Patt Morrison for September 13, 2011

Vet sticker shock: how much is too much to pay for your four-legged friend?

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Veterinarians prepare a dog to sterilized in a local government campaign to neuter abandoned pet dogs in Beijing.

Have you ever taken your pet to the vet for what you expect will be a simple procedure only to be hit with an astronomical bill on your way out?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that pet owners can expect to shell out between $9,400 and $14,000 over their pet’s 15-year life span for health care. But a recent survey indicates that most Americans are reluctant to pay more than $500 for veterinary care and as the bill creeps closer to $1000, owners draw the line. You love your pet, but what do you do when the cost of caring for it exceeds the amount in your bank account? Consumer Reports suggests being proactive—if you think your vet charges too much, shop around and don’t rely on your vet for medication, you may be able to find less expensive options other places. They’ve also analyzed whether pet insurance is cost effective and recommend scaling back on the doggy treats—obesity in dogs and cats can lead to a range of health related issues like arthritis and diabetes.

Guests:

Jeff Blyskal, senior editor, Consumer Reports

Dr. Doug Aspros, president-elect, American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA)

Ricky Whiman, spokesperson, Pasadena Humane Society


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