Thursday, October 16, 2003
More Bang for Your Buck: Pet Care
Having a pet these days doesn't come cheap. In fact, last year, Americans spent 18 billion dollars on vet bills. But in tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we found there are ways to cut costs without compromising their care.
(WSVN) --Like so many dog owners, Jenny Weinreb loves her mutt Chance.
But the two of them almost never met.
Jenny says, "We found him approximately a year and a half ago and he'd been hit by a car on US-1 and he had a cracked back and a broken pelvis."
Typically, Chance's surgery would have been thousands of dollars.
But Jenny learned there is a way to save on her stray.
She took her new friend to the Animal Welfare Society of South Florida.
"Itwas probably about 5 hundred dollars total for everything."
Such a low cost because the clinic is run by a non-profit organization.
"Here we not only spade and neuter but all types of surgeries. We also have in-house X-Rays, full laboratory work, and we also have ultrasound facilities."
If you want to try a different vet, try shopping around.
It's best to get an estimate even for the most routine services.
Dr. Maria Oliveira of the Animal Welfare Societysays, "Obviously, everyone wants affordable care. People do care about their animals and do want good care for their animals at a lower cost."
If you want a lower cost on medicine, try heading to your regular pharmacy.
A lot of animals are prescribed people pills - just in a more expensive form.
And when it comes to booster shots, see if your pet can go every two or three years instead of annually.
"As long as you get them their shots and the basic medication they really need, it will keep them healthy."
And if you are concerned about the vet care, pay your bills by credit card.
A federal law allows you to dispute a bill paid with plastic for unsatisfactory service.
"If you do have pets, consider coming here because really, they'll do everything for you."
Now if you're at the buying stage for a pet, check the breed.
Remember some dogs and cats are predisposed to genetic disorders because of inbreeding.
Also remember cats typically have fewer health problems than dogs.
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