Lifestyle with Dog

Life With a Dog: Easy Ways to Save on Vet Bills

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Parenting a dog requires a great deal of commitment – and expense. Not only does your pooch need your time and attention, he also has to be taken care of properly with veterinary care and other maintenance. Caring for a dog is not just about feeding, clothing, and giving him a home. You also have to provide for his vaccinations, medications, and other vet care expenses should he get ill or suffer from an injury.

How to Reduce Vet Care Expenses

Fortunately, there are simple ways that can help you cut the costly vet bills without having to sacrifice your dog’s well-being. As a matter of fact, the tips below will also help your pooch live a healthier and happier life.

Focus on preventive care.

1. Practice good hygiene. Because grooming can help prevent infection, start trimming your dog’s nails on a regular basis. Brush his teeth at least three times a week to keep him from developing plaque and gum disease.

2. Provide an excellent diet and adequate exercise. Keep your pup at his ideal weight. Remember that obesity often results in various orthopedic problems and several other health issues like heart disease and diabetes. Feed your dog a high-quality, nourishing diet and provide him with enough physical and mental stimulation.

3. Keep track of doggie vaccines and other preventives. Never wait for your pooch to be ill or get infested with parasites. Call the animal-control organization in your locality and check if there are low-cost vaccines and preventive shots available.

4. Consider neutering or spaying your pet. Not only will these procedures help you cut costs for severe medical conditions like testicular, breast, or uterine cancer, these preventive measures will also keep your dog from wandering or becoming aggressive, diminishing the risk of your pooch getting injured in a fight or hit by a car. Not to mention the costs associated with an accidental litter of puppies!

5. Dog-proof your house and yard. Protect your pet from potential household hazards by storing human medications in tightly closed containers, keeping chemicals like household cleaners out of his reach, keeping toxic plants away, and ensuring that the fence and gates in your yard are secure.

Win your vet’s heart.

1. Commit yourself to routine check-ups. Even if your pooch appears healthy, having him thoroughly examined on a regular basis will detect any health issue early. Early diagnosis usually means less costly treatment.

2. Inquire how you can save. Because many veterinary hospitals and clinics offer certain discounts or package deals for very young or very old pets, try asking about free drug samples or low-price shots available.

3. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Never leave your vet’s office without having a clear picture of your dog’s health. If your dog is dealing with a costly medical problem, knowing in advance what to expect in terms of treatment and expense gives you a chance to either budget and save, or explore alternative treatment options that are more affordable. Never, ever, ignore a problem in hopes that it will go away – this usually leads to a more severe, more expensive course of action in the end.

Check with local organizations.

Many counties offer low-cost vaccinations, spay and neuter clinics, and discounts for those with financial need. Check with local organizations and don’t be afraid to ask what’s available!

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Maryann Duncan

    Sep 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I switched to Biospot 3 years ago. It works a lot better than Frontline ever did. My dogs always brought in ticks on Frontline. I have seen 1 tick in 3 years using Biospot. Its a lot cheaper than other brands as well. I buy online and have found you can get refills for the applicator and its cheaper than getting the unit with the applicator inside.

  2. Lainy

    Sep 17, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I have 2 dogs. I use Biospot and it seems to work, I haven’t found any fleas or ticks, knock on wood. But my dogs very seldom leave my yard. I have an acre fenced and I keep them home. My vet told me to switch products as the dogs become immune to the med. my neighbor used Frontline exclusively and her dog and her house became infested with fleas!

  3. Dominique Darcis

    Sep 17, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I have 7 dogs, and buy the tick and flea repellent online which is a bit cheaper. I totally agree that Frontline lives on its reputation and because it has been there like forever. One of my labs, under Frontline, and with the Lyme shot, got Lyme disease and died last year.
    Frontline did not protect it. I now use Parastar Plus which kills ticks within an hour. But vets have a tendency to stick with what they know.
    Bottom line: When they were under Frontline, I found many times live ticks on them. It never happened with Parastar. The few ticks I found are dead.
    My two cents today.

  4. Tina

    Jun 26, 2013 at 2:52 am

    I think it’s about time Vets and companies need to start reducing the mark up on tick and flea treatments. They insist we use the recommended brands they supply but costs are ridiculous.I have 2 active dogs that love swimming and they get a bath once a week. So, imagine my shock when I find out that Avantix washes off after one wash and frontline is not as effective as they say. We pay A LOT of money for these treaments to find out the product is useless.

    • Lee

      Sep 17, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Agreed, Tina. I used to be able to get single doses of Frontline at a local pet store, which was nice considering I have two large dogs and one small dog, so I could get three dose of what I needed. I guess they got in trouble for doing that, so they don’t offer that anymore. The cheapest I can find Frontline is $35/box for three doses. It would require $70 every two months, plus another $35/3 months for my small dog. It seems a little excessive to me. I’ve looked at the cheaper varieties (PetArmour, etc.) but I’ve read customer reviews that they aren’t anywhere near as effective. I don’t know why pet meds are so expensive. I can understand more if it is for an illness, etc., but common flea meds? C’mon. Maybe we need a prescription plan for pets…?

    • Adrienne

      Sep 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      You may want to look into oral flea medications. My dogs are very active and swim a lot. I live on a ranch and they get muddy and need to be washed. I have chickens to control ticks and give my dogs Comfortis, which is a safe oral flea medication. It works so much better on my Australian Shepherd than any of the nape of the neck meds and lasts the entire month. I used to work for a vet, and she had started to find that frontline and advantage are not working as well across the board, whether you bath frequently or not. The theory is that we have created a “super-flea” resistant to these older meds.

  5. Cheryl Hudgins

    May 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I have spent approximately $200@ mo. in the last 10 mos. on vet bills, grooming, meds, etc., not including food. Now I have a feral cat I need to have neutered, eye stitched closed (because he has one eye), shots, etc. This is getting very expensive. My vet doesn’t negotiate; but I really like him.

    • marianne

      Sep 17, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Google “low spay/neuter: in your state. There are places in CO where you can get a cat neutered for as little as $10.00 dogs between 50-80.

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