01/14/16

Health Insurance for Dogs

To people who love their dog, pet ownership isn’t about having a little fun with a cute little puppy for as long as it holds your interest and then forgetting about it. As it becomes evident to anyone who polls dog owners for the bond they enjoy with their pet, dogs really do become a member of the family. And most people would rather deprive their children healthcare before they deprived their dogs of it.  Such dedicated dog owners don’t just take their dog to some general-purpose vet when he falls ill. They take them to specialists – orthopedic Mt Pleasant veterinarians, cardiac veterinarians or ophthalmologist veterinarians. The bills usually run into the thousands. If you can afford to pay for the treatment, specialist veterinarians can pull off near-human feats for your dog. Basically, it comes down to being able to afford it. So does health insurance for dogs make sense? Do you pay for it and then rest easy like you do with for your family?

To a dog owner the idea of being unable to pay for a health care procedure for their dog is the stuff of nightmares. So they should get the health insurance for dogs that comes specially designed for dogs’ needs, shouldn’t they? Well, it depends on how much they are willing to pay; it depends on whether they can get the right kind policy.

Sometimes, when veterinarians have to put a dog down because the owner can’t afford the $4000 bill for a spinal disc problem or $2000 for a fracture, they tell the owner that if only they had thought to buy the health insurance for dogs that’s available, their dog would completely have been covered.

But as consumer groups will tell you, health insurance for dogs isn’t that simple. Good policies cost about $300 a year. If a dog lives for 15 years, that’s thousand dollars. Who can afford that? In general, lifetime healthcare bills for your average healthy dog comes in at about $6000. That’s a lot less than you would pay for health insurance every month and then pay for whatever the health insurance doesn’t end up covering. If your pet comes down with a disease that requires long-term care, it could double your insurance bills. For your average dog that lives a healthy life, insurance doesn’t save you any money at all. You should just save up every month whatever you would pay in premiums.

Of course, insurance companies have a different argument. They feel that the “average bill for a healthy animal over its lifetime” argument hardly make sense. Who is to know what dog will be healthy and what won’t? If you do decide that you will go with insurance, you should probably make sure you shop around and ask questions of Shuler Veterinary Clinic. You want a policy where prescription drugs are covered; you want one that asks for the smallest co-pay possible and has no cap how much is paid out. You want to know also if long-term chronic problems are covered.

09/28/14

Mt Pleasant Vet Clinic Cat Food Debate

The debate at dog boarding kennels and other veterinarians and cat owners in general over what kind of food to feed cats is just as heated as the long standing debate over whether cats should be raised indoors or outdoors. It’s generally agreed that cats are carnivores and that they should be fed some sort of meat product, but the form that that meat takes is hotly contested. This is why there are all sorts of cat food products on the market and sitting on the shelves of your local pet store. There are different factors that contribute to the type of cat food that cat owners ultimately buy for their pets.

cat foodSome cat owners don’t even shop at the pet store or their favorite boarding kennel. They are convinced that cats should be fed raw meat only. It’s argued that this is the natural order and that cats should eat the raw flesh of prey as they would in the wild. The advantage to feeding your cat raw meat is that it is the most “natural” product you can feed your cat, but the downside is that this is very expensive. Imagine stopping by the meat aisle to pick up steak for the family dinner, and then an additional steak for the cat. After a while, those pounds and dollars are going to add up and put a damper on your funds.

Other cat owners opt for canned wet cat food. This is a cheaper alternative to raw meat and it manages to provide sustenance that is as close to its natural form as you can get at a more convenient price and packaging. It’s a lower grade quality than meat sold for human consumption, but suitable for cats to eat. Wet cat food is a solid middle option, and it is a popular choice.

Finally, there are cat owners who feed their cats dry cat food. This is the cheapest means of feeding your cat, and it is also the cleanest. Dry food leaves less mess than wet food and raw meat, and also gives off less of an odor. Dry cat food is also a very popular choice of cat food on par with wet cat food. There are some cat owners who believe that dry cat food is detrimental because it’s the furthest from what they are used to eating in nature. Dry cat food sometimes contains grains that are not originally part of the feline diet. Still, it is much cheaper than wet food or cat food, and most cats do fine on a dry food diet. Many animal shelters feed their cats with dry food.

In the end, which cat food you choose to buy depends on your beliefs and how much you have available to spend on your feline friend. As long as you feed your cat regularly with products on the market deemed suitable for cats to consume, the choice shouldn’t matter too much. Whether you choose to feed your cat with raw meat, wet food or dry food, your cat will be happy as long as its bowl is filled.