In these tough economic times, pets can feel the pinch too as their owners cut back on pet essentials. According to The Pert Group and Brakke Consulting who surveyed 1,200 dog and cat owners in November 2011, found that there had been a drop in veterinarian visits by 20% since 2007.
In 2007, almost 88 percent of those surveyed, said they took their pet to the vet. In 2011, that number decreased to 77 percent. Unfortunately, this means that pet owners were cutting back in other areas as well like 28 percent for heartworm prevention, 23 percent reduction for dental products and 20 percent in flea and tick control.
Most vets are willing to help pet owners by delaying larger and more expensive procedures but pet owners should not ignore the medical essentials. According to Dr. Megan Barnhizer, a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital Inc. in Willoughby Hills Ohio, “Prevention is the best medicine. It might be cliché, but it really is true. Heartworms can be fatal, fleas can cause severe allergies and can take up to six months to remove from a home, and ignoring dental products will likely result in your pet needing costly teeth cleaning more often. In these cases, keeping the problem from happening in the first place will save pet owners money in the long run.”
While many pet owners are cutting back or looking for ways to save money by using the internet for prescriptions, a substantial number of pet owners would rather cut back in other areas then to provide substandard care for their pets. After all, most pet owners feel their pet(s) are part of their family and not just an animal roaming around the house.
Some pet owners have even decided to cut back on electricity by keeping their thermostat at 60 degrees during the winter, buying less expensive food and cutting out buying new clothes all together. Not to mention cutting back on holiday spending and buying less expensive pet care products like cat litter without odor control and adding baking soda to control the odor.
Hopefully, as the economy improves our pets will be the beneficiaries.