Friday, November 09, 2007

Dog's Health Plan

I pay $30.95/month for each of our dog's health plans. It is the Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan. My dogs have Basic Plus Plan.

This includes annual vaccines, two comprehensive physical exams, annual dental cleaning, and blood and urine analysis. Also included is tests for lyme disease, heartworms, parasites, etc. Another bonus is at any time we can get a health certificate for travel, which usually costs $50/certificate. Also any extra care is given at a 15% discount. I've found their rates to be competitive with other vets in the area.

The best part of the plan is our ability to see a vet at any time without a fee. Typically an office visit costs $45-50/visit. And because Banfield is nationwide in many Petsmarts, you are allowed to go to any Banfield pet hospital and see a vet free. This is awesome. Once while camping, our dog got a tick and we rushed to a nearby Banfield Hospital.

I guess the question is it worth what we are paying for? We pay $371.40/annually. If we took our dogs in annually once, with vaccinations I think we would spend $150-200/year. So about 40% of the cost of our plan. The difference could be saved in case of emergency or if our dogs needed more care beyond the vaccines. However yesterday I rushed my older dog Stefan to the doctor again after finding a tick on him, and I didn't have to pay the $45 office visit fee.

I think it might be a bit cheaper to go ala carte with dog care, but as our older dog is now almost 12 years old, I think it's better to keep a close eye on his health and monitor more carefully than just one quick visit a year.

Of course the cheapest alternative would be to not worry about it, until he's really old and then just put him to sleep. But that just isn't our philosophy.

Do you have a health plan for your animals? What do you normally spend on them annually?


Shelby said...

Don't have a health plan here, but we budget money in each month to put in an envelope just in case one of the animals needs something more than food/litter, and my fish need more than just food.

Escape Brooklyn said...

I just spent $205 to take two 7-year-old cats to the vet for their annual exam/shots. We'll have to spend some more money in a few months to get our female cat's teeth cleaned. Fortunately there weren't any other pricey surprises...this year.