Once again, the Petsmart Wellness Plan earns its keep.
We pay $325 a year. It covers semi-annual checkups, vaccinations and unlimited office visits. We also receive a 15% discount on most other services.
The plan also includes a dental cleaning. It sounds kind of ridiculous – or did to me the first time – but it’s actually recommended for all cats over three. At that point, they’re at risk for gingivitis which can lead to tooth decay, etc.
Sandy has had dental problems in the past, including lesions and tooth extractions, so I decided it was cheaper to get her one prophylactically each year. I’m not sure how many more teeth she can afford to lose.
Dental cleanings, if you can believe it, run around $300. They have to sedate the cats, which means they also have to run an organs test. So yeah, it adds up. Add in the cost of a yearly checkup, including vaccinations, and we’re already saving money on services rendered.
But even if we didn’t want the cleaning, I’d think the plan is a good deal.
Now that Sandy is getting older, she’s having to go to the vet more often. Just in the last five weeks, she’s had two appointments about her mobility and one this week because of a bladder infection. She needs a follow-up appointment in about 10 days.
Those four visits would have been $164, and we’ve saved at least another $25 on services like x-rays, urine test, antibiotic shot, etc. Again, the yearly checkup and vaccines would be around $80-100. Even conservatively, that’s $269, or less than $60 more than we pay for the whole year.
A lot of it is peace of mind. We can take her in whenever we’re concerned without worrying that we’re wasting $41. I try not to be the pet owner that runs to the vet for every little thing. But I could. That’s nice to know.
We also got a plan for Patches. She was puking at least three times a week, and the vet wanted to rule out any major issues. We signed her up. Immediately, the exam and most of the tests were covered. The rest were discounted. Since we’d have to come back in a few months for her yearly exam/vaccines, the plan was $25 more than we’d pay out of pocket. And she’d get a dental cleaning.
Don’t get me wrong. The plan isn’t for everyone. Unless you’re concerned about dental care, a healthy cat shouldn’t need to join. If you’re presented with a bill that would make it worthwhile, you can just sign up then.
On the other hand, if your feline is starting to have health and/or tooth problems, this is a great deal.
Note: Petsmart/Banfield are not compensating me in any way for this post. I’m just really happy with the service.
So what about you guys? What are your pet’s medical expenses? How do you minimize costs?