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Our pets provide us with fun, companionship, and unconditional love. In return, we incur the responsibilities that go along with pet ownership, including veterinary care. The average yearly veterinary cost for a dog is $303 (first year average is $510). The average yearly veterinary cost for a cat is $137 (first year average is $455).
Money spent on wellness and prevention, as well as keeping pets in a safe environment, significantly reduces the risk of illness and injury. It is much cheaper and easier to try to prevent health conditions or to treat them early than it is to attempt to treat a chronic, progressive condition in more advanced stages. Nevertheless, pets do occasionally become sick or injured; thankfully the veterinary profession today is capable of providing virtually the same kinds of care and procedures available for people.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) strongly suggests that all pet owning families assess their financial situation and consider their ability to meet unexpected expenses that may be incurred for veterinary care. For some families, these expenses may be met through existing savings. Others may be able to use credit card reserves or medical payment cards. Some families should consider budgeting for these expenses and still others may want to consider protecting themselves through pet health insurance policies.
For those considering pet health insurance, AAHA offers the following suggestions:
Again, veterinary care can provide your pet with many years of healthy and happy life. Managing the expense of veterinary care can be done in a number of ways; the important advice is to think about it before the need arises.