Veterinarian care and treatment is one of the most expensive aspects of owning a pet. Often when individuals adopt or bring home their pet from the breeder, they are shocked by how much veterinarian bills can cost. In order to better educate pet parents on what they can expect when visiting the veterinarian, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about how much it costs to visit the vet and how you can afford it.
Veterinarian expenses are determined by several factors and can vary from one pet parent to the next. Therefore, while we can provide you with an average based on veterinarian data, it’s important to understand that prices can and will fluctuate.
Yet, having a general idea of what veterinarian treatment costs will help you develop a plan in order to budget and save for these expenses.
In this article, we will cover:
The Basics of Veterinarian Prices
The Cost of Standard Vet Visits & Treatments
The Average Cost of Emergency Veterinarian Care
What Affects Vet Costs?
How To Afford Vet Costs
The Basics Of Veterinarian Prices
According to the ASPCA, the average cost of owning a dog or cat can range from $700 to $1,100 per year, depending on the type of pet you have, their breed, age and size.
When it comes to veterinarian care, pet owners can expect to spend up to $500 on recurring medical costs.
As a new pet owner, understanding the costs of medical care is extremely important. Owning a pet is more than just buying them food, treats and toys. In order to be able to take care of your pet, you need to be able to financially support their health and wellbeing.
There are two pillars of veterinarian care to consider: standard wellness treatments and emergency care.
The Cost Of Standard Vet Visits & Treatments
Here is a breakdown of annual costs for both a dog and cat in terms of veterinarian visits according to ASPCA’s 2021 data:
Treatment Cost for Dogs:
Routine Medical Costs (Vaccines, Wellness Visits, etc): $225
These veterinarian visits are considered essential for your pet’s wellbeing. Vaccinations, spay/neuter, flea/tick and microchipping are all standard “start-up” costs that pet parents need to budget for.
Additional veterinarian visits during your pet’s lifetime will be dependent on their overall health and wellness. While we never want our pets to become sick, it’s important to be aware that unexpected illnesses and accidents do occur. In order to ensure the health of your pet, you can schedule regular veterinarian visits and checkups.
Considering that these are a general average based on pet owners around the country, this is a starting point for what you can expect to pay for such treatments. In order to get an accurate figure, it’s best to contact your veterinarian directly to get a quote for care based on where you live.
The Average Cost of Emergency Veterinarian Care
Emergency veterinarian care is difficult to predict as it often occurs due an illness or accident.
According to Emergency Vets USA, these are the common emergency veterinarian procedures and what they cost for a dog or cat:
Exam / Consultation: $100-$150
General Blood Work: $80-$200
1-2 Day Hospitalization (vomiting/diarrhea, seizures): $600-$1500
3-5 Day Hospitalization (kidney failure, blocked cat, parvo): $1500-$3000
Wound and Treatment Repair: $800-$2000
Emergency Surgery (bloat, foreign body, hit by car): $1800-$3000
As you can see, emergency veterinarian care can quickly become incredibly expensive for pet owners. The cost of these treatments will vary based on your location, but you can use these as a general guide. Other costs that are not included in the list above are medications, follow up appointments and other fees that will incur if your pet is injured or becomes sick.
What Affects Vet Costs?
There are several factors that affect the cost of your pet’s veterinarian care. Aside from the procedure or treatment that is being done, veterinarian costs are determined by:
The Type of Pet You Have & Their Age, Breed and Size
The Veterinarian You Visit
Where You Live
It’s no surprise that the cost of veterinarian care is more expensive in major cities than in the suburbs or more rural areas. This is simply due to the cost of operations for the veterinarian. In major cities where the rent, taxes and other expenses are high, the cost of veterinary treatment is more expensive.
The best way to determine how much veterinary care costs in your area is to contact local veterinarians to compare prices and see if they can provide you with a general quote of their services.
The Kind of Pet You Have & Their Age, Breed & Size
In addition to where you live, details about your pet contribute to the cost of veterinarian care. The type of pet you have, their breed, age and size all contribute to the cost for treatments.
For example, care for cats is generally less expensive than care for dogs. Therefore, cat owners can anticipate lower costs at the veterinarian.
When your pet is younger, you will incur more “start-up” costs such as vaccinations, flea/tick and spay/neuter surgery. Yet, as your pet ages the likelihood that they may develop a medical condition, fall ill or have an accident increases, therefore the cost of veterinarian care for these issues will be more expensive.
Lastly, breed plays a significant role in the cost of care due to potential predispositions. Some breeds are more prone to medical issues than others. And, while it can be difficult to anticipate these concerns, pet owners may need to pay for additional preventative medical care depending on their pet’s breed and medical history.
The Type of Veterinarian You Visit
The veterinarian you visit contributes to the cost of your pet’s medical expenses. This is very similar to human health care where specialists are more expensive than a generalized medical doctor. Therefore, if your pet needs more advanced treatments that are done by specialists, their treatment is guaranteed to cost more.
How To Afford Veterinarian Costs
Now that you know how much veterinarian care costs, let’s talk about some ways that you can pay for and afford these treatments.
The best way to reduce the cost of veterinarian care and save on expenses is to protect your pet with a pet insurance policy.
Pet insurance is the best defense against unexpected veterinarian bills that result from an accident or illness. With a Fursure Pet Insurance policy, you can bring your pet to the veterinarian and utilize our Direct Pay Feature to cover your pet's treatments.
Learn more on how you can protect your pet with Fursure Pet Insurance, here.
Veterinary Care Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
As you can see, expenses for veterinarian care can quickly add up. It’s important to understand the cost of treatments in order to build your budget and be prepared.
Yet, veterinary care doesn’t have to be expensive. With Fursure Pet Insurance, you can protect your pet and keep them healthy without breaking the bank. Give your pet the coverage they deserve!
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