As responsible pet parents, we have an obligation to care for our furry friends in sickness and in health. How do we do what’s best for our pet’s health care? Here are a few tips to help you save money on your pet’s health care.
Schedule Regular Check-Ups
Don’t skip your pet’s yearly exam. It’s much more expensive—and risky—to treat illnesses than to protect against them. Also keep in mind that the Veterinary team only wants what’s best for your pet. They do research and spend a lot of their free time finding what products are best for your pet. It’s also important to have a relationship with a Veterinary Hospital established so when you find yourself in a crisis you can be sure they will do their very best to assist you.
Don’t Skip Your Pet’s Vaccines
Some vaccines are optional, while others are essential in preventing serious diseases. Never skip any vaccines required by local laws or mandatory for your pet’s protection, but do talk to your veterinarian about personalizing your pet’s vaccine protocol. For instance if your pet is an inside pet you may not need a vaccine for Lyme disease, however if you live in an area that is known to have Lyme then your Veterinarian will recommend it and you should go with his or her recommendation. Your pet’s Doctor only wants what is best for their patient. They won’t recommend vaccines that are not important to their health and well-being. If your pet’s doctor didn’t care about your pet then they would not offer any vaccines, except for what is legally necessary and then treat the diseases that your pet catches.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Spaying or neutering your pet can save their lives by preventing several types of cancers including but not limited to uterine, ovarian and testicular. Female dogs can also get a uterine infection that is a life threatening ailment. Spaying and Neutering your pet also prevents unwanted pregnancies. There are enough animals in shelters, altering you pet only helps to keep these numbers down.
Brush Your Pet’s Teeth
Dental disease can lead to heart and kidney problems and extensive anesthetic dental procedures. Start a dental routine to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. Ask your veterinarian what products to use and how often. Don’t use toothpaste made for people, which contains fluoride and may irritate your pet's stomach. If brushing is not an option for your lifestyle, ask your veterinarian about tartar control treats. They are a great alternative and really work!
Protect Your Pet from Parasites
Flea and tick infestations can cause a host of medical problems from minor skin irritations to life-threatening blood loss & paralysis. Stick with a veterinary product for fleas and ticks to keep the critters at bay. Make sure to only use products as directed. Never use a product intended for a dog on a cat. Speak with your veterinarian to find out what products are best for your pet. Fleas and ticks are not the only parasites that your pet can be exposed to, Heartworm infection is a life threatening condition. There is a preventative for heartworms that is an every 30 day product. Most heartworm prevention also treat intestinal parasites, such as roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm. You can prevent your pet from getting tapeworms from protecting them against fleas! The best plan of action would be to call your veterinarian, and schedule a time to discuss these preventions and which are best for your pet.
Consider Pet Health Insurance
If the cost of an emergency veterinary visit or serious illness would be a financial strain, consider investing in pet health insurance while your pet is healthy. Be sure to read the fine print, though—not all plans are created equal. If Insurance is out the question because of their fine print or monthly cost, try CareCredit. You can apply online and get a credit card number as soon as you’re approved! It is best to always think about the future and the cost associated with an aging pet. They deserve the best care we can give them throughout their years. CareCredit & pet insurance can help you do that for them.
Buy High-Quality Pet Food
A good quality pet food—formulated under the guidelines of the American Association of Feed Control Officials—is often more cost-effective than a homemade diet. Avoid overfeeding your pet, which can lead to obesity and other health problems. If you have a question about nutrition for your pet ask your Veterinarian. They can formulate a feeding plan tailored specifically for your pet. These guidelines can be for weight loss, maintenance, or growth if you have a puppy or kitten. Your veterinarian will also be able to recommend a proper diet for your pet, whether it be over the counter or a prescription diet. Trust in your pet’s veterinarian!