(WXYZ) - Unless your only pet is a goldfish, chances are your'e finding those pet care costs going up every year. And and if your dog or cat needs special medical care, the costs can have no limit. But there are ways to bring those costs down.
Chris Smallwood can't imagine not having Leo her English Bulldog with her.
But she knows this cute pug will be pricey. The Bulldog she had before Leo cost her more than 2 thousand dollars in care before he died.
"Pneumonia, his airways stayed blocked, ear infections, things like that," Chris says.
Mike Bork says even routine health care for his German Shepherd is soaring.
“It's like everything else. Everything is going pretty pricey these days," Mike says.
Basic heartworm, flea, and tick medicine can cost 500 dollars a year. And if your dog or cat gets really sick, the good news is that cancer or heart disease is now treatable in pets… but the bad news… the sticker shock.
"Many people don't realize there are cardiologists, anesthesiologists, a lot of specialists for pets,” says Veteranarian Dr. Liz Gigias.. “Going to a veterinary specialist can cost thousands of dollars."
For that reason, Dr. Liz suggests people either set up a separate savings account for unexpected pet costs, or buy pet health insurance. But she says check an insurance plan carefully before you buy.
"Most will not cover pre existing conditions, so if you have a German Shepherd with hip displasia, that will not be covered."
Dr Liz also suggests buying in bulk, such as 6 months of medicine at a time
If it's still too high, ask your vet for the prescription, then shop it to stores like Target, Walmart or Sams Club… where a $50 antibiotic can cost as little as $4. Even frontline -- which can cost 20 dollars a month -- is now offered as a generic.
"There are generic products for heartworm preventative too..."
Our partners at Consumer Reports also recommend that you comparison shop for veterinary care. They suggest using the cost of a physical as a benchmark.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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