Saving Money On Your Vet Bills.


As some regular readers might remember, I had some very expensive vet visits in 2007. And although our cat is just fine, it was quite a burden to shell out that much money on vet care! This past weekend I saw this article “How To Save Money On Your Vet Bills” from Parade Magazine…too bad I did not see it before ours got sick. There is one thing in the article that is a little strange in that the author says outdoor cats tend to live only 3-5 years, which is not really a believable statement. I know plenty of people with outdoor cats who live way longer than that. So what do they have to say about saving money at the vet?

For starters, you should focus on prevention. This includes getting your animal to practice good hygiene (yea, right), trimming their claws, and brushing a cat’s teeth a few times a week. (A few times a week? They are kidding, right?) Keeping your pet at an ideal weight, current on vaccinations, and getting them spayed or neutered early are also things you can do to help keep your pet healthy.

The article then says to become a pet detective. I guess this means to watch your pets carefully and notice strange behavior.

Lastly, they say to make friends with your local vet. This one I cannot stress enough, as you want your vet to have a relationship with your pet of some sort. Also, if you have been going to the same vet for some time and they know you, they might be more apt to give a discount or a payment plan for big bills.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Alex Knapp says:

    What I’d also suggest is looking for veterinary clinics–most areas have them–that have multple veterinarians, rather than a one vet office. The local clinic that I take my dog to charges only $20 for office visits and she had major surgery for $95. The office sharing allows the vets to lower their prices.

  2. David says:

    That’s a good one Alex, thanks!

  3. Becky says:

    I totally agree with you about the “yea, right” on brushing your cat’s teeth. My vet talked me into getting some cat toothpaste and a toothbrush thing that you put on your finger. What a joke! My cats squirm so much I don’t think I actually do any good at all with it 🙂

    I do have to agree with the article about outdoor cats having a shorter lifespan, though. I grew up on a farm and the barn cats never lived nearly as long as the house cats. They have a much higher likelyhood of getting run over, killed by a predator, getting sick, or getting layed on by a cow!

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  6. Sounds to me like that article was written by someone who never owned a cat or dog. You can brush your cat’s teeth all you want (or for as long as you survive a crazy stunt like that…) and shop around for vets until you’re blue in the face, but any way you look at it, pets are expensive and they get more so as they age.

    It’s unreasonable to expect a vet to cut his or her bills to accommodate you. Veterinarians have to put food on the table, too — and they have to pay their staff. A veterinary practice is a business, not a charity.

    That said, I have a vet who does at least make an effort not to drain my checking account dry. Last year I spent $2,000 on my dogs, including food, supplies, and veterinary bills. Since the greyhound died of cancer about four months ago (a surprise from a very aggressive disease — the two grand did not go into cancer treatment), I hope the bills will go down a little…but the German shepherd has to be medicated 6 times a day to keep her from going totally blind. The other day I blogged about her most recent tumble into the ice-cold pool…fortunately, that didn’t cost me anything, though I’m sure it ran up the taxpayer’s bill to send the fire department over to help an elderly woman and an 80-pound mutt out of 40-degree water.

    Cats, btw, are indeed at significant risk when left outdoors in an urban area. Though we had two outdoor cats live to a ripe old age, one lapped up some antifreeze and died rather horribly. And the neighbors loathe them — my ex-boyfriend, who truly hates cats in his yard, used to shoot at them out his back door, first with a pellet gun and then, when that didn’t chase them off, with a .22. And even urban areas in most parts of this country are frequented by coyotes, which regard the cat as a fine meal and generally leave only the ears and the tail behind.

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  9. Thanks for posting this item. I’m decidedly frustrated with struggling to researching out pertinent and intelligent commentary on this issue. Everyone today goes to the very far extremes to possibly drive house their viewpoint that both: everyone else in the planet is wrong, or two that everyone but them does not really understand the situation. Many cheers for your concise, pertinent insight.