I’m a Veterinarian: Here are 5 Pet Care Tips to Help You Avoid Expensive Vet Bills

Most pet parents would do almost anything for their four-legged friendsbut that doesn’t mean you have to do it empty your bank account to pay for their care. As it stands, however, many pet parents can afford another car payment compared to what they pay for their four-legged friends.

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According to a USA Today investigation, the average dog owner in the United States spends an average of $376 per month on their dog, which translates to $4,512 per year. Younger dog owners spend even more: the survey finds that Gen Z spends an average of $590 per month/$7,080 per year on their dogs.

Fortunately, there are many ways to manage potentially high pet care costs. With proper planning and knowledge, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on veterinary care, “depending on the age and health of your pets,” says Dr. Danny Cox, chief veterinary officer. of Petzey.

Some of her best pet care tips to help you avoid costly vet bills include:

1. Be proactive

Being proactive about your pet’s health, even if there are upfront costs, can reduce the risk of costly veterinary bills in the future. For example, “if you make sure your pet gets their annual wellness exams, your veterinarian will be able to anticipate and quickly identify potential health issues,” says Cox. “This allows pet parents and veterinarians to work together to decide on a timeline for treating a problem, taking into account medical necessity and finances.”

But you don’t even need to spend money to anticipate potential problems.

“Emergency visits to the veterinarian are expensive, especially if your pet needs X-rays or surgery. Proactive and preventative care – e.g. healthy diet, regular exercise, etc. – will save pet parents a lot of money in the long run,” he adds.

2. Use telehealth

Another good way to save money on vet bills is to remember that you only sometimes need an in-person visit.

“Try veterinary telehealth services for regular wellness checkups,” suggests Cox.

Some telehealth services operate on a standalone basis. Others are part of pet insurance plans. Compare costs and see if you can save money while still getting the care you’re comfortable with via telehealth.

3. Get vaccinated and sterilized

Another part of being proactive with your pet is making sure they are vaccinated and given booster shots if necessary. Having your pet spayed or neutered can also save you money.

“Keep in mind that having your pet vaccinated and spayed or neutered is necessary to avoid higher and unnecessary veterinary bills in the future,” says Cox. And to save money on vaccines, “look for low-cost vaccination clinics,” he says.

You may not want an inexpensive option when it comes to spaying or neutering your pet.

“I suggest you discuss neutering with your regular veterinarian to know exactly what you’re getting if you choose low-cost surgical procedures. Not all spay/neuter procedures are the same, and cutting costs won’t always provide the best care for your pet,” says Cox.

4. Seek adoption assistance

Pet adoption fees may be cheaper than purchasing an animal from a breeder, but that’s not the only way to save money through adoption .

“If you adopted your pet, the center you got it from may have a veterinary assistance program that offers discounted veterinary care,” Cox says.

5. Get an emergency fund

Finally, you can save money on vet bills by getting a pet emergency fund, says Cox.

Some services offer additional insurance for emergency expenses related to pre-existing conditions.

Some people also regularly set aside money to build a pet emergency fund, just like you might do for your personal emergency fund. Pet insurance, while not necessarily universal emergency coverage, can limit the amount you would pay out of pocket in an emergency.

Find other ways to save

Overall, taking these types of steps can help your wallet while providing your pet with the care they need for a happy, healthy life. You don’t have to skimp on shortcuts, but you can find strategic ways to save money, especially if you plan ahead.

And don’t just save money at the vet. Spending money on toys every once in a while can be a fun splurge, but if you regularly buy expensive gifts for your dog, you don’t necessarily have to do it, especially if money is tight. Going for a walk, for example, is both free and fun. This comes down to keeping your pet healthy, which can save you money on medical care.

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This article was originally published on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Veterinarian: Here are 5 Pet Care Tips to Help You Avoid Expensive Vet Bills

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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