Save on Spring Check-Ups for Your Pooch

By Amy Loeffler

Typically the advent of the vernal equinox is viewed as an opportunity to tidy up your household, and that includes your furry friend. Spring is a nice time to revisit your pet's health and arrange for annual check ups. As always, preventive maintenance is the cornerstone of any good health regimen and planning ahead for your pet's health expenses can save you some serious kibble too.

Teeth cleaning: Typically February and November are canine dental awareness months and most veterinary offices honor these months by offering discounts for teeth cleaning procedures. However, given the economic slump that has cut across industries, it doesn't hurt to inquire, especially as a first-timer, if a discount would be possible for your pet as you ready him for spring romping. Your vet may be more inclined to give you a discount if you also bundle getting Fido's pearly whites polished with some other procedures or having two pet's teeth cleaned at once.

Buy in Bulk: A check up at your vet's office will most likely include a recommendation to stock up on medications like heartworm and flea and tick preventatives. Resist the urge to conveniently buy from your vet's pharmacy and use a reputable online pharmacy such as 1-800-PetMeds to fill these prescriptions instead. Buying online will allow you to budget according to your own financial timeline and keep you from getting socked with an inflated vet bill at your pet's annual spring check up.

Value-driven Vaccinations: Your spring check up can be a little less painful to your family budget if you plan to get your pet vaccinated at vaccine-specific clinics. Clinics are special events sponsored by an organization that offers vaccinations on premise or through a mobile facility at significantly less cost than your vet's office. Many organizations such as the ASPCA, local health departments, and animal control bureaus offer common vaccinations such as rabies through clinics. Online retailers such as Doctors Foster and Smith sell vaccine serums in bulk as well if you're not squeamish about needles.