First and foremost keep your pet healthy…
1. Feed them good, high quality food, exercise them regularly, go to regular check ups, keep them up to date on vaccines (more on this later), use flea and tick preventative measures and keep your house as animal safe as possible (if you know your cat loves to eat gift wrapping ribbon and its just lying around you are asking for trouble). A healthy animal results in fewer and cheaper visits to the vet. Visit a local pet store such as Thomaston Feed in Cheshire for more information on selecting healthy pet foods.
2. Shop around for lower cost veterinarian offices. Make phone calls, ask friends and family, do a shout out on social media. Don’t sacrifice quality of care, make sure you like your vet and the way they treat your pet, but that doesn’t have to be the priciest office in town. Also shop around for specific procedures, there are clinics that specialize in low cost spay and neuter for example. It is all they do and it can be much cheaper than your regular veterinary office. Here is a list of Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinics in Connecticut.
3. Ask questions, what vaccines and tests are standard? Which ones are required by law in your area, and which ones are optional or don’t make sense for your pet. If you feel comfortable eliminating a test or vaccine that will lower your bill.
Ask your veterinarian questions…
4. If your pet is sick, again ask questions. If we do this test, then what? If the first test will likely lead to another test, maybe you can skip the first one. Talk about the potential costs before they do anything. Your vet is on your side, they generally want you to fully understand what costs you are committing to. If you’ve had a bad experience previously, I assure you that is not the norm. I personally recommend Mt. Lore Animal Hospital in Plantsville to our clients looking for a new veterinarian.
5. Avoid going to a 24/hr animal hospital. It is wonderful that they exist in cases of emergency but treating a basic sickness can cost you up to 10 times the price of your local vet. THIS DOES NOT MEAN WAITING UNTIL THE MORNING OR THE NEXT DAY TO TREAT A SICK PET. It means learning and noticing signs of sickness before it becomes an emergency. I highly recommend Cheshire VCA for any pet emergencies that require 24 hour care.
6. Lastly, look into getting Pet Insurance. It usually very cost effective to acquire insurance for your pets at a young age. One of the most common questions we get is “Why does my pets health care cost more than mine” You need to keep in mind that your veterinarian uses much of the same equipment and tests as your personal physician which is very costly. The difference is you have health insurance and in many cases your pet does not. Here are a couple ways to Determine if Pet Insurance is Worth the Cost for you.
Being a savvy health care consumer can save you money and lead to having a happier and healthier pet. Let us know in the comments if you have any tips you would like added to this post.