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Pets are Expensive!

 
Paper Trained
by 
Scott Sandeman, D.V.M.
 We Americans are spending more than ever on our pets-almost $70 billion a year by current estimates.  Of that total, 25% is spent on medical, surgical or preventative health care. Like human health care, owners do and should seek ways to save on expenses without compromising their pet's health.  Here are some suggestions from veterinarians and the American Veterinary Medical Association to lessen the cost of owning a pet.
 
1)  Preventative health care.  Making sure your dog or cat has at least an annual exam by your veterinarian is critical in catching small problems before they become big, expensive issues.  Receiving proper and timely vaccinations, prescribing and giving preventative medications for parasites, and testing and administering heart worm medication are all ways to save.  Catching diseases early with a thorough exam or preventing them altogether with regularly scheduled medications or vaccinations is much less expensive than treating.  An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure when it comes to your pet’s health.
 
2)  Simply having your pet spayed or neutered will accomplish a lot- society doesn't need any more stray or homeless animals and your pet will be healthier.  While the timing or age of spaying or neutering some pets is still undecided, most pets will live longer and better lives without their breeding potential.
            
            3)  Saving on prescriptions can be complicated.  
            While some advertised online pharmacies purport
            to offer substantial savings, make sure you use 
            only U.S. based companies and never buy from a
            pharmacy that claims not to need a prescription.
            Some medication manufacturers wont guaranteed 
            drugs purchased online as well.  Check with your
            veterinarian first before any purchase as free 
            doses and coupons may only be available there.
 
            4)  The health risks of obesity are clear.  
            Keeping your pet at its optimum weight can 
            decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes and 
            arthritis.  Remember that premium and especially
            grain-free diets (recently linked to heart 
            disease in some dogs) may be unnecessary and 
            Overly expensive.
                 Check with your veterinarian for other ways
            that might allow you to save.  Most 
            veterinarians will have options that can make a 
            difference with your finances but still offer 
           a healthy choice.
 

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