Pet ownership is incredibly rewarding, but their food, grooming, toys, and veterinary care can be incredibly expensive. Fortunately, by taking good care of your pet, you can ensure they receive the care they need without breaking the bank. Your pet will live a longer, healthier, and happier life, and you will avoid many expensive veterinary costs.
#1: Spay or neuter your pet
Spaying or neutering your pet is beneficial to their health and your wallet. In addition to reducing pet overpopulation, the procedure reduces your pet’s health risks, such as prostate or mammary cancers, and behavioral issues such as urine marking—saving you money by not having to address those problems. In addition, a spay or neuter procedure’s cost is much less than that of an unintended litter of puppies or kittens.
#2: Schedule regular wellness exams for your pet
Preventing your pet’s health problems and detecting diseases in the earliest stages help you avoid the expense of ongoing veterinary care and preventable emergency situations. When your veterinarian annually examines your healthy adult cat or dog, they benefit from the following:
Vaccinations — Vaccines protect your pet from many contagious—potentially deadly— diseases, including canine parvovirus, feline panleukopenia, and rabies.
Heartworm prevention — Year-round heartworm prevention protects your pet from deadly heartworm disease.
Flea and tick prevention — Parasites can transmit debilitating conditions, such as Lyme disease, tick paralysis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Year-round prevention can reduce your pet’s risk of contracting an infectious disease.
#3: Brush your pet’s teeth daily
Veterinarians recognize dental disease as one of pets’ most common medical conditions, which can affect more than their oral health. Plaque and tartar-related bacteria buildup can leak into your pet’s bloodstream, damaging essential organs such as their kidney, heart, and liver. Extensive dental work is expensive, so do not wait until your pet has a problem before caring for their dental health. To protect your pet’s overall health—and your wallet—begin providing your pet’s dental care at home through daily toothbrushing, which is best, or by brushing their teeth a minimum of a few times per week. In addition, your veterinarian can recommend effective dental products and treats. To spot early dental disease signs, your veterinarian should examine your pet’s teeth and gums annually.
#4: Consider pet insurance
Advances in veterinary medicine have led to increased care costs because providers must address the higher costs associated with the equipment, facilities, staffing, and training required to provide these higher-quality services. To help pay for your pet’s veterinary care when they become ill or injured, enroll your pet in a health insurance plan, and consider the following:
Reimbursement — After you meet an initial deductible, a pet insurance policy reimburses you for your pet’s covered veterinary services. Pet insurance can potentially save you several thousands of dollars, depending on your pet’s condition.
Enrollment — Obtaining your pet’s insurance coverage is best done when they are young and healthy. When you enroll your pet at a young age, the insurance cost will likely be less expensive. In addition, keep in mind that you may not be able to get the coverage you prefer if you wait until your pet is older—especially if they have a pre-existing condition that the insurance company excludes.
Research — Research insurance plans’ cost and coverage benefits. Know if your pet’s breed is susceptible to any health issues, such as hip and joint problems or cancer, before committing to a policy.
#5: Exercise your pet daily
Establishing a daily exercise routine is good for you and your pet. Maintaining a healthy weight can add years to your pet’s life, and reduce their risk for painful and expensive-to-treat diseases such as cancer, orthopedic issues, heart disease, and arthritis. Walk your dog regularly, and exercise your cat by enticing them to play with fun toys such as feathers, strings, or cat tunnels.
By taking the time to invest in maintaining your pet’s health, you increase their quality of life and save money on potentially costly medical treatments. Use this locator to find a veterinarian near you, and schedule an appointment to ensure your pet’s health is tip-top.