Having a trusted vet for your dog is an invaluable asset.
While the care provided by vets is invaluable, their services certainly have a specific (and often costly) price tag. I think at one point or another we've all suffered from sticker-shock when settling our tab at the end of a vet visit.
That said, vet bills, especially when you have multiple pets, still sting. But over the years I've been able to reframe veterinary costs in my mind to appreciate what I'm paying for, as well as encourage me to keep Eko and Penny as healthy as possible.
Here's what I mean-
First, I remember the familiar mantra, "pay now or pay later." It's easy to blow off the vet when your pup is healthy, but the longer you avoid the vet the higher the risk of your pet developing a serious, and unnoticed issue.
Same goes for keeping vaccinations and monthly tablets up to date. I've seen dogs with parvo, distemper, heartworm and canine influenza. It's absolutely heartbreaking. I may grimace at the bill, but it's a small price to pay for preventing these terrible illnesses.
So, to avoid going to the vet, I make sure I go to the vet. Trust me, it makes sense! Also, I've learned the best way to avoid taking care of a sick dog is to take care of a healthy dog. A well fed, exercised and groomed pup is your wallet's best friend.
When he was younger, Eko used to get semi-regular ear infections. More than a few of which required a trip to the vet for prescription eardrops. I finally realized I should stop checking/cleaning his ears when they agitated him and start cleaning them regularly.
Because the more I take care of my healthy pups, the fewer times I need to visit (and pay!) the vet. And most importantly, the less time we spend at the vet...
There's no way around many of the veterinary expenses over the lifetime of your pet, but there are plenty of ways to both reduce costs and improve the overall health of your pet at the same time. A great win-win scenario!
I'm interested to hear from others about ways you've managed and budgeted veterinary care for your pets. I'd especially like to hear from those who use pet-insurance to subsidize their costs. I looked into a few programs years ago for Eko, but the numbers never seemed to work out in my favor. Let me know!