How to make your responsibility easier

By DR. FRED SELF / Veterinarian

Owning a pet is a responsibility not a right.

For centuries, royalty owned dogs to use as heating blankets. In later times, exotic pets like snakes, birds and lions became all the rage.

As years went by, the commoner became more able to own pets as well. Once again the dog made the scene — this time, not only as a heat source, but also as a source by which leftovers could be disposed of, when necessary. Whether owned by royalty or the common man, it was necessary for a pet’s owner to be able to afford to care for them.

Because of the current state of the economy, it is harder to afford to take care of pets. We have to plan for our care and the care of our families before we can look to the care of our pets. This is only right. If we are sick or weak, how can we hope to care for our pets.?

However, if we also place other personal items ahead of our pets, then they will begin to suffer. Choices have to be made. Either we have to make sacrifices or choose not to have pets.

Two options have been created to help pet owners pay for the preventative and medical care their pets require.

The first option is Care Credit. Care Credit is like a credit card. If your pet needs care, a Care Credit card can be used. The benefits over a regular credit card are a low interest rate that may not go into effect for several months and the ability to use the card at many locations.

The second option is pet insurance. These companies provide multiple options with different coverage types. They will cover everything from flea control products to an MRI. Unlike Care Credit, the insurance companies require you to pay for services and products up front and then they reimburse you later.

Next time you bring home a new pet, look into one of these options. Not only will they help you conserve your income, but they will also help you provide the best possible care for your pets.


Dr. Fred Self is a veterinarian at Shelbiana Animal Clinic in Columbiana, along with Dr. Charles Thornburg. You can reach them at 669-7717.