Preventive Care Can Help You Save Money on Veterinary Care
The love and companionship that pets add to our lives is priceless, but the costs associated with their care can add up too, especially when an unexpected illness or injury requires urgent veterinary care.
In Y 2018, it is estimated that Americans will spend more than $72-B on their pets, with more than $18-B going to veterinary care. If your pet swallows something she should not have, it could set you back an average of $1,755, according to veterinary health insurance provider Petplan.
A joint injury, which is more common than you might think, can cost upwards of $3,500 while a chronic disease like cancer may require treatment costs in excess of $2,000.
It’s easy to assume that it will not happen to your pet, but it’s estimated that 1 in 3 pets will require emergency veterinary treatment each year.
Most Americans would not be able to easily absorb such an expense, as only 39% of households have enough in savings to cover a $1,000 emergency expense, according to Bankrate’s 2018 financial security index survey.
Many health conditions can be prevented or managed via a healthy lifestyle and preventive veterinary care, such that you can reduce your pet’s risk of succumbing to an expensive medical emergency.
The Top preventive strategies to help you save money on veterinary care include:
- Feeding a fresh, balanced species-appropriate diet, which will support immune health and keep your pet’s weight in check.
- Maintain a healthy weight. In addition to eating right, ensure your dog gets daily aerobic exercise and active play. Excess weight in dogs and cats can shorten lifespan and lead to conditions such as arthritis, bladder and urinary tract disease, liver disease, diabetes and more, so this is one area that’s very important for maintaining long-term health.
- Minimizing stress, which includes removing stressors (including unnecessary exposure to vaccinations and medication) and providing outlets for mental stimulation.
- Regular attention to hygiene, such as nail trims, ear cleaning and dental care.
- Proper hydration, including providing fresh, filtered water for your pet daily.
It’s important to bring your pet in for regular veterinary check-ups, which can help you avoid preventable disease. While some injuries and illnesses cannot be prevented, many can, but if you wait until your pet is already sick to seek veterinary care, it may be too late.
Ideally, take your pet to a proactive, functional medicine vet at least once a year to identify weak links in your pet’s wellness lifestyle plan or subtle changes in your pet’s health that can be addressed and reversed through early intervention.
By Dr. Karen S. Becker
Paul Ebeling, Editor