The Cure To High Vet Bills
We all want the best for our pets. However, with veterinary costs so high, some of us can’t always afford to give our pets the treatment they deserve. A solution is always to take out a loan to pay for out-of-pocket treatment costs, however this means paying more in the long run due to high interest charges. Fortunately, there are other solutions to affording vet bills other than getting into debt. Here are a few ways that you can make veterinary bills more affordable so that you keep your pets happy and healthy.
Each veterinary surgery sets their own rates. Your regular vet could be charging more than others in the area. In fact, there are lots of factors that could be affecting the rate. Certain clinics may have more experienced staff and more elaborate facilities that causes them to charge higher rates. A clinic on a busy high street might also charge more than a rural based one to cover the rent or mortgage rate of the location. On top of this, certain clinics may have promotions on when it comes to vaccinations or check-ups. Because of all this, it’s worth shopping around different clinics, particularly if you’re trying to lower the cost of an operation.
In some cases you may be able to shop around for medication too. However, you should be wary of certain pet medicines sold online that may not be fully tested. Always buy pet medicine from trusted sellers.
Negotiate a payment plan
It’s possible to negotiate costs in some cases. By asking to pay in advance, treatment may cost less in some cases. You may even be able to ask for a breakdown of the bill and then reject certain items that you don’t want to pay for. If your pet is having multiple teeth out, a vet may charge per tooth, in which case you choose how many teeth you want to be extracted based on your budget.
Another option could be to ask about a staggered payment plan rather than paying the whole cost up front. Whilst you’ll still be paying the same amount, it will be over a longer period, allowing you to save up for each installment.
Use an interest-free credit card
There are some credit cards that are interest free when used for healthcare purposes. In many cases, this applies to veterinary costs. If a vet doesn’t offer a staggered payment plan, using one of these no-interest credit cards could be just as effective. Be aware of no-interest rates that only last for a few months – it’s likely to take more than a few months to pay off your vet bill, so you could end up paying interest eventually.
Consider pet insurance
Pet insurance isn’t always a good idea. It’s generally unwise to take out a scheme for an older pet as rates for older animals is very high. Consequently, you could end up paying more in insurance bills than you would from treatment. Similarly, certain animal breeds may be more expensive to insure. Dog breeds such as pugs and labradors that are known to have more health problems in the long run may be more expensive to insure.
That said, you can usually save a lot of money with insurance by taking out a fixed scheme for a kitten or a puppy. Rates are much lower for young animals as a rule.
Always shop around for pet insurance and read the terms and conditions to check that you’re covered for all eventualities.
Try your local veterinary college
Veterinary colleges often ask for volunteer pets for students to practice treatment on. Consequently, you could end up getting treatment for free. Alternatively, you could ask at the college if anyone is willing to treat their animal for a cheap rate. Budding vets that are eager to practice may be willing to help you. Always check that the college allows such requests first.
Try local charities
For those on a low income that cannot afford treatment, there may be charities out there that can help you to raise funds. There are also advocate services that help you negotiate treatment and seek charity help.
Make sure your pets are getting the right diet and exercise
By far the best way to save money on the vets is to cut down on visits by ensuring your pet lives a healthy lifestyle.
A good diet is important – you want to ensure that your pet isn’t eating too much as being overweight can lead all manner of other health problems from bad joints to heart disease. In some cases, eating too much too quickly can be a problem – some dogs are known to develop canine bloat and may require a scoff bowl to control how much they’re eating. There’s lots of dog health information out there when it comes to supplements that can keep your animal healthy. Similarly, it’s worth looking into foods to avoid such as certain human snacks like chocolate or foods like onions.
The right amount of physical exercise may also be able to keep your pet away from the vets. Active animals are less likely to become overweight. There are also other benefits such as giving dogs walks to wear down their claws. You should however be careful of too much exercise or the wrong kind of physical activity. For example, dogs may damage their hips eventually from jumping onto furniture or running on a wooden floor.
Grooming can also be healthy for many animals preventing them from getting fleas as well as helping to spot infections. There are a lot of checks that you can do at home and you can buy your own tools such as ear cleaning sprays and thermometers.