By Bernard Freeman
Even for all the fur, hairballs and muddy paw prints, Americans wouldn’t trade their pets for anything. In fact, when the American Pet Products Association surveyed U.S. households in 2017, 68 percent said they own a pet. That makes for an estimated 85 million families. Over the next couple of weeks, we will cover topics of concern to the pet-loving set, including healthy treats, traveling with pets and the importance of preventive care. We will start the series off talking about saving money.
Cutting the Cost of Care
Proper healthcare is one of the largest expenses in owning and caring for an animal. While certain treatments and vaccines are essential, there are steps you can take as a responsible pet owner to save on your pet’s health expenses in the long run.
Keep Up With Regular Care
Staying on top of regular checkups is one of the best methods of preventive care. Not only do current vaccinations help protect your pet from communicable diseases, but having a trained professional look over your pet can alert you to more serious issues — such as gum disease, wax buildup in their ears, any abnormal growths and any abnormalities that may show up in routine blood work.
This can save you major bucks down the road for issues that went unnoticed until it was too late.
Take Advantage of Pet Fairs
Pet fairs are a fun and productive way to help manage the cost of pet healthcare. Pet fairs often are hosted by veterinary clinics or multiple clinics working in conjunction with one another and provide regular services at discounted rates.
You also can get your pet spayed or neutered, or have its toenails clipped, ears cleaned, and teeth checked, all at rates much lower than normal. Look for pet fair advertisements and call ahead.
Procedures typically must be performed on fair days, so if you are looking to get your pet spayed or neutered, there will be limited space.
Engage in Regular Exercise
Obesity is the biggest threat to your pet’s health. In fact, according to the State of Pet Health report — released by Banfield Pet Hospital — over the last 10 years, the number of overweight cats has increased 169 percent and the number of overweight dogs has increased 158 percent.
Engaging in regular play and exercise is essential to maintaining your pet’s health, which can prevent a multitude of harmful (and expensive) problems down the road.