BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Our pets are like family, so when they get sick, we want to do what we can to help them. However, much like our own medical bills, vet bills are skyrocketing.

Owner of Holistic Veterinary Consultants in Blacksburg, Dr. Marjorie Lewter, says there are many reasons for the increase in veterinary costs.

“The costs of our supplies have gone up. For example, we use the same surgical supplies that we use in human hospitals,” the veterinarian explained.

As anesthetics, drugs, and antibiotics go up, so does your vet bill because they are the same as human products, according to Lewter.

On top of that, she says a lot of small veterinary practices are being purchased by big corporations, making it harder to lower the prices. In other words, small local businesses can offer prices at a better rate.

However, Lewter says another big factor is surgeries.

“We also see a lot of cancer in animals and that gets to be really costly as well,” said Lewter.

According to Lewter, that is why preventative care and pet insurance are some of the best ways to save money.

Top pet insurances, like Hartville or Care Credit, say that the lifetime cost of caring for a dog ranges from $7,000 to $19,000.

The first year of pet ownership can cost around $2,000. If we are talking about complex emergency care costs, pet parents may pay $4,000 or more.

“It lowers what you are going to have to pay. I love to see people come in with pet insurance,” said Lewter. “It’s a little bit more paperwork for me to do, but I think those people are happy to have it, especially if you have a fracture or need a big surgery.”

In addition, Lewter says that the cost of vet bills is going up because pets are like our family, and we do anything in the world to make sure they are happy and healthy.