One of the reasons I started Pawbly is because I know full well that most people will do whatever they can do avoid making an appointment to bring their pet in to see me. Whether it’s the inconvenience of taking the time out of their busy day, the stress of taking their pet out of the safety of the confines of their home, the idea of being told that “some medical condition might be serious,” the looming diagnostics, impending follow-ups, or the undeniable fact nothing is cheap anymore, people, in general try to avoid me.
The simple truth is that in almost all cases if you are concerned about the health of your pet then I am going to tell you that you should have your pet seen by a veterinarian. The physical exam and the discussion that will follow are essential. I know, not what you want to hear, and not what you want to do, but there are a few secrets that your vet has that benefit your pet far more than you might imagine.
I know that if more of you knew about them you would be less likely to be so hesitant to call us and book that appointment.
Let's start with the companies that make a profit based on your fear and your pets inevitable illness or accident.
Insurance Companies. My honest opinion on them is this; if you have enough disposable income and want peace of mind then get your pet an insurance policy. But remember insurance companies are for profit businesses. They will never be able to pay out more than they bring in. You just have to hope that you get the benefits that you need when you need them. Human insurance companies are notorious for denying claims, and all you can do is hope the same is never the case for you. My advice: if you still think that insurance is right for you then look into the insurance carriers that cover you for accidents and illness only. Here’s why. Your pet’s routine costs should be fairly close to fixed, thus making it easier to allot for them. The unforeseen disasters are the big wallops that will hit your wallet where it really hurts. If you don’t have the ability to put a thousand or two dollars down for a life threatening illness at any given time then think about insurance. (If you want a specific company that I recommend just ask).
There are a few guarantees in life. Very few. If you decide to take on the responsibility of a living creature at some point that pet will get sick. It is inevitable. How can you get your pet the care they need and do it without walloping your wallet? Insurance? Maybe.
But do you know where the best insurance to be found is? At your vets office.
And here’s what should be plastered on every clinics walls: “You want a guarantee? See your Vet.”
Now there aren't many times in life that you are going to get a guarantee. And, in the world of medicine guarantees are elusive and binding and no half-witted doctor wants to give you a binding obligation. I mean, shoot, we aren't perfect, we don’t have the ability to foretell the future. So, it would be crazy to say “guarantee” wouldn't it?
But, this is a word I will throw around, and I will guarantee a few things when it comes to your pet’s care if you are my client.
Let’s start with heartworm disease.
Heartworm disease can be fatal. It is a preventable disease and there are many options available to protect pets against this disease. Insurance? Well, if your pet is tested yearly and kept on a veterinary prescribed preventative purchased through your veterinarian AND if your pet contracts the disease the manufacturer of the heartworm preventive will cover your pet’s diagnosis and treatment. For most pets this is about a $2500 insurance policy. For my clients their heartworm preventative also covers for the intestinal worms it prevents or treats. If your pet’s yearly fecal examination yields a worm on the heartworm label the manufacturer will pay for the fecal test and the de-worming.
Vaccines. Your pets vaccines should be individually tailored based on breed, age, location, and environment. Every vaccine your pet gets is also guaranteed. If your pet gets the disease your veterinarian vaccinated for then the manufacturer will pay to test them AND to treat them. This includes kennel cough and Lyme disease. Which, unfortunately, dogs seem to get even with monthly flea and tick prevention and yearly vaccines. How many times have I called the manufacturer of these vaccines to stand by their guarantee? A lot, almost weekly.
Preventatives, medications, shampoos, food,,,the list goes on. If you buy any product from my clinic and you are unhappy with it we will refund your money or the manufacturer will replace the product. The foods we sell are guaranteed, the flea medications, the shampoo's, all of it. Why? because veterinarians rely on those manufacturers standing by their products. They help us take care of you.
Now, here is where I am going to stick my foot in my mouth. Veterinarians are some of the hardest working, most generous, compassionate, and selfless people around. Most of us own our own practice or work for someone who has spent decades building theirs. We live and work in our small community and word of mouth will kill you. We are, like many other small businesses in your community, there for the long haul and dependent on maintaining this relationship. If your pet needs something and I can help, I will. It is not a matter of how much you can afford, it is merely a matter of whether or not you want to help the pet that you are responsible for and that needs you. I’ll press my boldness further. We will stand by our services, goods, and your pet through thick or thin as long as we are both on the same side, and with veterinary healthcare there is only one side, helping your pet.
Be good to your vet, be better to your pet, and get the best deal anyone can ever give you by keeping your pets care under your vet’s roof.
I guarantee that there isn't anyone who can beat that deal.
If you have a pet related question you can ask me anytime at Pawbly.com. There are a host of people there who can help you and your pet and it is always free to use. Or find me on Twitter @FreePetAdvice.