Yes! As a veterinarian who makes my living from veterinary medicine, I DO want you to save money on veterinary care! I would rather see your pet year after year for a boring, wonderful health exam than even once for a crisis. If I need to see ten adorable puppies for budgeted wellness care instead of one puppy for an expensive emergency to make a living, then so be it! THAT is a price I am willing to pay! I think most veterinarians would agree.
“Leash laws killed my orthopedic practice, so I went into dentistry.” -anonymous veterinarian (He was joking!)
The best way to save money on veterinary care is with pre-planned risk management. The following is a very abbreviated and simplified list (that is, discussion starter) of the best “money savers” I could think of, and more importantly, of course, ways to save your pets and your family as much pain as possible.
Regular wellness examinations
Regular exercise and maintenance of a healthy weight
Spaying or neutering
Puppy proofing – not just for puppies!
Leashing or otherwise safely containing your dogs when outside of the home
Grooming, including ear cleaning and nail maintenance
Teeth brushing/home dental care
What advice would you give other dog lovers about avoiding costly veterinary bills? Did I leave out any ideas that should be included? Has pet insurance helped you to manage veterinary costs? Many accidents, illnesses and chronic conditions can not be avoided, of course, and all of our pets will deal with health issues in their lives. Even of the conditions that can be prevented, Real Life is not always so simple, and things happen. Avoid accidents and illnesses when you can, and when you can not, we will deal with them together.
May you have mostly routine, boring veterinary care, and may your pets be mostly healthy most of the time.