Unexpected veterinary bills were cited by Kathryn Lisko, the education specialist over at Rover.com, as being “the most common and most costly variables in dog ownership. That’s one pricey pooch”, USA Today August, 26, 2016: B4. Print.
The article continues to mention that healthy habits and adopting mix-breeds (according to the ASPCA) can help reduce veterinary cost.
What they don’t mention – and really should – is: the importance of being knowledgeable about what is normal for your pet and knowing what to do when you recognize that something is off.
There are two sides to the coin in regards to veterinary care. The first side of the coin is that it is SUPER easy to go to the vet and that is a great thing. I can get an appointment 10 times easier for anyone of my five pets then I can get a doctor’s appointment for myself, its crazy!
That does NOT mean you always have to rush off there for every symptom that arises in your pet. Being able to get an appointment on a moment’s notice may not only be costly to your wallet, but it can cause unnecessary stress for your pet.
Even if your pet loves visiting their veterinarian (mine all do, ok not the cat), going to the vet puts them at risk for catching diseases for which others have come to seek care.
For example, your dog may have thrown up just once in 24hrs but you are concerned so you rush to the vet. The dog before you had a raging case of kennel cough so while your veterinarian will recommend a bland diet until you can see the outcome of Puppy’s poopy, you have now just exposed your pup – and yourself – to many sleepless nights. Your pup could be up sick and coughing all night, and you’ll be up and worrying.
The backside of the coin is the COST!!!
You can budget the cost of annual veterinary visits but how do you budget for an obstruction, a severe limp, or scratched cornea? You can’t!
You can, of course, have pet insurance with premiums ranging from $16-$55 per month ($192-$660/year) but you still have to pay out-of-pocket up front then submit your bill and see how much is reimbursed.
Pet insurance is not like human health care insurance where the health provider submits to the insurance and then the insurance bills you for the difference. Rather, you pay the veterinarian office up front then submit the bills and see what comes back for reimbursement. So while it is easier to book an appointment with your vet than your primary care physician, it will cost you more every time.
So how in the world can you reduce the unexpected veterinary bill other than just rescuing a mutt (not always true) and brushing their teeth?
By taking a pet first aid and CPR course.
There is more to the course than what the title covers. Pet first aid is the first care given to a pet prior to any professional medical care. Often first aid is not followed by professional medical care such a visit to your vet because the care given was adequate, but you often don’t know – unless you are educated. A pet first aid course, especially ProPetHero’s course, will teach you how to recognize what is the norm for your pet so you can be prepared to act quickly and safely when your pet deviates from their particular norm.
This course will teach you how to be in tune with your pet so that you can help reduce their ailment, their stress, and any extraneous strain on your wallet.
This course is not in exchange for veterinary care but often as a complement to it. If you know how to splint a potential fracture or slow/stop an arterial bleed, your pet has a better chance of surviving when you are transporting them to the emergency vet. Also, while CPR is the least likely skill to be used, it certainly has the greatest value when it is needed.
It’s all about having all the right tools in your toolbox: you hope not to have to use them, but they come in very handy when you need them.
For less than $50 – less than most wellness exams at a veterinarian’s office – you can learn a new skill set on how to help your pet. Even if you just learn when to recognize the normal so that the abnormal becomes more clear, you are on your way to making your pet’s life better!
A typical vet visit is about 20 minutes, don’t you wish you could spend more time learning from them? ProPetHero’s course allows you to learn not only from a vet, but a professor of Veterinary Medicine and Critical Care as well as a board-certified emergency and critical care veterinarian specializing in the care for small animals – you can’t get a better teacher than that!
So set aside a little time, the course is just over 1½ hrs but you can complete it at your own pace taking as long as you like/need.
You have two years to access the videos and review the material etc. all for less than as typical night out to dinner.
This is definitely one great way to help reduce some of the most costly and unpredictable factors in pet ownership that the USA article fails to mention.