How Preventative Pet Care Can Save You Hundreds

iStock / iStock

We really, really love our pets. The evidence? Consumer spending on furry healthcare shot up from $13.7 billion in 2012 to nearly $16 billion in 2016. Those bills can range from the mundane (vaccinations) to the serious (hip surgery) to the somewhat odd (underwater treadmills for cats).

While we may not hesitate to provide for our animals, unexpected and costly vet visits are never welcome. But there is a way to help curb those surprise expenses, and it’s a matter of emulating the annual physicals humans undergo—the vet comprehensive wellness check.

Parade recently looked at data from health insurer Nationwide to spot some expensive ailments that could be avoided through preventative care. Consider the common issue of dental problems in dogs: By brushing your dog's teeth or having a professional cleaning done, you may be able to avoid the average $391 cost of treating dental disease.

Another example: parasites. Fecal exams or anti-parasitic medications can be as little as $40 annually, while treating a rampant parasite issue can cost hundreds.

Vaccinations, spaying, and neutering remain some of the best ways to offset other expensive health complications. As for the kind of wellness exam to schedule, your pet’s breed, age, and overall health will determine what’s best for them, so ask your vet. The doctor may also be able to offer a wellness plan that distributes the cost of preventative care across a set monthly fee.

[h/t Parade]