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Is Veterinary Care in your Budget?

March 10, 2011

Having Trouble Affording Vet Care? In these financially difficult times, and we senior pet owners are feeling the pinch. It is hard enough paying our own medical bills, much less working in Fluffy’s and Fido’s veterinary expenses. However, as responsible pet owners we know that ignoring our pets’ annual exams or neglecting to have them vaccinated is asking for trouble.  Preventive care for our pets helps avoid more serious – and expensive problems down the road.

The Humane Society of the U.S. offers some suggestions on their website that you might consider:

1. Pet health insurance. There are several reputable companies with policies offering help with annual exams, vaccinations and surgeries. VPI and Petplan USA are two of them.

2. Ask your veterinarian to work out a payment plan. Many veterinarians are willing to work out a weekly or monthly payment plan, so you don’t have to pay it all upfront.

3. Contact your local animal shelter. Some shelters either operate or know of subsidized clinics or subsidized assistance programs.

4. If you have a specific breed of dog, contact the National club for that breed. (www.akc.org will have a list of clubs.) These breed clubs will sometimes have a veterinary assistance fund.

5. If you purchased your pet from a reputable breeder, check your contract to see if your animal’s particular ailment is covered by a guarantee.

6. Check the veterinary schools in your state to see if they offer discounted services to the public.The HSUS website offers other suggestions.

In our Sarasota area, veterinary practices occasionally offer low-cost initiatives. Make sure to read your local newspapers and Facebook if you are on the computer. Compassionate Care Clinic, an initiative of Clark Road Animal Clinic, held an initiative in December of 2010 and another April 2, 2010. See their website for more information http://www.clarkroadanimalclinic.com/information_links/default.html

If you are short on cash for pet food, contact your local animal shelters or humane society and ask if they offer a pet food bank program for those in need. Remember that having your pet spayed or neutered will aid in keeping him healthy, as will those annual vaccinations. Check out the Humane Society of the U.S. website at www.hsus.org for more information and suggestions. Finally, talk to your veterinarian about grants that might help pay his bill.

There is help in these difficult times. You may need to work a bit harder to locate all the sources of help, but the search is worthwhile. Keep reading our blog for updates too.

 

 

 

 

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