The other day I read an article in a major national newspaper that has angered many veterinarians and those involved with the profession by criticizing the rising cost of veterinary care and how impractical it is for people. It angered me, too, because as a student I know the cost of providing quality care is important, but then when you factor in the cost of running a business and in most younger veterinarian’s cases, paying back loans, etc, and the bills get even higher. One thing I think people need to understand is that as pet owners they need to be responsible for planning ahead, even for unforeseen costs.
I have written about my two new puppies, Lady and Mariah, and I adore them. There was a moment with each of them though that made my heart stop…it was watching them take what I thought was a safe toy and bite a piece off, or seeing them take off with a sock and try to hide it to chew on. All I saw was foreign body surgery and the bills that went with it. With that thought in mind, I pulled out pamphlets I had picked up at a conference and bought emergency and accident insurance for each of them. It didn’t cost much in the big picture, less than a hundred dollars each for a year, but as a vet student that was still quite a bit. When I compared it to the cost of surgery for a foreign body though, it was a no brainer.
I have seen veterinarians mention pet insurance to people, and many seem to just blow it off. I think it is important though to introduce clients to the idea; to me, it is a great idea to help pay for those surprise costs that may pop up with having a pet. I have peace of mind knowing I have emergency coverage, because if I suddenly had a bill for $1000 or more, I would be in a tight spot to try to pay for it as a student.