smart spending

5 ways to save money on your dog

Health insurance
4 of 7
Veterinarian assistant checking dog's heartbeat

Buying health insurance will help you avoid excruciating decisions about whether you can afford to treat your pet for an illness, says Loran Hickton, former executive director of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.

"At the very least, all pet owners should seriously consider (a policy) that covers emergency care," Hickton says.

Ask if your vet recommends any particular coverage for your pet, Hickton says.

And visit the pet health insurance group's member Web page, which allows you to request a quote from each member company. Type out all of the pertinent information about your pet beforehand so you can easily cut and paste it into the contact form for each company.

"It's fine for pet owners to not have insurance as long as they realize the risk and have the liquidity to cover care," he says.




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