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When we decide to introduce a pet into our lives we make a commitment to do the best we can for it regardless of the cost. Unfortunately, we can be unprepared for unexpected vet bills when the pet has an accident or experiences health problems. None of us want to be faced with a decision about extending our pet’s life if money is the barrier to this happening. When times are tough and we need to watch our pennies there are some things you can do to help keep your pet healthy.
1 Vaccinations are essential to help keep your cat or dog free from several nasty diseases that lurk around out there. The cost of vaccinating your pet is a fraction of the cost of treating these sometimes fatal diseases.
2 Fleas and worms are both easily overlooked by pet owners because they are not always noticeable until they have caused some itch or distress. You can avoid having to seek veterinary help for skin reactions and intestinal problems by using a monthly flea treatment and three- monthly worming treatments from your vet.
3 Nutritional supplies for cats and dogs available from your vet are of significantly higher quality than supermarket food and on a per day basis, often cheaper. Our practice offers a loyalty reward card that allows you to purchase 10 bags of food and then get the 11th bag free.
4 De-sexing is a one-off cost for your pet that will help reduce the amount of roaming that male cats and dogs do. They are less likely to be hit by a car which could lead to expensive orthopaedic surgery. Roaming unneutered cats get into fights. The bite wounds can turn into smelly oozing abscesses requiring vet treatment and costly antibiotics.
5 Yearly health checksare included in the price of a vaccination and can detect problems early on, before expensive treatment is required. This is critical for pets over the age of seven who are entering their senior life stage.
6 Dental health is important. When tartar is detected early, just a simple scale and polish will be required to treat dental disease, which is half the price of leaving teeth until extractions are required.
7 Weight management is free at Mount Vets and is done by our qualified vet nurses. Pets can be put on a food programme designed to reduce their weight. This will help avoid weight related disease later in life and costly treatment.
8 Pet insurance is becoming more popular in New Zealand but still nowhere near the levels in the UK and Europe. Pet owners overseas prefer to pay pet insurance premiums than get large vet bills paid (or pay to have their pet euthanized when something unexpected happens).
9 Keep your dogs secure behind good robust fencing and always walk them on a lead. Escaping dogs often get involved in car accidents and unrestrained dogs often get into fights with other dogs.
10 Keep your cats locked in at night to prevent them from getting into fights with the other neighbourhood cats and getting abscesses. Most car accidents involving cats happen at night.