No matter where you live, acquiring four-legged, “furry family” members can be costly! Forget about the expense of buying them from a pet store or a breeder – those are one-time, upfront costs. But even if your pet comes to you “free-of-charge,” the ongoing, “maintenance” of a healthy pet may be higher than you think.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average American spends roughly $ 350 in medical expenses, per dog, each year, while the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA) estimates the medical cost for dogs more modestly at $ 211 per year. Medical expenses for cats are estimated to be close to $ 180 per year, although most cat owners generally have more than one cat.
Obviously, one unavoidable pet cost is food, and there is a plethora of options from which to choose, ranging from organic and weight-conscious varieties to vegetarian and diabetic fare. Of course, the more “specialized” the food, the more expensive the tab!
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Medical care is another given when it comes to owning a pet. Just like their human “parents”, our “furry family” requires basic medical care to prevent future health problems. For dogs and cats, a yearly check-up is considered routine maintenance. (Some have compared basic veterinary care to one’s annual car inspection. As is the case with the inspection, a vet visit can identify additional issues that need to be addressed; issues that can often be expensive.) Diagnostic testing can easily reach $ 1,000, but could also be as high as $ 5,000. (This does not include surgical care or long-term treatments and medications.)
Considering these costs, perhaps it is wise to consider consider veterinary pet insurance, too. Pet insurance can help offset many pet medical expenses, including annual “maintenance” (wellness exam, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, heartworm and fecal tests, etc.) to illness and emergency services (MRI/CAT scans, surgeries, prescription medications and hospitalization.)
Yes, pet ownership can be expensive – but so worth it!
Pets Best Insurance is located in Boise, Idaho and provides pet insurance for the healthcare of dogs and cats. Jack Stephens, DVM is the president and co-founder of Pets Best and was the original founder of pet health insurance in the United States.
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