Sunday, November 20, 2011
Start a pet savings account
In today’s economy, the cost of living is expensive. With gas costing nearly $4 per gallon, budgeting household expenses is a must. We love our pets and want the very best for them, but veterinary care can be expensive.
The solution: Open a savings account for your pets routine expenses. Of course, illnesses and accidients cannot be planned for, but by having some money set aside for your pets annual care, you won’t be cringing when that reminder card comes in the mail.
By saving a relatively small amount of money monthly, you will be prepared for pets’ annual exam and prevention.
Preventative care may seem expensive, but in the long run, it can save your pet from illness and discomfort and ultimately your wallet. Sick visits, medications, supportive care, surgery, and hospitilization can be 3-4 times as much as routine care. Plus, you want your pet to be healthy, happy, and pain-free.
For example, a routine dental cleaning under anesthesia is around $340. The bulk of that price is anesthesia. Pets won’t hold their mouth open so we can clean their teth well and take a good look, so anesthesia is imparative. Pets are sedated, intubated, and maintained on general anesthesia. IV fluids are aministed to support their blood pressue and flush their kidneys. They are also monitored by a registered veterinary technician during and after the procedure.
It may seem like a lot to go through to clean their teeth, but dental disease can be very painful,cause infections in other organs, and extractions and dental radiographs are costly compared to a routine scaling, polish, and flouride application (about $100).
An average annual veterinary visit for a healthy,indoor adult (1-8 years of age) cat plus the year’s supply of Frontline to prevent fleas and ticks is about $315. Assuming you are unable to brush your kitties teeth daily (most people aren’t), kitty may need a dental cleaning too. That’s a total of about $655. For a lot of people, that’s a large sum. But broken down and saved monthly, that’s only $55 per month or less that $14 per week! Only $2 per day! I bet most of us could manage to cut $2 per day out of our budget. Just packing your lunch and making your coffee at home could save you as much as $10 per day!
Now the doggie example. Dogs can easily be infected with heartworms, intestinal parasites, and other diseases like Lyme disease and Leptosporosis that kitties don’t get.
So, they require more vaccines, blood tests and preventative products. An average annual veterinary visit for a healthy, medium/large (30-60 lbs) adult (1-8 years old, depending on breed) dog plus a year’s supply of Interceptor heartworm prevention Frontline flea/tick prevention is around $500. (Keep in mind that the DHPP and Rabies vaccines are good for 3 years, so at age 2,3,5,6 they will not need these vaccines).If your pup also needs his teeth cleaned, that’s a total of $840. Saved over a year, that’s only $70 per month or less that $18 per week.
Not every dog will need their teeth cleaned anually, while some dogs need them cleaned twice per year (usually small breeds or dogs like Greyhounds that are predisposed to dental disease). Dogs have larger mouths and teeth and may tolerate brushing more. Brushing your dogs teeth daily with a pet-approved, flouride-free toothpaste, giving them chewy bones like rawhide, CET chews, Greenies, and feeding special diets like Science Diet T/D, that is formulated to help remove tartar build-up, will keep teeth cleaner, longer.These products are great for the pre-molars and molars that dogs chew with, but the K9’s and incisors that aren’t used for chewing will still accumulate tartar.
We love our pets! They are part of our families and their healthcare is just as important as it always has been. In this tough economy, planning for the future is the best thing we can do ofset annual large bills.