How much does a vet visit cost?
The cost of a vet visit can vary greatly from visit to visit depending on several factors including the
Size of dog,
procedures being performed,
whether the exam is routine or your dog is sick, whether you have an office appointment or need emergency treatment after hours, and additional factors like
the clinic's location and the veterinarian's credentials.
Ask about prices ahead of time. Do your research and get second opinions if a price quoted for a service or proceedure seems abnormally high.
Tips for Getting Quality Veterinary Care at the Lowest Price: No one can put a price on quality, caring veterinary care- but veterinary prices can vary dramatically from one clinic to another. Veterinary clinics should be willing to quote a price for appointments & services over the phone and this is a great way to save both time and money, while providing your pet the care they need at a price that fits in your budget. (remember to ask about "any additional fees" - as some clinics will break prices down so a procedure will be quoted at one one cost, but supplies, operating room time, etc will be added to the final bill and can total a more than 50% addition to the basic cost.)
Remember that good veterinary care will save you money in the long run, while avoiding medical care can compound a problem and exponentially increase the cost as well as your dog's pain.
Save Money on Veterinary Care by Being Aware and Educated
You have the right to make decisions about your pets health. We always hope that veterinarians place our pet's care as top priority, but veterinary medicine is a business.
Read up on vaccines and ask your vet about the "new vaccine protocol" which EVERY accredited vet school in the US now recommends but a minority of veterinarians recommend to their clients. Veterinary researchers have proven annual vaccinations are not essential and are actually contributing to immune disorders in dogs. Since dogs carry immunities to many diseases for years after a single vaccination, it is unnecessary, expensive, and even harmful to vaccinate them annually. Many vets haven't changed their clinic's recommendations because vaccines make up a large percent of their business.
Average veterinary bills for a healthy medium to large dog run about $60-$120 in a year with no illness or injury. That includes an exam, essential vaccinations, and an annual heartworm test.
Some ways to save money when it comes to veterinary care include the following:
Before scheduling an appointment, ask your vet about their perspective on the new vaccine protocol. A vet following the new protocol is likely to be more invested in your dog's health than profit and less likely to recommend unnecessary procedures.
- Consider visiting a vet outside of your city. Driving to a rural community to visit a rural vet can reduce vet bills significantly over a vet in the city. City vets and country vets receive an identical education, but the fees for services are always lower - sometimes dramatically - at a small clinic in a small town. (We once paid $80 at a small town vet to have a procedure done that our nearest clinic in the city had quoted would be $500 if performed at their clinic)
- Monthly, preferably weekly, give your dog a full body massage while they are sleepy and relaxed. Run your hands carefully all over their body, check the dog over for scrapes, lumps, rashes, torn nails, dirty ears, sores in the mouth, etc. Catching a medical problem early while it is still minor can save a large amount of money.
Our pets rely on us to care for them and they should never go without necessary medical care so we can save money.
- Invest in a high quality food. Grocery store brands, and even foods like Science Diet, ProPlan, and Iams are packed with corn, wheat, and rendered meat byproducts. Feeding one of these may dramatically increase the risk of eventual allergies, liver disease, or cancer. Spending a bit more to buy a super premium food can save hundreds of dollars in the long run. A dog that eats quality food has a healthier immune system- which helps them fight all kinds of illnesses.
- Remember you always have a right to ask how much things cost and if they are necessary. Our pets rely on us to care for them and they should never go without necessary medical care so we can save money, but don't be embarrassed to ask your vet if their recommendation is essential or obption, and why.
- Please remember that if you cannot handle the financial burden of properly caring for your pet then you may not be ready to have a dog. All dog owners should be prepared to handle a $300 to $700 emergency vet bill, whether through savings, pet insurance, or a credit card kept free just for that purpose.