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Ways to Save Money at the Vet

January 23, 2020

Here it is. A topic that interests everyone, though not often discussed. But worry not, we, the team at Peterborough West Animal Hospital are here to help open up the conversation on ways that you can reduce your veterinary bills. Though we will say that there is no single, magical tactic when it comes to this topic. Let’s face it, life likes to throw curveballs! Unexpected costs can be stressful, and I know that we have all been there. Whether it is due to a leaking roof, an expensive car repair, or an emergency surgery for your pet. This is why the Veterinarians at Peterborough West Animal Hospital would like to focus on the factors that we can control. So let’s think about some creative ways in which we can help you save money on your vet visits this year. And on that note, perhaps our shared New Year’s resolution for your pets should be: Preventative Medicine. There are other ways such as enrolling in Pet Health Insurance, but we will save that topic for another time.

Preventative medicine is the crux of this topic. It is exactly as it sounds: a medical approach to preventing disease. We do it all the time and don’t think about it. We vaccinate our pets to PREVENT disease. We administer heartworm prevention, tick prevention, and internal parasite prevention. Though it’s true that the costs of these preventative measures can add up in the present, they will save your pet much unneeded distress in the future, as well as your bank account for extensive and expensive treatments. To learn more about our comprehensive approach to preventative care, including vaccinations and wellness checks, visit our Veterinary Wellness & Pet Vaccinations page.

Don’t be a stranger. Call us! In the digital age there are countless forums and social media groups that consist of caring and dedicated pet owners that discuss every detail from supplements, diet, medication, and more. When it comes to seeking medical advice, sometimes it can be tricky to navigate the level of expertise from the person on the other side of the keyboard. If you have a medical question, please reach out to us at Peterborough West Animal Hospital. Call, email, or come in. Sometimes the question has a simple answer that we can offer to you over the phone, and sometimes it results in us suggesting that you bring your pet in for a check-up or a specific test. However the main point that we aim to make, is that calling us first can reduce the delay in having your pet seen, which is not only better for their health, but also may result in less significant treatments. For example, a dog that is experiencing diarrhea that is examined right away, may only need some simple antibiotics, whereas a delayed exam could result in dehydration and the requirement for IV fluids and hospitalization. Talking to us first will also prevent the spread of misinformation and your purchase of products that may not be suitable for your pet.

Develop a daily and weekly routine with your pet that involves your own physical exam. Brush your pet’s teeth daily, taking note of their teeth and gum-line while you do so. Check them for lumps, bumps and rashes. Examining a lump sooner rather than later may result in a less invasive and more successful surgery now versus a more extensive (and expensive) surgery later. Or perhaps if we examine and test the lump now, we can give you the great news that it doesn’t need surgical removal, and you have the peace of mind that it is benign (which is priceless). Understanding your pet’s specific needs is crucial for their well-being and can help prevent health issues. For example, if you’re considering getting a budgie, you might want to read our article on “Do Budgies Need a Buddy? The Truth About Social Birds” to ensure you’re meeting their social needs.

Diet and exercise: This applies to all species, but we will keep the focus on your pets. We love to talk about nutrition, and how to feed each pet as an individual. Nutrition is a powerful form of preventative medicine, and can slow or stop the progression of many diseases that would otherwise require expensive treatments in the future. When it comes to budgeting for your pet’s nutrition, let us help you. We often hear, “She eats the most expensive stuff from the pet store.” Sometimes, the most “expensive stuff” isn’t what your pet actually needs, as far as their individual nutritional needs. We may counsel you to seek out a different type of diet that could possibly cost LESS than what you’re spending now. Believe me when I say, this happens a lot. And let’s not forget exercise. Keeping a lean body condition keeps joints comfortable and prevents disease like diabetes. And guess what, exercise is free! Reach out to different dog walking groups. Use toys and games to promote indoor exercise with small dogs and cats. Embrace the task and make it fun!

And last but not least, subscribe to our email list, check out the Peterborough website, subscribe to your Petly page (it’s free), Facebook and Instagram pages! We’ll let you in on a little secret……We have new promotions from time to time. They may include special discounts on dental procedures, blood work, 4DX (heartworm/tick tests), and of course our “Healthcare Plans”. Though we do our best to shout it from the rooftops, we find it most effective to send you information via online routes instead.

Saving money doesn’t mean cutting corners. It means embracing the mindset of preventative medicine. It means reaching out to us, your trusted veterinary team, when you have a question. And it means being strategic about planning required services and procedures for pet, so that you can take advantage of promotions, while ultimately keeping your pet healthy and happy. We hope that you trust us and believe that our ultimate goal is your animal’s health and happiness. We want to help you, and support your pet’s health with the goal of keeping them away from the vet for preventable illnesses and accidents. This is our Peterborough West Animal Hospital approach!