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What a wellness plan can do for your pet (and your pocketbook)

What is a pet wellness plan?
A wellness plan offers a way to prepay for pet health care services. Different than insurance, a wellness plan often requires a pet owner to sign a contract for a particular time period, usually 12 months. The pet owner then pays a monthly fee and receives a set of services that may include exams, laboratory tests, vaccinations, spaying or neutering, nail trims, deworming, heartworm testing, dental care, and others. Participants in pet wellness plans also often receive discounts on additional veterinary services. Several plans may be available based upon the type of pet you have and how old he or she is. There may also be different tiers or levels depending on the services bundled into the plan. For example, a “puppy plan” that includes spay/neuter, microchipping, and other services may be more expensive than an “adult dog plan” that doesn’t include these one-time services. In addition to the monthly fee, there is often a sign-up fee or one-time membership fee, which is paid up front.

How can a wellness plan help your pet?
A wellness plan makes it easier for you to take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as you suspect a problem without worrying about the cost of the office visit or exam. Getting your pet to the veterinarian early means a diagnosis can be made earlier and treatment can begin earlier—both of which are potential life savers. Preventing health care problems or addressing them early gives your pet the best chance for a long and healthy life.

How will a wellness plan assist you in paying for veterinary care?
Being able to budget for the cost of veterinary care is one of the many benefits of pet wellness plans. Rather than facing a large veterinary bill after your pet’s annual exam, vaccinations, or other health care services, a wellness plan allows you to pay for your pet’s care in manageable, monthly payments.

Will a wellness plan save you money?
Preventing an illness is much easier and less expensive than treating it. A wellness plan allows and encourages pet owners to seek medical care for their pets when needed, rather than putting it off for financial reasons. Wellness plans offer more veterinary visits and services and can save you several hundred dollars each year because of the discounted services.

Does your veterinarian offer a wellness plan?
Pet wellness plans are beginning to appear in veterinary hospitals across the country. Some hospitals have had them for years. Ask your veterinarian if he or she offers prepaid wellness plans to help keep your pet (and your wallet) healthy. 

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