Owning a pet is one of life’s greatest joys. Our pets are our family. Our babies. But when your fur baby gets sick or hurt, the question of cost can sometimes force you into an unnecessary and heartbreaking decision.
The sometimes exorbitant costs of veterinary care may make it impossible for you to get your pet the care she needs. Worse, it may force you to choose euthanasia to keep your baby from suffering when treatment is available but much too costly.
No pet owner wants to face a choice like this. But each and every day, thousands of pet owners do. Every year, untold numbers of pets that could have been saved are lost due to the owners’ inability to afford veterinary care.
There are things you can do now, however, to prepare for the unexpected of tomorrow. This article explores the necessity for all pet owners to have a sound financial plan that builds emergency pet care right into the family budget.
This can help ensure fur babies receive the care they deserve when emergencies arise. And it will potentially prevent you from having to make a devastating choice.
Learn to Spot Early Warning Signs
Preparing financially for your pet’s care starts with ensuring that your pet is up on her vaccinations and gets routine veterinary care. This can help you spot potential problems early and take care of them before they can develop into a full-fledged (and costly) crisis.
It also means learning to recognize when your little Rover or your big Max needs emergency care. Poisoning, trauma, heat stroke, and breathing problems aren’t issues you can handle at home, and delaying treatment is only going to make things worse for your baby, for you, and for your wallet.
Spend Money to Save Money
Your pet financial plan should also include money set aside to create a disaster preparedness plan that includes emergency proofing your home. Take the time to stock up on the supplies your pet may need, including food, medication, and first aid supplies, should a natural disaster or other unexpected crisis occur.
If you’re planning to relocate, or you’re already settling with your pet into a new home, you also need to have a plan to protect yourself from an accident or issues like an escape that might occur. Look for holes in walls, doors, or fencing and make sure everything is patched and secure before you introduce your pet to the space. Focus on identifying any other potential hazards that might be just too tempting as your excited and curious fur baby explores her new home.
And don’t forget about the transition. Invest in a safe seatbelt harness or secure carrier to ensure your pet doesn’t bolt during transport. A carrier or harness will also reduce your pet’s risk of serious injury should an accident happen.
Consider Pet Insurance
For many of us, health insurance is a necessity. We might never even consider a job unless the employer offers good benefits. But did you know that you can also invest in pet insurance to cover your pet’s medical expenses in the event of an injury or illness? Pet insurance works a lot like human insurance but is generally far less expensive. And it can be a lifesaver. Literally.
You simply enroll your pet, providing their data, like name, age, and breed, and then pay your monthly premium. Depending on the plan you choose, per insurance will not only cover routine veterinary care, but also catastrophic conditions, such as cancer treatments. And most veterinary offices and animal hospitals accept it. Some employers are even offering pet insurance as an optional add-on to their employees’ health plans!
And that can save you from a choice that no pet owner should ever have to make.
Pets aren’t just animals. They’re family. And they deserve all the love and care in the world. Unfortunately, though, providing that care can be beyond the financial means of even the most devoted pet parent, and the outcome can be devastating. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Having a sound financial plan in place can help you prepare for the unexpected but inevitable. Incorporating emergency vet care into your family’s weekly budget can help ensure your fur baby is protected and well cared for, no matter what.