You just got the vet’s bill and it seems your pet’s healthcare is costing more than yours. However, you want that little pooch or long, slinky feline to be in tip-top shape– so how do you manage the high-cost of their care?
Our pets can be like members of the family. And just as we wouldn’t let a loved one suffer from an illness or injury, we aren’t going to stand by and allow it with our loyal, four-legged companions. However, there are many points of view. Some ensure their puppies and kittens are fully immunized and receive boosters. Yet, as their pet ages, they let nature take its course.
Some will not cover the cost of a needed surgery or expensive medications and opt to have the animal euthanized. Yet, the reasons for doing so aren’t all passive, heartless, or from an inability to physically keep up with the care of their pet. Some are due to the cost.
The existence of pet insurance for the common household is relatively new, although Lassie the TV dog was insured back in 1982.
In 2007, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association began to establish universal standards for best practices and ethical dealings within the pet insurance industry. And today, there are approximately one dozen pet insurance companies in the US with the average monthly premium being $40.
The coverage of each policy differs but it runs akin to our personal healthcare insurance. There are varying deductibles, co-pays, and rules for choosing vets.
Pay Now, Pay Later, or Don’t Pay
The most common veterinarian procedures are repairs to hips, ligaments, leg amputations, and bone fractures. However, certain cancers, kidney diseases, and complex digestive disorders are catching up quickly. How much would you pay for such procedures? Several hundred to several thousands of dollars.
Most of my friends and family members do not own pet insurance. They take the risk and handle each need for the vet on a case by case basis. They figure in the cost and suffering of their pet against their ability to pay and the age of their pet. Therefore, if they have the money and their pal is youngish, they’ll pay. Otherwise, they may not.
How do you determine how much to pay for your pet’s care? That may not be up to you completely.
What about those grandkids? Do they expect Spot to meet them at your door? Or does your own “Lassie” accompany them around the neighborhood?