Pet food, treats and toys add up fast every month, but at least you can develop an estimate of how much these items will cost you on a yearly basis. It’s those unexpected expenses that punch you in the gut when you’re least expecting them. When your cat suddenly develops a urinary tract infection or your dog develops a questionable lump under its skin. When these issues arise, it’s usually when your bank account is tapped out and you’re impatiently waiting for your next paycheck to arrive. Unfortunately, pets can develop health problems such as these at any age, but pet insurance can make these unexpected events a little less stressful.
Did you know that healthcare spending for pets will stimulate the U.S. pet market even though the economy is down? Packaged Facts’ U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2009-2010 predicts that the pet industry will grow 6 percent this year. So if you have a pet, you may be contributing to this increase. Ways to reduce pet healthcare expenses include insurance and annual checkups.
Continuing your pet’s annual healthcare insurance is important, because it can save you money. According to a veterinary field educator, Sarah Riegle, the average costs of routine veterinary visits for a dog increased by $137 within five years (from 2000 to 2005). Depending on your pet insurance’s upper limit, you could be saving thousands of dollars annually. So if you’ve considered canceling your $30 per month insurance, you should think again.
Having pet insurance also motivates you to properly care for your pet. When you don’t have insurance or disposable income, you may be less likely to visit the veterinarian. In the long run, this can actually cost you more money. For example, checking out a lump under your pet’s skin immediately as opposed to waiting could save your pet’s life and reduce the chance of having to resort to more expensive treatment.
If you don’t have pet insurance, it’s definitely something to look into. Even if you have more than one pet, some companies offer a discount. Making a small monthly payment can ensure your pet’s health and may reduce your pet care costs.