Saving Money on Your Veterinary Bills
9) Price shop for your dog’s prescriptions. If the medication prescribed is a human drug, compare the human pharmacy price to what your veterinary hospital would charge. Big box or chain pharmacies purchase medications in bulk and can pass the savings on to you. For example, Costco prices are usually among the lowest, and some human pharmacies offer substantial AAA discounts for pet prescriptions. For veterinary prescription items your dog receives on a regular basis (heartworm preventive, flea and tick control products, prescription diets), you might find the best savings via online pharmacies (bear in mind, not all such pharmacies are reputable—it pays to do the research needed to be sure you’re working with one that is). Yes, you still need your veterinarian’s authorization. You can ask for a written prescription and have it filled as you would your own, or you can contact an online pharmacy with your request and they will request authorization from your vet via a fax transmission. These days, veterinarians are certainly used to receiving such requests.
10) Before considering euthanasia based solely on financial constraints, investigate every other conceivable option. Consider dog or breed-specific rescue associations, borrowing money from friends or relatives (borrowing from a bank might be a silly suggestion these days), applying for a donation from a pet health assistance organization (a comprehensive list can be found at speakingforspot.com), or finding a new, financially capable guardian for your pet. Such exploration of options might just save a life and will do wonders for everyone’s peace of mind.
This article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 54, May/Jun 2009