If you’ve got a pet, you know that expenses are climbing—along with prices on most consumer items in Thailand. In addition to pet food, supplies, toys and treats, pet owners must factor in grooming, temporary lodging, and—perhaps most costly— neutering, spaying, vaccinations and other medical expenses.
However, there are several ways to save money on your pet’s healthcare.
• Don’t skimp on visits to the veterinarian—particularly yearly exams. It’s much more expensive—and risky—to treat illnesses than to protect against them. There are many excellent vets in the Pattaya area, so shop and compare fees for preventative care.
• While some vaccines are optional, others are essential in preventing serious diseases. Never skip any required shots, but do talk to your vet about personalizing your pet’s vaccine protocol.
• Spaying or neutering your pet can save a lot of money by preventing serious health problems, including uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers. Again, shop several veterinary practices for low-cost surgeries.
• Dental disease can lead to heart and kidney problems and expensive procedures. Start a dental routine early in your pet’s life to keep teeth and gums healthy. Ask your vet what products to use and how often. Don’t use toothpaste made for people, which contains fluoride and may irritate your pet’s stomach.
• Flea and tick infestations can cause a host of costly medical problems from minor skin irritations to life-threatening blood loss. Stick with a topical flea and tick solution to keep the critters at bay, or seek treatment from your vet. Use products as directed and never use dog products on cats.
• Don’t smoke. Secondhand smoke can cause asthma, bronchitis, lymphoma and oral, nasal and lung cancers (in you as well as your pet). Quit now and you’ll save money on vet bills. At the very least, avoid smoking around your pet.
• Good quality pet food is often more cost-effective than a homemade diet or cheap alternatives. Your vet can advise you on brands. Avoid overfeeding your pet, which can lead to obesity and other health problems.
• Finally, you can save on the price of a visit to a groomer through weekly brushings and regularly trimming your pet’s nails. It’s good for your pet, it will reduce the amount of hair floating around your home, and your cats will have fewer hairballs.