Five Proven Ways to Obtain Discount Veterinary Services

Tired of paying full retail price for your pet’s veterinary care? You don’t have to if your veterinarian gives you a discount on his/her services. And just how do you get that discount? Here are five proven ways to go about it.

1. Shop For It

If you’re looking for discount veterinary services, pick up the phone book or log onto your computer and price shop the various clinics in your area. Inquire about any and all price breaks the practice may offer to select clients. For example, discounts are commonly offered to military personnel (active and retired), police officers, firefighters, multi-pet owners, senior citizens, and students. In addition, many vets will slash fees for rescue organizations, kennels, and people who foster pets.

2. Ask For It

Let’s say your veterinarian doesn’t offer a formal price concession on a particular product or service, yet you really don’t want to leave the practice to search for discount veterinary services elsewhere. What to do? Simple. Ask for a discount. For example, ask for a free heartworm test in exchange for purchasing a year supply of heartworm medication. You’ll be amazed at how many vets will jump at this “deal”.

Here’s an insider tip: Most veterinary practices maintain pet charity funds that the doctors can use to forgive all or part of a client’s bill. Veterinarians are very empathetic individuals. It’s the nature of the profession. Oftentimes, when a client is faced with a life-or-death decision involving a seriously injured or ill (yet curable) pet, finances will weigh heavily on that decision. In these instances, it’s not uncommon for the veterinarian in charge of the case to discount veterinary service fees in order to treat the pet and thereby avoid euthanasia. In the veterinarian’s mind, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

3. Work For It

For amazing veterinary discounts, consider working part-time or full-time at a veterinary clinic. Most hospitals and clinics offer price breaks to employees who have worked for the practice for a specified period of time. And those savings can be significant. For example, one clinic in Houston, Texas offers a 50% discount on vaccinations and heartworm preventative to employees after three months of work, and after five years of employment, all services are free and all medications are offered at cost. Not bad, huh?

As an added bonus, working for a vet will sharpen your knowledge and skills when it comes to veterinary care. You’ll learn how to assess a pet’s health status and learn techniques such as physical therapy, deep ear cleaning, giving injections, giving parenteral fluids, and other skills that you could conceivably apply to your own pet(s) at home. Not only that, for those with the entrepreneurial spirit, learning these new skills could very well open up a lucrative source of secondary income as a pet sitter or home hospice veterinary nurse.

4. Trade For It

There are two ways to trade for discount veterinary services. The first is through bartering. If you have a particular skill that could prove useful to your veterinarian, talk to him/her and see if you can set up some type of bartering arrangement. For example, do you have sales and marketing expertise? If you can offer your veterinarian practical tips on how to market and promote his/ her practice, a barter arrangement is probably only a handshake away. Are you a landscaper, carpenter, plumbing, or handy with tools? If so, you are a valuable asset to any business, especially a veterinary clinic. The possibilities are endless. Just ask.

A second way to trade for discount veterinary services is by volunteering at a veterinary practice. In other words, trade your sweat equity for a discount. It’s not uncommon for clinics to offer the same discounts to volunteers as they do to employees (the one in Houston does). Volunteer work can involve general practice maintenance, kennel help, technician work, accounting, or front office assistance. It’s a rewarding endeavor and one that can prove to be valuable even if you’re not receiving a paycheck.

5. Plan For It

Plan your pet’s elective health care procedures around discount veterinary initiatives promoted by national, state, and local municipalities and organizations. For instance, February is considered Pet Dental Health Month. Veterinarians usually offer nice price breaks (sometimes as high as 50%) on dental procedures during this month, so it makes sense to have your pet’s annual teeth cleaning done in February. Also, October is National Pet Wellness Month; many practices offer reduced fees on preventive health care during this initiative. And there’s more. March is Pet Nutrition Month, April is Heartworm Awareness Month, World Veterinary Day is usually the last Saturday in April, National Pet Week is in May, World Rabies Day is in the Fall…the list goes on.

In addition to these broad scale promotions, many counties and local municipalities hold periodic rabies drives, low cost spay/neuter clinics, and low-cost pet microchip clinics. The discounts on these veterinary services can be substantial, so contact your county or local health departments to find out when these special events are to be held.

There you have it. Five ways to land discount veterinary services. Applying this knowledge in your own quest for a price break can yield big dividends. By shopping for it, asking for it, working for it, trading for it, and planning for it, you’re sure to obtain a discount that will put a smile on your face!

Summer Vet Products

When we think of summer we think of the outdoors and fun with our pets. Then we think a little harder and remember the disagreeable side, such as insects and allergies as well as diseases spread by insects. You need to prepare to meet the onslaught with all the weapons available from your vet/pet care centre. You should get to know your area and what type of dangers your pet is likely to face.

Here are a few of the more common safeguards you need to consider to keep your pet happy and comfortable in summer:

• Annual booster shots. Make sure your pet’s injection regimen is up to date. Especially dogs and cats are more likely to come into contact with other animals, if you visit public places with them.

• De-worming. Worms multiply and mature quickly in the warmer season, and some eggs, such as tapeworm, are carried by fleas.

• Fleas, flies, midges, lice and in some areas, ticks. These carry disease, internal parasites and are unpleasant and harmful to all pets. You can find preparations, internal or external, for all these pests. For some of them injections can help, for others, collars or repellent sprays. There are a great many natural, herbal products available too.

• Allergies and skin diseases affect most animals that are susceptible or have a lowered immunity for some reason. Molds, pollens, insect excretions, certain foods, and great many other allergens affect animals just as they do humans. However in those animals that are vulnerable, allergic reactions most often manifest themselves in their coats and skins, but occasionally in other ways, such as asthma. There are many preparations to apply topically from veterinary preparations to herbal products. Sometimes antihistamines or corticosteroids are administered internally by mouth or injection. Food should always come under scrutiny and often a hypoallergenic diet is the answer.

• Water should always be available, but in summer you need to take into account how much more water your pet drinks. Special water dispenser tanks are available in a variety of shapes and sizes so that you can be sure the pet’s dish keeps topping up with nice fresh water no matter how much he drinks. It should be placed in a shady spot.

• Your pet’s coat. The longer your pet’s coat is the more care it should have. At the beginning of summer you will need to give a thorough grooming in order to remove the loose winter hairs. Brushes and combs of all descriptions are available to suit the texture of his coat. Dogs can be made much more comfortable by clipping or shaving if the heat is really intense, but cats normally don’t need this as they have the nack of seeking out the most comfortable spots for themselves. Other pets, especially if they are in cages or runs, should have access to plenty of shade, fresh air, and for some species, a shallow pond or dish of water to cool down in.

Keep a vigilant eye on your pet; get to know his habits, so that any deviation of his normal behaviour will be an early warning sign to you that something is not right. Enjoy the Summer!

The Importance of Choosing an Accredited Veterinary School

It is very important to consider veterinary technician school accreditation when looking at various schools to get your education for a career in this field. If the veterinary technician school you’re attending isn’t accredited, your education might not be satisfactory to employers, and the credits probably won’t transfer to another school if you continue your education elsewhere. The American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) is considered the gold standard in any sort of veterinary school accreditation. Unless you live in the states or territories of Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Montana or Rhode Island, there are AVMA-accredited schools that you can attend in your area.

Statistics About American Veterinary Medicine Association Accreditation

– There are 172 programs in the United States that have been accredited by the AVMA.

– There are 21 AVMA-accredited schools that offer 4-year degrees (bachelor’s degrees).

– There are 9 AVMA-accredited schools that offer distance learning, i.e. online schooling.

Accreditation Classifications

When programs are accredited they are reviewed by an evaluation site team and accreditation committee, which considers their objectives and standards. Before most programs become accredited, they must go through a provisional accreditation period, when they are deemed to be making significant progress towards meeting the accreditation standards. The school cannot stay in this status for more than five years before either gaining full accreditation or losing its accreditation status. They might either go on probation or have the accreditation withdrawn if they fail to meet the standards within that timeframe. Unfortunately for those early students, graduates must be produced and data must be collected and analyzed before a school can become accredited. This may include a site visit at the end when the school makes a petition for full accreditation upon the production of graduates.

Programs that substantially meet all standards of accreditation according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association are given full accreditation. These are the programs that you should be considering if you’re planning on attending veterinary technician schooling. This way, you will know that your credits will probably be transferable to other educational institutions, and your degree or certificate will be acceptable to future employers. You will also be able to qualify for federal student aid including grants and low-interest loans if you are attending an accredited institution, which is a necessity for most college students these days.

Remember, just make sure any institution of higher learning you consider applying to has full veterinary technician school accreditation, and you’ll be on the right track to getting your valuable veterinary degree.