If you have pets, you have probably heard of pet insurance. Although this can be good for many people, I personally found a different and cheaper way to save for any health problems with my pets.
As I sat in the veterinarian's office the last time I had my dogs in for a checkup, there were pamphlets everywhere about this pet insurance. I looked at the chart, and realized that my dogs, already being 7 years old, would be a HUGE premium, compared to if I had started it when they were puppies.
But I have heard some horror stories about pet insurance. I am sure it all depends on the company you use, and there are a many of them out there. But a friend had a dog become quite ill, and many of the tests that were needed for diagnosis were not covered. Her pet insurance covered her pets more for "accidents" rather than for illnesses, but both can be very costly, sometimes forcing you to make a horrible decision, based on your bank account.
I did not want to be in this position if I could help it. I thought, lets face it, when our beloved pet is sick, we seem to be able to scrape the barrel for a few dollars towards any treatments in an emergency, and the annual checkup, so why not prepare for it ahead of time?
Start a savings account for your pet today. Start with what you pay each year for your shots and checkup, and divide that by 12. Start putting that in the savings account each month. Get it automatically transferred from your main checking account. For example: If you pay $120.00 at your annual checkup for your dog, then you would put $10.00 per month in your savings account. Now see if you could afford more than that per month. This extra would be put towards any other medical issues that come up.
Obviously the less you put away the longer it will take you to save up. But if you have an older dog or cat, it wouldn't hurt to put extra money away per month now, so that you can be ready for any special issues such as "special diet food for senior pets" or extra procedures such as "teeth cleaning".
Medical care for your pets can be expensive, but so can those premiums, so if you can put the cost of the premium away each month, especially from when they are a puppy or a kitten, you can have that money ready, plus you will reap the interest.
This way you can decide yourself about tests you want your pet to have done, because you will have some money available to you, and not have to wait for the insurance company to pick and choose which tests they will cover. If you can find the money to pay the premium each month (and that pet insurance is NOT for the annual checkup) as well as the extra needed for the annual checkup, then you can be putting that money away in your own savings account for your pet.
If you are lucky enough to have a long healthy life for your pet, then you will have a savings account of money that you can choose to save or spend on whatever, rather than never seeing it again once it has been spent on pet insurance premiums.