Times are tough for everyone these days, and pet owners are feeling the pinch, too. The cost of care for our creatures is going up, along with everything else, so a serious medical condition can put a pet owner in a tough emotional spot.
According to the 2007-2008 Pet Owners Survey from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, there are 74.8 million dogs and 88.3 million cats that live in households as pets. Now, many households with one or more pets are trying to determine how they can cut back on pet expenses.
Here are some suggestions you may want to consider in times of economic trouble that might help you avoid abandoning your pets.
Some ways to get help in providing medical care for your pets.
Help for your pets
- Pet clinical trials
- Student programs
- Veterinarian payment plans
- Helping Pets Fund
- Humane Society grant program
- Pet care insurance
- Practice preventative health care
- Food issues
- Foster homes/breed rescue
- Pet credit card
Pet clinical trials
"There are many clinical studies that are ongoing at The University of Tennessee as there are at other universities," says Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. "Many clinical studies provide care and treatment and follow-up at no expense to pet owners, while others subsidize the cost of providing the medical care."
Currently, the university has clinical studies in the areas of cancer, skin diseases, fungal diseases, orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery and urinary tract diseases. The list of studies can be found at the school's Web site.
Investigators and nurses running the studies can be contacted by referring veterinarians or owners of the pets.
To find out more about clinical projects, Dr. Bartges recommends "owners should find the Web site of the nearest veterinary school and look to see which clinic trials are taking place. Pet owners can also do an online search for information related to research about the specific problem their dog or cat may have."
At the University of California, Davis, there are student-run programs, such as the Community Surgery Service and Mercer Veterinary Clinic.