Having a pet is a big responsibility: it’s not all fun and games, or cuddles and purring. Whatever the pet, you are responsible for its health and happiness. You need to provide a nourishing diet, a safe environment, exercise, mental stimulation and of course medical care.
Part of providing medical care for your dog is knowing how to deal with common ailments, and learning what actions to take when you’re worried and complaining ‘“my dog has diarrhea and vomiting”. You need to know how you can make your dog comfortable, keep them safe and happy while a less serious, temporary condition passes. You also need to be able to spot more serious conditions and know when to get your dog to the vet for professional care and advice.
There are lots of reasons for a vet’s visit especially when you have a medium sized pet like a dog or cat. These animals can be very independent, and roam more away from your direct supervision – this puts them at risk of infection and injury, and encounters with other dogs and cats. A responsible pet owner will make sure their charges are fully vaccinated and, unless specifically planning to breed them, castrated or neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and the risk to your pet’s health as well as stray dogs or cats. This is on top of emergency visits when they’re clearly sick or injured, and speculative visits a less serious problem simply won’t go away and you don’t know what’s wrong.
In short, visits to the vet are part of the routine for a caring, responsible pet owner. Unfortunately, those visits can be very costly, especially when they’re unforeseen. You can budget for routine trips to the vets – the schedule of vaccinations that punctuate the lives of puppies and kittens – and set aside money for expenses you know are coming, like getting your pet ‘fixed’ as they get older. What can make life difficult are those sudden bouts of sickness and injuries that necessitate an immediate emergency appointment. To do anything other than get your pet medical care right away is unthinkable, but it can also put a lot of strain on you financially, forcing you to weigh other factors than what is best for your cat or dog when you’re making the decision about whether they need to go to the vet.
Pet insurance isn’t necessarily the best solution for everyone – it can be a significant additional expense in itself, especially if your pet has a chronic condition requiring lots of care, but it can also provide a cushion when you need it the most. It ensures that you can make that snap decision when you need to, without worrying about fees, and just get your pet the care it needs.