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Keeping Your Dog Healthy All Year

Eric Bittman Keeping Your Furry Family Member Healthy Throughout The Year

Pet owners know the bond that forms between people and their four-legged friends. That's why many treat their pet like a member of the family-including when it comes to health care.


Making sure your dog, cat, bird or exotic pet has proper medical care is a key component of responsible pet ownership and it's important to be aware of the costs. Americans spend almost $8.6 million on veterinary services for their pets each year, according to a report by Packaged Facts.

Here are some tips on keeping your pet healthy:

- Bored cats will pick up overeating as a hobby if food is always available.

- Just as an overweight human faces a health risk, so does an overweight cat or dog. Be sure your pet gets plenty of exercise.

- Dogs can be just as stoic about pain and wounds as people. Be alert for abnormal behavior.

- Be aware that even clean pets kept indoors can get fleas.

Fortunately, a pet insurance plan can help you pay for preventive and medical costs, and can remind you to take your pet for a checkup at the veterinarian. Owners may be reimbursed hundreds of dollars annually for preventive care.


Courtesy of evolutionsupply.com

Being fiscally prepared for any catastrophic accident or illness that might be inflicted upon your furry family member is just as important as annual visits to the veterinarian. Your pet can develop illnesses much like ones humans are susceptible to. Cancer-related claims were the third most common claim in 2004, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance, the nation's oldest and largest provider of health insurance for pets. It's also not uncommon for pets to suffer from diabetes, periodontal disease, arthritis and dozens of other ailments you insure your family against.

Medical plans that provide year-round coverage for dogs, cats, birds and pocket pets can start at less than twenty dollars a month for dogs and cats and under ten dollars monthly for pets such as reptiles. Coverage spans thousands of conditions related to accidents and illnesses and helps pay for diagnostic tests, treatments, office visits, lab fees, prescriptions, hospitalization, X-rays, and surgical procedures.

Even indoor-only pets should be protected. There is no such thing as a "pet-proofed" home. Potential hazards loom even in the best-protected homes and many pets have been injured when they accidentally escaped from the home. It is always wise to prepare for the unexpected.

Unlike your health insurance, pet insurance doesn't restrict you to certain providers or networks. For example, VPI lets pet owners visit their favorite licensed veterinarian, whether within the U.S. or other countries. That means you have the freedom to get the best care for your pet. When your pet is ill or requires emergency treatment, you won't want the additional stress of worrying about how you will pay the veterinary bill. After each veterinary visit, a claim form is submitted to the company and the pet owner is then reimbursed.

Knowing that you have taken an extra step to keep your pet healthy will provide you with peace of mind.


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