By: Dr. Kristin Tvrdik, DVM
As a veterinarian who has spent my career working in shelters and low-cost clinics, this statement brings with it a wide range of emotions. My goal is to make sure that all owners, regardless of their financial status, have access to the care they need for their pets, however, I also know the value and worth of veterinary medicine.
Veterinarians spend four years in undergraduate school and four additional years earning their doctorate in veterinary medicine. This comes at an enormous cost in both time and money. Additionally, the skilled staff and equipment required to run a successful veterinary practice in this era of advanced medicine and technology do not come at a low price. Veterinarians and owners must invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in staff salaries, training, equipment purchases, maintenance, and product purchases. In the majority of cases, veterinarians are charging appropriately or even under-charging for their services.
Pet owners spend over 30 billion dollars each year on veterinary care or veterinary products. As medicine continues to advance and life expectancies increase in our pets, these amounts will only continue to increase. Owners demand the best for their pets and veterinarians have to charge appropriately for their services in order to remain in business and continue to offer quality care.
On the other side of the issue is the belief that everyone should be able to find and receive care for their pets. The benefits of owning a pet are too great and the need for loving homes for our surplus of animals is too high to say that only people with expendable income should have animals. It is up to us as animal shelters and shelter medicine professionals to help direct people to affordable care options for their pets.
Here are a few tips to help pet owners in need of financial support for their pets’ medical care:
If you need help, remember there are programs and people willing to help you! You may need to get creative, but you can care for your pet on a limited income.
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Wed, Feb 1, 2023, 6:20 PM