A rather clever ad for Frontline Flea and Tick Spray is turning heads amongst the trendwatchers at The Coolhunter, a UK-based site dedicated to finding the latest and greatest in art, design and advertising throughout the world. The ad in question was created by Perwanal Saatchi & Saatchi, the Indonesian arm of the ad agency giant. When viewed from above, the giant floor sticker makes office workers look like fleas swarming all over a besieged mutt. Evidently this dog’s owner doesn’t use flea and tick spray.
Veterinarians are taking their message to your television set: prevention is cheaper and better for your pet.
On a recent segment on the CBS Early Show, Dr. Sheldon Rubin, president of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, emphasized the importance of preventative care in a down economy. He pointed out that the diseases and pests you keep your pet from catching mean much lower vet bills in future. But people tend to put off preventative care when the economy goes south, as shown in a decline int he number of vet visits in the United States, he said.
“for the cost of a weekly visit to Starbucks, you can provide flea, tick and heart worm protection for your pet. If you let that go, it can cost you thousands in the future,” Rubin said.
While there are plenty of good treatments to help out your pet if they become sick, a more common sense approach is to make sure they don’t fall ill in the first place. Prevention is generally accepted as a smarter, and cheaper way to maintain your pet’s health, and now that bit of wisdom is backed up by hard data, courtesy of a study from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
According to the study, it costs $25 for a yearly test for heartworm disease for a 25 pound dog, and monthly pills come to $60. If that dog had to undergo treatment, it would need an exam, bloodwork, radiographs and injections, all totaling $500. And that’s just for a straightforward case. Any complications could push the cost into the $1000-plus range, and many dogs can die or suffer from a shortened lifespan, even if treated.
Fleas and ticks can also run up costs if not dealt with ahead of time. Prevention costs $20 a month for a topical medication for the same 25-pound dog, while treatment consists of an exam, diagnostic testing, and 30 days of antibiotics, which can go anywhere from $200 to $3,000.
And kennel cough is another problem area. An exam and vaccine is $105, whereas treatment, consisting of an exam, radiograph and medication will run you $270, and if pneumonia develops, hospitalization and treatment can go from $1,200 to $1,600.