Tips for Saving Money on Vet Bills

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Dogs are a man's best friend, but they (or any other pet for that matter) can be quite expensive. The American Pet Products Association says Americans spent $69.51 billion on veterinary care in 2017. With the price tag on pet care so high, you've got to make sure you're prepared to shell out the cash for annual shots and emergency care, and these suggestions could help you out big-time.

Shop Around

You probably shop around to find your own doctor, and it can be just as beneficial to do the same when it comes to finding a vet. My family has shopped around a couple times when vet or grooming bills have gotten too expensive. It may even be that you can have one vet for healthy pet visits but a different one for more expensive tasks, like when you have to make that emergency visit when your dog eats something they shouldn't have (the average cost for that comes out to $1,755, according to pet insurance company PetPlan).

You may also be able to get a fairly substantial discount on vet bills by going to a veterinary college. Students are still in training, so basic services like check-ups, vaccinations, and spaying and neutering may be offered at a discounted rate.

Consider Pet Insurance

If you've got a pet that has a lot of medical needs (or maybe just gets into a lot of things he/she shouldn't), then pet insurance could be right for you. You'll have to pay a monthly premium, just like with your own health insurance, but the coverage could actually end up saving you money in the long run.

You could always set up your own type of "pet insurance." Try putting a portion of your paycheck into a special savings account every month just to make sure you've got the money to pay for pet expenses, whether it's a usual checkup or an emergency situation.

Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle

You've probably heard the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well, that applies to your pets, too. Developing a healthy lifestyle for your furry friend may save you thousands of dollars in vet bills. It's simple self-care things similar to how you maintain your own health: get regular checkups, practice good hygiene (like brushing their teeth, combing their hair, trimming their nails), get regular exercise, and feed them quality pet food. Doing those things can help prevent some diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) and help catch problems earlier, according to pet healthcare website petmd.com, both of which will lower your vet bills and help your cat or dog have a longer life.

Dogs, cats, and all other pets can be expensive, but you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to take care of them. By looking into these ways for saving money on vet bills, you can rest easy knowing you are not spending more money than necessary and still having a happy, healthy four-legged friend.

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