It must feel awful to still be paying for your pet’s health plan after the pet has died. Yet there’s a difference between pet health insurance and the wellness plans that some vets market. While both are designed to help pet owners spread the cost of medical care throughout the year, wellness plans are for a fixed period of time, whether the pet is actually alive during that whole time or not. [More]
Veterinarians Warning Pet Owners In Midwest Over Canine Flu Outbreak That’s Sickened Hundreds Of Dogs
While we humans dread the arrival of flu season every year, we aren’t the only ones who can get sick by coming into close contact with the fellow members of our species. Veterinarians in the Midwest are warning pet owners over a recent canine flu outbreak, telling them to keep sick pooches away from clinic waiting rooms filled with their furry brethren.
Soon it might not just be humans holding medical marijuana patient cards (or something like it): Legislators in Nevada have introduced a bill that would allow pet owners to treat their sick animals with medical pot.
We can all stop scratching our heads and wondering what dimension all those lost socks have disappeared to. Dogs are going around eating them in bulk, apparently, because the smell of your feet is just so irresistible (?). At the very least, one Great Dane seems to have an appetite for the foot frockery: Vets found 43 and a half socks in the dog’s stomach. [More]
Generally, when you go to the doctor for a checkup, you don’t fill your prescriptions right there in the office at the same time that you hand over your co-pay. That generally is what pet owners do at the vet, though. As it turns out, the cheapest place to get your pets’ drugs may not be mail-order pharmacies or your vet’s office, but the chain or independent pharmacy where you get drugs for the human members of your family.
Insurance is always a gamble. Pet health insurance, much like human health insurance, is a bet that your pet’s covered medical expenses over its lifetime will add up to more than the premiums you pay. Following that logic, Howard got a health insurance plan through VPI for his late pet Chihuahua, Tonka. He paid his bills faithfully and filed only a few small claims over the years, until his pet suffered from heart problems in his last six months. This is the very situation that pet owners buy insurance for. How did things work out financially?
Pets provide us with much-needed companionship, cuddles, and photos to illustrate Consumerist posts with. But they’re not cheap to have around. Food, toys, litter, collars, leashes, routine vet care…those are all of the things you consider and budget for when you start cruising Petfinder to look for a new buddy. Only there are larger expenses that are large, sudden, and impossible to plan for. After one illness, having a pet could cost as much as a decent used car. That’s what happened to Carolyn Kylstra, whose cat Hooligan (great name) has cost her $5,550 over three years. That’s an average of $150/month…money that could go far in an otherwise frugal lifestyle.
Tired of paying exorbitant prices to your vet to get those prescription pills, creams, eye and ear drops for your pets? The folks at Kroger hope you are, as they have just expanded the availability of pet medications to all the supermarket chain’s in-store pharmacies nationwide.
There have been amazing advances in veterinary care in the last few decades, and amazing advances in cost along with them. An animal’s serious illness can cost thousands of dollars, more out of pocket than their owner’s medical treatment. (Well, assuming that the owner has health insurance.) Routine vaccinations and preventive care aren’t cheap, either. The New York Times recently offered some advice for people who love their pets, but don’t have a fortune to spend.
Beware any service that’s sold to you with the promise that you can “cancel at any time.” Brian claims that he was misled into buying a $29/month “wellness plan” for his dog. He was told that he could cancel the plan after the first year with no early termination fee. That’s apparently not what the actual contract says, and now he’s stuck paying either a fee, or for another year of the plan.
It’s tempting to skip an expensive visit to the vet’s office when you can just order the same drugs online. Sites offer the exact medications that the vet’s office sells–at much lower prices, without a prescription. It’s not such a good idea, though. Much like buying human drugs online from shady sources (no prescription needed) you may not get exactly what you ordered. The medications that show up on your doorstep could be ineffective, or may even harm your pet.
Most pet owners grumble at vet bills, and wonder whether health insurance for their pets would be cost-effective. Consumer Reports Money Adviser crunched numbers for a hypothetical dog from puppyhood to euthanasia, and concluded that pet health insurance is a sound investment…if your pet has a serious or chronic health condition. Wait, that’s just like health insurance for humans.
It’s not the responsibility of a credit card company to take care of you in an emergency, it’s true. But amid the many reports of canceled cards and slashed credit lines we’ve been receiving was the story of Elizabeth, her dog, a veterinary emergency, and a most inauspiciously timed credit line cut.