If your budget already includes the standard costs of pet care, you should also keep potential emergencies in mind. Just as with children, sometime situations arise you could never have predicted. A sudden illness or injury can mean an emergency visit to the veterinarian; aside from the added charge of an after-hours visit, the procedure to save your pet can cost thousands of dollars.
Set up an account specifically for pet-related emergencies. If you set aside just $30 per month, you’ll have $1,080 within three years. While that isn’t much, it can help offset the cost of an emergency treatment.
Most Common Canine Emergencies
While it isn’t possible to list every emergency that a dog might face, the folks over at Dogster list some of the most common emergencies and symptoms of problems that signal the need for an immediate vet visit. Cost estimates are from Vetary.
- Difficulty breathing (average treatment cost: $1,200)
- Bloat or gastric dilatation (average treatment cost: $5,000)
- Seizures (average treatment cost: $3,000)
- Profuse hemorrhaging (average treatment cost: $400)
- Protracted vomiting or diarrhea (average treatment cost: $3,500)
- Collapsing (average treatment cost: $2,800)
If your dog displays any of these symptoms, don’t wait. Call your vet immediately and get your pet medical treatment as soon as possible.
Most Common Feline Emergencies
- Difficulty breathing (average treatment cost: $1,000)
- Abnormal urination, especially in male cats (average treatment cost: $500)
- Seizures (average treatment cost: $1,800)
- Severe pain (average treatment cost: $800)
- Sudden paralysis of the hind end (average treatment cost: $1,400)
- Collapsing (average treatment cost: $1,800)
Some of these symptoms may be caused by something relatively minor, but without a thorough checkup by a vet it is impossible to tell. Don’t take the chance. If your cat begins to act strangely or seems to be in pain, take it to the vet immediately.
The Low-Down on Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is exactly what it sounds like: health insurance for your pets. You pay a monthly premium just like you would for your personal health insurance that helps offset the cost of medical care for your pets. While pet insurance can reduce the cost of vet visits, its primary usage is in medical emergencies.
Depending on the provider, your pet insurance might have an upper limit on its yearly coverage amount. If this is the case, it’s better to reserve your coverage for a time when it might be needed in its fullest, rather than simply to reduce the cost of veterinary care. The best time to insure a pet is when you first purchase it, especially if it is a puppy. There aren’t likely to be any pre-existing conditions that would increase the cost of insurance or invalidate your pet’s eligibility.
The cost of pet insurance can range from $15 per month to as much as $75 per month. The primary deciding factors are where you live, the age of your pet, and your pet’s breed. Animals with higher risk factors such as Abyssinian cats or English Bulldogs will be more costly to insure than a Manx or a Harrier.
How often do dogs need to go to the vet?
Puppies will require frequent visits to the vet while they are receiving vaccines, but after a year old, most veterinarians recommend yearly visits. As your dog ages, you should take it to the vet at least twice a year. Dogs often need more frequent veterinary visits than cats because they are more energetic, and thus more prone to injury.
How often do cats need to go to the vet?
While dogs are more likely to be injured than (indoor) cats, they don’t require as many routine checkups. Cats, on the other hand, should be taken to the vet at least twice per year. There are a few reasons for this. Cats are skilled at masking health issues, so you might not know something is wrong until it’s too late. Health changes can also occur rapidly, but early detection can aid in intervention.
Pet insurance can be an expensive investment, but think about your financial situation. Do you have enough in savings to handle a potential emergency surgery? You might pay $40 per month for pet insurance and think it would be better into a savings fund. After three years, you would have a total of $1,440-not enough to pay for most of the major surgeries. $360 per year seems a small price to pay when compared to the well-being of your pet.
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