Lifestyles 55 Articles
Pets like their owner can get sick and injured. We have universal health care coverage  in Canada, yet our government does not cover pets’ diagnosis and treatment. Pet owners are financially responsible when their pets get sick. Emergency care, medical treatment or surgery can be costly. Pet owner should consider the financial risk before adopting a pet and prepare for the unexpected.

If there are not enough savings to cover the emergency treatment expense, pet owners should consider pet insurance. There are about 2% of North American pets covered by pet insurance, yet there are 20% to 60% of European pets insured. Pet insurance helps alleviate most of the pet medical expenses. There are a variety of coverages and plans available, each charge a monthly premium based on pet’s breed, age and health condition. Insurance plans can cover accidents, injuries or sickness. The more comprehensive the coverage, the higher the premium. However, buying pet insurance is both an economic and an emotional decision that needs to be based on personal financial situations and what pet owners are willing to pay for peace of mind. If you cannot find the pet insurance plan that suits you, consider starting an emergency savings fund for pet care or applying for financing services. Companies, like Medicard, will provide pet owners a loan or credit card to cover their pets’ medical, surgical and dental services, once approved.

Other than insurance coverages and Medicard, your local veterinarian may have financial solutions which can help in a medical emergency. Dr. Zheng, a veterinarian and owner of Animal Hospital of Manitoba, sees many pet owners struggle with financial decisions about their pets’ diagnosis and treatment. This often leads to sick or injured pets being euthanized. To try and avoid that, Dr. Zheng decided to launch the Veterinary Services Subsidy Program to help pet owners in need. The subsidy program gives pets and families a chance to recover from a crisis, and not have to face a heartbreaking decision, a reality faced by many families.

How does it work? Dr. Zheng will subsidize 50% of the veterinary services the pet needs (up to a total of $500, and maximum $250 discount). The owner is responsible for paying the full examination fee and the remaining 50% of the diagnosis and treatment expenses. This program may be used only once per year per family. All remaining fees are due upon discharge of the pet from the hospital. The discount applies to veterinary services only and does not include pet food, medications or pet supplies. Animal Hospital of Manitoba is the only veterinary clinic in Winnipeg that provides this kind of subsidy program. Since the program was first launched in 2013, over 422 families have benefited from this program, saving $101,500. If you would like more information, please call (204)-586-3334.

Author: Lifestyles55
Lifestyles 55 is a Winnipeg paper that provides readers in their 50s and older with information on matters affecting their daily lives.
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