10 Ways to Save Money on Veterinary Expenses

VeterinaryIf you have a pet or are thinking about getting one, you know that they can be expensive. Lovable, but expensive. In addition to food and supplies, the biggest expense of owning a pet is likely to be vet bills. When they’re little they need lots of vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery. When they get older they are likely to need special care. Not to mention the routine physicals, vaccinations, and medications required to keep your furry friend (and you) healthy and free from parasites. The good news is that, while veterinary care can be expensive, there are some ways to save money at the vet without sacrificing Fido’s health.

Wellness plans

Some vets offer what they call “


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11 Responses to 10 Ways to Save Money on Veterinary Expenses

  1. Traciatim says:

    Since many frugal tips are simply old ideas coming back again, I’d also have to point out the ‘Old Yeller’ method still works too.

    I know, I know . . . hate me as much as I hate pets.

  2. justme says:

    my Daughter in law spend so much at the vet for no reason whatsoever

    I was raised on a farm ,my DH on a Ranch so we basicaly know how to care for animals ourself
    the little animal hurt his toe I looked at it says yes it is black and blue he will hobble a few days the recover, she took him to the vet 75 dollars later you know what the vet said? exactly what I did

    4 days a go little creature hurt its shoulder I looked at it said its swollen ,not out of place it will heal up in a week or so keep him less active, so she takes him to the emergency vet (200$ ) they take xrays and send him home saying the same thing I did, except they told her to take him to the regular vet monday (40$) later she is told he will heal on his own 😉

    moral of this story
    save yourself some money and use common sense people !

  3. Courtney says:

    Be familiar with 24-hour vet clinics in your area and what they charge BEFORE you have an emergency. I know which one is closest and that they charge $100 for an after-hours visit, plus any additional expenses.

    Buy a pet first aid book. We keep ours in the pet toy bin so it’s handy. We own First Aid for Dogs by Bruce Fogle, which we purchased for less than $10, and it has saved us more than the purchase price already in vet visits. The book is organized by symptoms and tells you if you need to get to a vet NOW, if you can wait 24 hours or a few days, and if/how you can care for the injury or illness yourself. Extremely useful!!

  4. Recritique.com says:

    You would be surprised in the differences in vets. Some are very much more than others. I would shop around and ask before going in. We pay more for our vet but we like him. I know for a fact that other vers are less. And tell your vet you are shopping around

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  5. sunjun says:

    Getting a pet can be really expensive. It is better really to just not get one especially if you don’t have the extra time and money to take care of it.

  6. swimgirl says:

    Must disagree! We live near a vet school. They don’t charge any less, and worse, they recommend every possible test and procedure there is. Everyone I know who has ever taken an animal there ends up with a ridiculously large bill, sometimes for something minor. The Vet School is set on offering treatments that are sometimes experimental, BUT OFFER A CHANCE TO SAVE YOUR DOG’S LIFE. It’s a scam. Get an estimate in writing.

  7. leslie says:

    I agree that vet schools are NOT less expensive. They are a great resource for problems that are above and beyond your regular vet and often the only place to get specialized treatment. But they are at least as expensive as the vet down the street and generally more expensive. Believe me…I speak from experience.

    Also, pet insurance is generally not a good deal. Consumer Reports did an article on it a while back. The conclusion was to put the money you would spend on a premium in a savings account and just use that to pay for the vet bills.

  8. Rose says:

    We looked into pet insurance, but didn’t like the terms, so we started a savings account for our dog at ING. This is one of the best things we’ve done. We only put $20 a week in, but even that small amount, over time, has helped offset the costs of regular visits, and not-so-regular operations. Best of all, the money is all ours, so if we don’t use it, we can put it towards our next pup.

  9. Diane says:

    I love the idea of an ING account for dog expenses! I have an ING savings acct so I can just add a sub-account for that purpose. We lost our 15 yo English Cocker in July, so we’re researching and looking for a dog or puppy now. That would give us a head start on the expenses.

    As for saving on vet expenses, in Louisiana each parish sponsors an annual Rabies vaccination day for dogs and cats @ $7. per pet.

    Also, you can save money (particularly if you have more than one pet) by purchasing vaccines at the feed store and giving them yourself. Any nurse or vet tech can teach you how to do this if you’re not too squeamish – I’ve done it for years.

    I bathe and groom my own dogs. After the initial cost for grooming equipment, there’s little expense involved. If you can’t groom the dog yourself I’d recommend getting a no-groom breed.

    You can also brush your dogs teeth and use a dental pick to remove plaque between vet cleanings. Anytime your pet must have anesthetic for another reason, take advantage of that chance to have the teeth cleaned as well – saves money and stress on the animal.

    Lastly, I agree with justme on not running to the vet for minor problems. I don’t take my kids to the doctor every time they get a bruise, so I definitely don’t do it with the pets! If it’s not truly an emergency, watch and wait… use your judgement.

    An excellent reference book is the “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” – on Amazon for $20.99 new.

  10. Renee says:

    When you get into the chronic conditions and are doing treatments at home, ask for the vet to write a presciption for things such as sub-Q fluids. My vet was charging 15.00 per bag (used once a wk.) Sam’s Club Pharmacy charged less than 2.00 for the same bag! Another vet in the area was charging 60.00 per bag. UNBELIEVABLE! Information is POWER and the difference between being able to treat a disease or being forced to euthanize.

  11. Molly says:

    Be sure to crunch the numbers with those “wellness” plans… as far as I can see they are designed to fleece rather than save. I know they are probably meant well, but you pay up front quite a bit IMO for services that are not necessary.

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