THE SURPRISE: Emergency care
From late-night tummy aches to an injured paw, one in three pets may require emergency care this year. (One eye-opening stat: more U.S. dogs have knee surgery than people.) Those sudden vet visits can pack a wallop on the wallet, too: Pet parents may spend well over $1,000 in a single emergency appointment.
Go to the Vet Regularly
You go to regular check-ups with your doctor, right? Give the same level of care to your pet! Schedule annual appointments with your vet and increase those visits to bi-annual as your pet reaches senior age — 7 or 8 years old in most dogs, 10 years old in most cats.
Pet-Proof Your House
Just as you would for a human baby, keep easy-to-swallow objects out of your pet’s range, especially if they’re young, curious, and mischievous. (Procedures to remove objects trapped in teeth or in a tummy can run anywhere from $1,600 to upwards of $3,000).
Keep Them Safe
If your pet enjoys the great outdoors, make sure they’re in a well-gated area or on a leash at all times. (A heart-breaking stat: 1.2 million dogs a year are hit by cars, and if surgery is possible, it can cost thousands of dollars.)
Out of the 183 million pet dogs and cats in the U.S., only 1.2 percent are insured. While pet insurance averages $44 a month, the cost can be well worth the investment to safeguard against sudden, astronomical hospital bills (the average cost to treat stomach problems, a top illness in both dogs and cats, is $6,500). The upshot: Many pet insurers pay out around 90% of the total costs.