I’ve had a passion for animals as far back as I can recall. I’m from a large city and living in a small apartment never afforded us the ability to have a dog; only birds (bummer). We all have our favorites, from large, to small, hairy, and bald (okay, maybe not so much). Regardless of their stature or heritage, we care for them as any other member of our family. I’m not sure how people back in the day used to care for their animals, but today in age, we have a variety of care and health options for many breeds of canine. Veterinary medicine has made great strides in the diagnosis and treatment of various ailments that afflict our companions.
If you’re like me, you take your dog to the vet about 2-3 times per year, depending on whether or not ‘fluffy’ decided to ingest while you were out making a quick stop at the corner store. Annual cost for dog insurance has steadily become a contentious issue between my wife and I. Depending on the size and breed, monthly costs can range between $30 to $100 per pet! Budgeting for our dog didn’t always consist of foregoing a date night or an extra meal out in the town. But, alas, the economy is what it is, and we still have the obligation to take care of our pets.
We’ve taken the initiative of trying to reduce our monthly pet bill onto ourselves. Not only doing more research to find options the cost for dog insurance, but we have taken a more proactive approach when tending to our dogs’ needs. First, we spoke to our vet about our intentions of reducing the number of visits each year to just 1 (a yearly checkup), and to focus on the crucial items listed for that visit. From then on, we would follow a plan similar to that of the vet, but at-home, and with the use of our own materials.
Our doctor was a bit dismayed at first because this apparently is a growing trend; more people are either reducing the number of visits per year, or they are flat-out just not taking their pets to the vet’s office. Whatever the case for the mass-departure, it does highlight the fact that the annual cost for insurance will remain high due to increased prices for diagnosing and supplies. The vet industry is highly dependent on low-cost medical supplies and an ever-increasing list of customers. For instance, if your pet gets cancer, costs for owners without insurance could reach up to $7,600!! I looked-up some information for the average prices in recent years, and the picture doesn’t seem to get better with time.
What can we do about it?
Short and simple; not much. The cost increasing is a factor of both inflation and the diminishing supply of qualified vets, low-cost medical plans, and ever-increasing expansion of government regulation into the veterinary field. My advice would be to think thrifty and save!