.