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Pet care costs jump as wages and supply costs rise

Rescued Mountain Lion Cub
Posted at 1:05 PM, Nov 15, 2022

The prices for vet services are up more than 10 percent compared to last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That's the biggest spike like this in records going back two decades. This is happening because medical supplies and lab tests are more expensive now.

Worker pay has also increased.

“We're finding that people with the higher wages are more motivated to stay in the profession, and that will then ultimately decrease turnover, which then will ultimately have less of an impact on the prices that we need to charge to cover those wages,” said American Veterinary Medical Association President Lori Teller.

Pet care is also increasingly more like human healthcare now with things like MRIs and advanced cancer treatments. Those costs are less than they'd be for a human, but they're still expensive.

This is something pet insurance may cover if you have that.

But not all policies will cover these expenses, depending on the breed. Experts suggest reading the fine print before signing up.

Veterinarians say preventative care, like keeping your pets up on their vaccinations, is the most important thing you can do.

“Obesity is the No. 1 problem in our pets,” Teller said. “And a lot of problems come secondary to being overweight. So maintaining your pet at a healthy weight can go a long way to delaying problems from starting or preventing problems altogether.”

She says many veterinarians are willing to work with you by adjusting a care plan to something you can afford.