Pet ownership is a wonderful experience, but you also must tackle several issues to make sure your loved one is healthy, part of the family, and treated as such by everyone, from relatives and friends to your insurance agent and the primary-care veterinarian. Some of these issues may generate large expenses every now and then, but adopting a few measures can help you save your bank while taking excellent care of your darling. These measures range from adhering to a discount program and negotiating a good pet lease addendum to seeking rebates on medication, curbing pet insurance premiums, and doing some of the heavy lifting yourself.
Benefits of Pet Insurance
Pet insurance helps maintain your four-legged cutie pie in good health, but the coverage also protects from too many unexpected costs if your pet becomes ill. Even if you have a healthy breed, don't underestimate medical expenses that could arise if he or she were to get sick. Without insurance, cash you would dole out to treat certain conditions could be exorbitant, especially because you can't tell in advance the extent and nature of the malady you pet would suffer from. For example, Healthy Paws, a pet insurance company, says that the costs for treating common pet conditions are as follows:
- $1,550 for diarrhea/vomiting that goes on for several days. The money covers things like prescription medications, X-rays and blood tests
- $3,750 for chronic ear infections, including prescription medications and diagnostics
- $6,250 to remove a foreign objects that causes a blockage in your pet's system – including prescription medication, surgery, hospitalization, swallowing a corn cob, and X-ray.
If you choose to forgo pet insurance, the key question you should ask yourself Is whether you have enough money to pay for expensive veterinary bills, or whether you would charge them on expensive credit cards with stratospheric interest rates.
Read the Pet Lease Addendum
A landlord would tell you that he or she understands that your pets are part of your family, but the terms and conditions in the pet lease addendum might project another view. Read the addendum to make sure it does not include pricey options – such as rent increase, terms and conditions for pet ownership on the premises, and your responsibilities vis-à-vis other residents. You also can negotiate better pricing with the landlord on elements like flea infestation; injury and damages caused by your pet; and removing pet waste from areas as varied as decks, yards, storage areas, garages and living areas.
Enroll in a Pet Discount Program You can cut pet expenses by signing up for a pet discount program, such as AAA, that offers discounts on everything from travel to medical care. You also can contact the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to get more information about pet-related discount programs that are available in your residence areas, as well as reputable organizations that provide such programs. PETA also can provide you with helpful resources to better care for your pet without exceeding your budget.
Seek Discounts on Pet Medications
We live in a society where medical insurance – and animals' healthcare costs, for that matter – are increasing by the day. To reduce cash spent on your pet, seek discounts and visit portals like 1-800-PetMeds and VetDepot. On these sites, you can shop for everything from dental and ear care to items related to eye, flea and tick, food, heartworm, joint and medication pains. You also can splurge on your urge to make your loved one happy and healthy, and buy things related to skin and coat, vitamins and pet education materials. Other areas you can review and save money include grooming, toys, vaccines and treats. The goal here is to review the hodgepodge of things offered, detect those that have discount or rebate programs, and make the best decision for your cutie pie's health and well-being – again, without feeling financial pain.
Reduce Pet Insurance Coverage
You can slash pet insurance premiums by shopping around and increasing your deductible amount – which is cash you dole out before the insurance company steps in to cover your little one if something adverse happens. The insurer typically would ask the pet type you have, his or her age, and the policy coverage you want. Other things the insurance company would enquire about include whether your pet was spayed or neutered, whether he or she has been chipped, and whether he or she is a crossbreed.
Adopt a DIY Approach
Do it yourself – if you can. That's what I would recommend if you want to save money as a pet owner. There are various DIY procedures you can easily perform at home, most of which do not require professional training or regulatory certification. The procedures include removing parasites like fleas, tapeworms and ticks; collecting bodily fluids like urine, vomitus and sputum methodically; taking pictures and shooting videos of your cutie pie; and grooming. Other DIY tactics include flossing and brushing; cooking delicious and nutritious meals for your little one; taking care of his or her skin folds and ears; performing pedicures, manicures and other well-being procedures; and providing periodic tub soaks; and administering medication every now and then.
As a pet owner, you should try to provide more care to your loved one – more often if you can. Performing such tasks as grooming and administering medication can save you some cash – which is always a good thing, especially if you need the money to cover other holes in your budget. Besides DYI, money-saving techniques include getting an insurance policy with a high deductible, asking for rebates on pet pills, and negotiating better pet deals with landlords.