Simple Savings: veterinarian savings

(Columbia) Dec. 26, 2003 - Kathy Welsher is no stranger to the high cost of veterinary care, thanks to Bear, Sinbad and Thunder, "Especially Thunder, with his allergies and just general checkups, he gets kind of costly."

Consumer Reports says the average vet bill has increased 100 percent in the last decade, and owners like Kathy are willing to pay, "He's my baby, so anything it takes to keep him healthy."

There are some simple ways to save on veterinary care.

Kim Kleman, with Consumer Reports, says you first have to do some price comparisons, "Even for routine services, get an estimate from several different vets. And if your pet has a serious problem, make sure you get a second opinion before you consent to costly tests and treatments."

If your pet needs medication, like Thunder does, Kleman says you should get a prescription from your vet, but then shop around for the best price, "Animal medicines are often the same ones prescribed for people. Our research found that you can save a lot of money if you just go to a regular pharmacy, either locally or online."

Other ways to save on pet care: talk to your vet about getting booster shots every three years instead of annually, buy frequently-used medicine in bulk, and ask your vet about discounts on exams. Many vets will cut the cost of annual visits if you bring three or more pets. These simple tips will save money and help make sure you pets stay in the best of health.

Another way to save before you get a pet is to choose your breed of cat or dog carefully. Some animals are predisposed to genetic disorders because of inbreeding.

Reporting by Judi Gatson
Posted 5:24pm by Eva Pilgrim