Cats and Dogs: Affording Your Pets’ Medications
It can be tough to afford your pet’s medication if he has a medical condition or is a senior who needs consistent supplements or vitamins. In today’s tough economic times, as it is, it seems that pets are the first to suffer – you often see pet food banks popping up, and hear of animals sometimes going without things they have become accustomed to having…
Particularly if your pet needs a surgery or medical procedure, and has needs for pre- or post-operative medications, pain killers, antibiotics et. al. this may pose a large and looming issue to your personal finance plans… surgeries aren’t cheap. Medications aren’t cheap these days either.
But there are a few things that you can do to afford your pet’s medications.
- Look for pet prescription programs. Many places offer pet prescription cards – simply Google it and you will find many options. From heartworm meds to Rimadyl to eye drops or ear infection meds, these cards cover at least some if not most of the cost of the pet’s medication.
- 1-800-Pet-Meds offers discounts and many times has additional coupon codes for reduced prices on pet medications across the board Go to their site or call 1-800-Pet-Meds. They even have free shipping on orders over $39.
- Ask the vet if alternative courses of treatment are available. Or at least explain your situation and ask if they can give you a discounted price or rate for the pet meds.
- Ask your vet if he/she has sample medications available if you have a good-standing or long-standing relationship with them. Many vets – just like our human doctors — do have samples available for you to try or take home.
- You can always try contacting Humane Societies, the local SPCA, APL or other large rescue group to see if a trade (for food or supplies) may be set up, or if they have extra medicine for people in need. It’s worth a shot, right?
- If you bought your cat or dog (or other pet) from a breeder or pet shop (if you bought from a pet shop – read #1 in this article right now), read your contract thoroughly to see if there is a clause or any language anywhere in it that helps with pet medication for a time period or if they help with illnesses or surgeries or medications should the pet fall ill.
- Another option you can try is a veterinary school. I went to Colorado State University and took my two cats in college to the discounted program thru the University’s renowned Vet School.Students are overseen by licensed veterinarians so your pet care is always in capable hands. If you have a vet school close to you, I HIGHLY suggest you take your pet to be seen by them. They will assess its medical needs and dispense the medication at just a fraction of what a regular veterinary office would charge… this is particularly helpful, like it was for me, for college kids with dogs and cats who need medication or treatment.
- Pet insurance is always an option. There are a ton of companies out there, from Trupanion to VPI, which will help you out with covering anything from a broken bone to major hip dysplasia to basic antibiotic medications for an infection or post-operative situation. Check into them well and be aware of your co-pay, premium and what is covered and what isn’t. Pet insurance can be tricky – don’t forget it. Read this article from MSN Money for help.