Every hot-blooded American considers their dog an important part of their family, and that’s quite the beautiful thing. Although, a veterinary cost in America can be incredibly pricey for most people. Caring for our fellow canine companions is not cheap, and no one wants’s to cheap out on their beloved pups health and safety. Routine visits to the veterinary and preventative medicine are necessary to ensure your best friends health, there are several ways to save on cost without having to sacrifice any of your dog’s health and well-being.
Here are a couple of ways you can care for your dog while alleviating some of the costly expenses.
Search for Low-cost Alternatives
If your dog isn’t dealing with any life-threatening problems, take a day or so to do some price comparison searches. If you live in a metro area, try contacting a vet that has their business in the suburbs. Vets with locations in smaller communities tend to be much cheaper in their billing than ones based in larger cities. Another option is to contact ASPCA and the Humane Society near your local area. Both of these animal welfare groups offer a cheap vet service. For instance, ASPCA has their own mobile clinic you can visit for any necessary vaccinations and spay or neutering procedures. Both of these organization can also help you search for private funding to afford expensive procedures.
Veterinary schools quite often offer discounted service for dog owners in need. Most of these services include routine checkups, vaccinations, and minor procedures such as neutering or spaying. Although, they may not be able to help your dog if they have contracted any serious illness or injuries. Check out the American Veterinary Medical Association as they keep a list of vet schools you can search by state.
Apply for Private Funding or Charity.
The American Animal Hospital Association can offer low-income dog owners to help for vet bills through a grant program known as the Helping Pets Fund. This grant can be used to cover the cost of all veterinary services. Even so, you can’t apply for the grant directly, your vet of choice will need to apply it on your behalf. If your vet can’t help and you can’t afford the expensive and important medical procedure, you may be able to get help from a charity. The Humane Society has a list of charities, some of which are glad to help with the cost of life-saving medical care for dogs and other pets.
Talk to your Vet.
If you have a decent relationship with your veterinarian, they might be able to offer some help. Vets are quite understanding how much our dogs mean to us. They also know that people struggle with the billing of veterinary services from time to time. Some vets can offer a payment plan for existing customers, for example. This allows you to pay off any services, without interest, over the course of 6 or so months. Vets might also allow you to defer the payment for a much later date or even offer a discount.
Search for better prices.
Every vet offers their own set of prices. For instance, when I personally looked for a new veterinarian after moving to another city, I contacted over 8 different clinics. The cost for each visit ranged somewhere between $45 to 85$. So make sure to search around. Billing prices can often depend on the clinic’s location, their equipment use costs and the student loan debt the vet staff may be paying off.
If you’re purchasing prescription medication directly from the vet, there a chance you’re being overpriced. Try to compare the prices online from sites such as these:
- Doctors Foster and Smith
Just make sure to be careful when purchasing medication for your pup online, and deal with only reputable websites. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed some red flags that should give you an idea on what’s suspicious about the quality of medication. It’s also possible to purchase generic brand dog medicine for a cheap price at stores such as Target and Walmart. Finally, ask the vet if they will match the best possible prices you’ve found.
Similar to any other business out there, make sure to keep an eye out for any vet service offering special deals. Some of them might offer a certain percentage of discount for new patients and $30 off dental cleaning. They best way to stay aware of these deals is to check out veterinary websites and social media account for these fantastic deals.
Stay up to date with your dog’s health history.
It’s very important to be aware as much as you possibly can about your dog’s health history. If the dog is purebred, for instance, learn as much as you possibly can about their lines. Research the breed and understand what possible health risk they may be afflicted with. If the dog was adopted or rescued, try and gain the as much detailed information you can from the shelter or agency you got them from.
Keep Your dog’s health records contained in a single place so you can easily reference them if necessary. And lastly, there are a number of fantastic reference sources on the internet that address dog health. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association offer comprehensive information on how to take care of your dog’s health. Even so, keep in mind that this kind of information should not replace visitation to the vet if you believe the dog is getting sick.
Your pup shouldn’t suffer unnecessarily, and you shouldn’t have to as well under the massive burden of vet bills. Just keep in mind of these alternative options to help keep the costs lower and keep your companion healthy.