New Surgeries and Medical Treatments Can Save Your Pet’s Life — At a Price

Pets are members of the family. We want them to be happy and healthy. With new medical treatments and surgeries available, dogs and cats are beating cancer, overcoming genetic defects and improving heart conditions to live longer, higher quality lives. These new surgical techniques and medical advancements come at a hefty price, however. No one wants to have to euthanize a beloved pet because they can’t pay for treatment. There are cost-effective ways to keep pets healthy and give them the best veterinary care possible. Here are three tips to do just that.

  1. Purchase pet insurance:  A quick look at this infographic about pet insurance shows the average costs of a variety of veterinary procedures. For example, cancer treatments can cost over $5,000. Treating a pet with pneumonia can be as much as $8,300. Surgery to remove a foreign object can cost $3,000 or more. Even routine treatments, such as annual wellness exams, vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries can wreak havoc on a budget. Pet insurance is affordable. Costs depend on the coverage you choose and specific factors about your pet. Shop around to find the best coverage at the best price. Pet insurance is an investment in your pet’s well-being as well as a smart way to pay a little and avoid unexpected high costs in the future.
  2. Feed your pet right: When you’re on a budget, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeding pets the least expensive food. The problem is that dog or cat food that does not meet the pet’s nutritional requirements can cause health issues that are expensive to manage. Cheap pet food is often full of “filler” ingredients that cause the pet to eat more and lead to obesity. Speak with your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional requirements. By spending a little more for a higher quality food that meets your pet’s needs, you may avoid some of the illnesses related to poor diet later on.
  3. Pet-proof your home: Ingestion of foreign or poisonous objects is one of the most expensive and common reasons for emergency vet visits. A few precautions can save you from high veterinary bills and save your pet from suffering or even death. Lock cleaning supplies up. Keep human medications out of reach. Grapes, raisins, onions and other human foods are dangerous if ingested. Some plants are toxic. Electrical cords are attractive to some pets, particularly the young. Fix problems before something bad happens. Make sure your home is pet-safe.

The Humane Society of America offers this advice if you are having trouble affording veterinary care:

  • Prepare by purchasing pet insurance.
  • Negotiate with your vet. Ask for a payment plan.
  • Call different veterinarians around your region. Charges often vary substantially from one office to the next.
  • If you need help with vaccinations or spay/neuter surgeries, look for low-cost clinics or programs.
  • Look online for veterinary care assistance programs.
  • Contact local shelters and ask about low-cost services. Many have in-house clinics or work with veterinarians who are willing to reduce their rates in specific circumstances.


Infographic from

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