Our pets mean the world to us, right? In fact, it is safe bet to say that many of us will do most anything for their benefit, no matter the cost. But let’s face it – pets, like kids, can be expensive, even when they are healthy. So what can we do to minimize medical costs when it comes to their overall care? The experts at cattime.com offer some moneysaving tips for veterinary care:
Moneysaving Tip 1: Ask Vet About Alternatives
When your vet is aware of what you can afford in terms of his services, it can open the door to more authentic communication, and being open with him can potentially save you money.
There is often more than one way to treat or diagnose a health condition in a pet, and perhaps in a certain instance, a $20 antibiotic might be the answer instead of the more expensive option.
Moneysaving Tip 2: Talk To Vet About Financing
Some vets might consider an exchange of services. While it might not always work, it never hurts to ask. I once saved money on a veterinarian exam for my pet by offering to write some web site copy for the vet’s practice. It saved me a good $100.00 at the time.
A few years ago, a friend was trying to figure out how to pay for services her cat needed. The vet’s office staff told her about CareCredit. It’s a network of vets and other caregivers that offer interest free financing based on the total cost of the service your pet needs. The care provider will give you the total cost of the service, and the time period you’ll have to pay it off without interest.
Moneysaving Tip 3: Request An Estimate
It is reasonable to request an estimate from your veterinarian for services before they are provided. This is being financially responsible and ensuring there are no surprises, or that you will wind up paying for things that are unnecessary.
Moneysaving Tip 4: Are Annual Vaccines Necessary?
Ask your vet about annual vaccinations. Are all of them necessary every year? Can’t some of them be administered every few years? In some cases, they can. Discuss this with your vet. There is research that shows over vaccination can be harmful to pets’ health.
Moneysaving Tip 5: Shop Around For Prescriptions
When it comes to prescriptions, be sure to price shop, especially if the medication prescribed is actually of a human variety. Sometimes those can be filled less expensively than the ones for a pet. I’ve talked to several people who saved almost 50% by shopping around. If you are a Costco or Sam’s Club member, check with their inhouse pharmacy.
Online pharmacies are another option but be sure to do your research on them, as some are not as reputable as they may appear to be.
Moneysaving Tip 6: Pet Insurance
Consider pet health insurance. Some premiums can run up to $400 a year, but such plans usually cover roughly 80% of the out-of-pocket expenses. One visit to the pet emergency clinic could easily cost over $400!
At the end of the day, it’s important look at the bigger picture. Having a pet certainly adds joy to our lives and is great for our own personal health. From that angle, if having a loving animal companion keeps my blood pressure down, I will save major dollars when I don’t have to purchase my OWN medications!!!!