Pets are part of the family, and we all want them to have the best healthcare available. But vet bills can add up quickly, and it’s easy to get caught off guard with a larger-than-expected balance. Fortunately, there are some ways you can keep the vet bills manageable and still get excellent care for your best friend.
- Practice Basic Safety at Home. Whether you’re considering bringing a new pup into your home or you’ve had an energetic dog for years, there are a few common safety precautions to take in order to keep them healthy and out of harm. Dogs are prone to chewing or eating things that can land them in front of a vet, so be sure to pooch-proof both inside (wires, curtain cords, small items such as socks and children’s toys, medications) and outside (toxic plants including daffodils, household and automotive chemicals such as antifreeze).
- Maintain Good Dental Hygiene. Bad breath is more than a running joke. In dogs, it can be a sign of a number of health issues, from gum disease to problems in other parts of the body. Poor dental hygiene also can cause your dog discomfort, so regular brushing with special toothpaste is usually a good first step, but you might want to read up on dog dental care or consult a vet during a check-up.
- Feed a Healthy Diet. Cheap, low-quality food may be easy on your budget now, but it’ll cost you thousands in vet bills down the line. Just like we know that junk food isn’t good for us, low-quality pet food can have similarly disastrous effects. Vets and pet experts say a higher-quality diet, however, can have a range of health benefits, from better breath to decreased joint pain in older animals. Advocates of raw dog food swear a more natural diet leads to better skin, fur, teeth and behavior, and fewer digestive and joint problems.
- Schedule Regular Checkups. It may seem counterintuitive, but just like preventative health care for humans, taking your dog for a regular check-up can save money in the long run. For instance, making sure your dog has all the necessary vaccines and parasite treatments will help keep it happy and healthy, and decrease the likelihood that you have to return to the vet for more expensive (and possibly unpleasant) treatment later on.
- Carry Pet Insurance. Most pet insurance policies are affordable, easy to understand, and allow you to see any vet you wish. Pet insurance can reimburse you up to 90% of vet charges on some procedures andtreatments. Chances are that you’ll be faced with a vet bill in the thousands of dollars at least once during your pet’s lifetime. Pet insurance is one of the easiest and best ways to keep vet bills low.