Spay and neuter your pets -- and then bank their stem cells

Thanks to a company Gallant, you can then use the cells to treat your dog at a later date.

Being man's best friend has a number of perks, one of which is that dogs get access to all the latest medical science, including, as it turns out, stem cell therapy. A company called Gallant is launching a new bank for canines nationwide (not called Barklays, alas) that allows you to cryopreserve your dog's stem cells for future use.

In studies, stem cell therapy has been found to help dogs with conditions such as osteoarthritis. With Gallant's approach, the stem cells are collected at the same time your dog is spayed or neutered. The advantage of this approach, according to the company, is that it allows vets to store your pup's stem cells when the cells are young and healthy -- as opposed to when they're older and potentially already sick.

Like with most visits to the vet, freezing your dog's stem cells a la Forever Young won't come cheap. The initial procedure costs $395, and then there's a storage fee, which you can pay for either through a one-time $595 lifetime fee or annually for $95. If you do end taking advantage of the stem cells, you'll also have to pay your vet to use them. The cost of a follow-up procedure will obviously depend on what kind of help your dog needs down the line, but the way Gallant sees it is that there's the potential for major savings since stem cell treatments can cost less than surgeries and drug prescriptions. The company is also waiving the initial fee for a limited time and has discounted the storage fees.

If you and your cat are sitting at your desk, reading this article and asking yourselves why there's no feline equivalent, rest assured stem cell treatments for cats are on the horizon. Gallant says it recently acquired a company that was working on a treatment for chronic kidney disease in felines, and it's moving forward with additional trials.