Simple ways to save money on pet healthcare

Jonas Vincent - pet healthcare veterinary clinic Sydney

Photo by Jonas Vincent

Any smart vet clinic knows that many families love their pets, but are worried about vet bills. A common thing that falls to the wayside as a result is regular maintenance. That’s why Fox Valley veterinary clinic Sydney works with a variety of locals in Turramurra and Wahroonga to try and identify ways to help you save money on your family pet’s health.

Here’s some simple ways you can save money on your pet healthcare while keeping your family pets in tiptop condition. 

Think about what you feed your pets

From the tiniest pet mouse through to the loveliest horse in a stable, what your family pet eats will determine the health of your animal long term.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of junk foods out there for pets that are marketed as healthy. Many of them contain high concentrations of fats, sugars and other nasties. Feeding your pet the incorrect food can increase their risk of obesity, digestive ailments and all kinds of problems. Think of it this way: we wouldn’t look healthy or be very fit after a couple of months on a fast food diet. It’s the same for your family pet.

At Fox Valley veterinary clinic Sydney, we only supply healthy, nutritious pet foods. We stock Royal Canin for cats and dogs. Not just for standard nutrition, but to help with specific health conditions as well.

Beyond the Royal Canin range, we also offer Oxbow for pet rabbits and guinea pigs. This complete and balanced diet is recommended by the top exotic veterinarians around Australia. It has also been proven that feeding your pocket pet the correct nutrition can help prevent dental disease and obesity.

If in doubt, ask! We’re happy to help with the nutrition advice you need to feed your pet in a healthy manner.

Use healthy treat options

At Fox Valley veterinary clinic Sydney we know all treats are not created equal. What most pet parents don’t realise is that many of the better treats for pets come straight from our pantry!

Instead of store-brought treats, give your dog cooked chicken, raw carrots and apple slices, and peanut butter kongs. With your choice of peanut butter, also make sure that it doesn’t contain the sugar substitute Xylitol which is highly toxic in small amounts to cats and dogs. They’ll be just as happy and obedient. Actually with cooked chicken on the menu, probably more so!

To help with treating your cat, cooked chicken is great. Human grade is often better than pet grade as much of the animal meat on the cat market has been sprayed with chemicals that can cause cancer. So when you’re cooking up a chicken, set a tiny bit aside when cooking and in a tupperware container in the fridge for your cat. The occasional bit of fish doesn’t go astray either.

NOTE: We don’t recommend raw meat or mince for your cat or dog due to the risk of salmonella.

Treating your rabbit can be as simple as breaking out the leafy greens. Broccoli, celery, bok choy, brussel sprouts and spinach leaves will get bunny noses twitching in delight. You can also treat with 1 to 2 tablespoons of fruit and uncooked carrot, capsicum and sweet potato.

Pocket pets need healthy treats too.  Photo by Ricky Kharawala

Pocket pets need healthy treats too.
Photo by Ricky Kharawala

Pet rats love a good trip to the vegetable and fruit crisper as well. Try a rat sized fruit salad! Apples, pears, banana, melons, stone fruits, berries, and citrus fruits make great inclusions. Or to tempt a savoury palate, you can’t go past broccoli, carrots, Asian greens, celery and fresh parsley.

Your family pet doesn’t need meaty, grain based treats to feel rewarded. Opting for the healthier treating options is a great way to keep them healthy between meals. And make them feel happy and special, too.

Take advantage of free pet health checks

At Fox Valley veterinary clinic Sydney, we want to make looking after your family pet easier. That’s why we offer a variety of different health checks for your pet.

We take part in Dental Month and offer free dental examinations. And have trained our groomers to spot signs of skin disease as part of our Pooch Parlour grooming service.

We also offer our famous pet slimmer’s clinic completely free. Our vet nurses put together your free diet and exercise plan so you can get your family pet back to a good weight again.

Plus our vet nurses are always available on the phone or at reception to help with any questions or concerns you may have. So don’t be afraid to take advantage of our advice!

Get pet insurance

One of the most common barriers to insuring our pets is that we see them as fit and healthy at the puppy or kitten stage and can’t imagine old age. But getting older isn’t the only reason why you should invest in pet insurance.

Your family pets can have hereditary health issues. They can also catch diseases, develop cancers and other illnesses. And just like the kids can get a little carried away at playtime and end up with broken bones or other injuries, pets can too.

We’ve all heard enough stories about the silly things pets will do and eat. We also know it can turn from an amusing story to a vet visit pretty quickly!

Undertaking your pet insurance at an early age helps you save money in the long run. And you can choose pet insurance that covers a wide variety of medical and treatment costs. Including taking out cover that focuses on accidents, surgery and misadventure if that is all you want to pay for.

Tucking away a little each month into insurance has given peace of mind to many of our vet clinic community. We highly recommend it to you, too.

Keep the vet clinic visits regular

At Fox Valley veterinary clinic Sydney, we do what we can to remind you to visit our vet clinic for the regular pet healthcare maintenance stuff.

We notify you when your pet’s next vaccinations and visit is due. Dr Alex hits the desk every couple of months to put together our regular printed newsletters. We share on our Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can stay up to date with specials, health checks and promotions. And we’ve even set up an online newsletter you can join to get news via email.

Oh, and the vet nurses love it when you call or drop in for a bit of advice or to stock up on what you need to make your at home pet healthcare a breeze.

But it has to come from you, too.

You know that feathered, furred, finned or scaled friend of yours trusts you to do the right thing by them. They eat the food and treats you give, follow you wherever you choose to take them and (generally) listen. They also appreciate everything you do. From the poo scooping through to the snuggles, they know you are a human that has their back.

Providing your family pet with regular healthcare and access to a vet clinic is part of that love and care.

And it has a cost effective side to it as well.

It’s much easier to immunise against Calcivirus than suffer the loss of your pet rabbit due to disease. It’s far simpler for your cat to be eating the healthy stuff than to possibly treat them later on for dietary related diseases or obesity. It’s a lot easier to brush your dog’s teeth and get a regular dental exam than it is to pay for teeth extractions and dental work.

And it’s much cheaper with the right pet insurance and when you’re proactive about pet healthcare. Fox Valley veterinary clinic Sydney is available to talk you through the process if you are unsure about which pet health insurance is right for you.

We humans know that exercise, diet and checking in with the doctor when we notice anything are the key to staying well. The same is true of our animal friends.

Prevention is always better than cure. And it’s the simplest way to save money on animal healthcare, too.

Need to find the answer to your pet healthcare questions? Call Fox Valley veterinary clinic Sydney on (02) 9489 4805.     

About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.