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Ensuring that the price of a pet adds up

Ensuring that the price of a pet adds up


They’re selling pet health insurance at my grocery store. It’s a product that has evolved to keep pace with the advancements in veterinary medicine and the incredible cost of treating pet ailments.

Our beloved standard schnauzer Roxy is in need of some surgery. One of her lumpy bumps is out of control and although it’s not cancerous, the baseball-sized mass on her butt needs to be removed. During her 10 years of life, Roxy has been in good health, except for the thyroid problem that’s treated with an inexpensive prescription. We just started her on an anti-inflammatory to help with her stiff muscles and that’s a more expensive drug but it’s worth the cost to improve her quality of life.

Over the past 10 years we would have spent much more on insurance than the annual vet check-up bills have cost. You need to purchase the insurance when your pet is healthy, as coverage doesn’t apply to pre-existing conditions. It’s a gamble. Vet bills can run into the thousands. It’s hard to put a price on your pet’s life.

Ultimately pet owners need to remember that their furry companions are relatively short-lived compared to themselves. Not to be morbid, just realistic. We hope they will be with us for as long as possible – about 14 years for the average dog. Losing a pet is hard, we grieve, we ponder whether or not to get another one. Many pet owners decide to love again. Roxy is my third dog and there were others, dogs and cats, who were family pets during my childhood.

I love my dog. I talk to her. I have a voice that I use when I speak for her (she has a bit of a lisp and a preoccupation with the cat.) I kiss and hug her and feel myself relaxing as we cuddle on my bed when I get home from work. We all love her, even the cat, I suspect. She’ll get her surgery. It’s going to cost more than we anticipated but it’s still a small price for all that she’s given to us.