Vet Bills—It doesn’t take long for the bill to get over a thousand dollars or more these days at the vet’s office for seemingly small emergencies or even routine visits. Have you noticed? And how many breeders have been told stories of their sold pups either not receiving medical treatment they need or being put down because the owners could not afford the surgery or treatment? The high cost of keeping dogs these days sometimes forces even the best intended families to make some tough decisions. Do we take a loan for the $3, 000+ hip or knee surgery the dog needs or do we get the new car to commute to work? Do we spend hundreds monthly on special meds and followup treatments for Fido and not buy the groceries we need? It might seem I am exaggerating here but I have heard these types of discussions and in almost every case the dog loses. These dogs either do not get the treatment they need, are given up to Lab Rescue or simply put down.
To ensure you are never put in this situation or one of your sold puppies is placed in this situation. you should consider getting pet insurance. Most reputable breeders will offer some type of health guarantee, and some states even require a minimum guarantee, often referred to as the puppy lemon law. The AKC has made it even easier for breeders to go one step beyond this basic buyer protection plan with a free 60 accident and illness coverage for each registered puppy in your litter. To ensure my buyers enroll, I preregister the pups and enroll them prior to the transfer to the new owners. If anything happens to that pup in those first two months, they are covered. It encourages new owners to continue the policy, which is very affordable when you show people some of your vet bills for simple things.
One of my girls found dead fish parts left by some fisherman at the river and ate some before I could stop her. Twenty-four hours later, she was one sick dog and spent 3 days at the vet’s for treatment. The bill was over $1600. Fortunately, her insurance covered the entire bill. Accidents and incidents like this happen with our active labs, and many times there is no way to prevent these things. Tendon cuts or pad cuts on glass or obstacles while doing field work, joint injuries while doing agility, a stray dog attack, or worse still, cancer. It is comforting to me, with insurance coverage on all my dogs, to know I do not have to take a loan out, run up a credit card bill or try to cut corners on treatments to save money. They get quality care for their entire life at a fraction of the cost of a yearly exam with bloodwork and vaccines.
If you haven’t considered pet insurance before, I urge you to look into it. There are many plans and options available now to offer peace of mind that your dogs will always get the quality of care and treatment they deserve.