The Top Reasons Pet Owners Take Their Pets to the Vet

Every year, pets and their owners visit the veterinarian, both for preventive pet health care and to deal with injuries and illnesses. Proper at-home care may prevent minor problems from turning into more serious ones. For example, proper first aid procedures such as keeping minor wounds clean and applying antiseptic ointment can help prevent infections.

Some problems may be detected-and treated-early by examining your pet weekly for lumps, bumps and skin irritations.

Regular bathing and grooming helps prevent many skin irritations and reduces the chance of infection. Upset stomachs can be prevented by not feeding table scraps to dogs. Regular brushing can prevent hairballs in cats. Proper weight control and a balanced diet can lower the incidence of diabetes and inflammation of the colon.

No matter how careful pet owners are, there will be times when pets have to visit the vet.

Currently, there are more than 61 million dogs and 68 million cats in U.S. households. More and more pet owners consider their pets part of the family. As responsible pet owners, they readily turn to veterinary care for their ill or injured family members. Many treatments for animal disease and injury have become very sophisticated. More serious conditions such as broken bones or cancer can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, especially when the services of a veterinary specialist are needed. "Considering that 61 percent of dog owners take their pets to the veterinarian two or more times per year, it really does make economic sense to insure pets," said Jack L. Stephens, DVM, founder and chief executive officer of Veterinary Pet Insurance.

Stephens founded the company so that "pets can live longer, healthier lives despite economic factors."

From minor problems to life-threatening situations, Veterinary Pet Insurance makes necessary care and high-tech treatments more affordable.

Policies cover dogs and cats from eight weeks of age and older. There is no upper age limit.

Rates for dogs and cats are based on species, age of the pet, geographic location and the plan type selected. Birds are insured from three months of age and must be in the owner's possession for a minimum of 60 days. Rates are based on the size of the bird. Rabbits and other exotic pets must be in the owner's possession for 60 days to be eligible for coverage.

Rates for exotics are based on the type of pet insured. The insurance pays for office calls, prescriptions, treatments, lab fees, x-rays, surgery and hospitalization for covered medical problems.

Courtesy of NAPSnet.