Vets are not cheap … in fact in a lot of cases they are more expensive than doctors. However, the are a necessary part of owning a pet. Listed below are 14 tips to help you reduce your vet care costs while still ensuring your vet is looked after after.
Tip 1: Look for affordable vet care: Do not limit yourself to private veterinary clinics; there are other options such as humane societies that offer vet treatments at a discount. DIY is not advised. A three legged dog really is not that much fun!
Tip 2: Vets with payment plans: If you do not have the cash up front there are some vets that offer payment plans. If the rates are still good and there is an interest free period then it is worth considering. Be careful however, as you may pay a premium for using a payment plan.
Tip 3: Do not buy pet food from your vet: It is generally overpriced. If you prefer the top quality pet food, shop around for a wholesaler. Craps from the butcher are a good cheap alternative.
Tip 4: Get all of the proper vaccinations and treatments for your pet: While this costs you money up front, it is definitely less than curing a condition if your pet gets sick.
Tip 5: Go to a pet welfare agency etc for your pet vaccinations: Check out if there is a welfare agency in your local area that offers cheaper vaccinations. Their prices will be significantly cheaper than a normal veterinary clinic.
Tip 6: Treat your pet's ailments straight away: Fixing an initial problem straight away is generally cheaper than trying to fix the problem once the ailment has progressed.
Tip 7: The very cheapest vet is not always the best: Just like with Doctor's, there are good and bad vets. Going to the cheapest one could cost you more money, or worse your pet, if they make a mistake. Costs are definitely a factor when choosing a vet, but also consider the quality of the vet as well. A full waiting-room is generally a good sign.
Tip 8: Consider vet schools: Taking your pet to schools where people are learning to become vets is a great way to save some money on vet fees. And do not worry all students are under the command of a fully qualified vet.
Tip 9: Do not rush into decisions: Do not feel pressured to agree to high priced treatments. Ask that you have a few days to think about it (this gives you time to research the issue and to see if other options are available). If they say no, then walk away and politely say you will be using the services of someone else. If they want a decision straight away it generally means they will be making a lot of money from the treatment.
Tip 10: Keep up to date with flea, tick and heartworm prevention: These proactive measures save you money in the long term.
Tip 11: Ask for generic prescriptions: As with prescriptions for humans, there are generic prescriptions for your pets. Ask for these and save yourself some money.
Tip 12: Urgent medication: If your pet needs medication urgently, use the vets one for the first three or four days and then order the rest online.
Tip 13: Not all vaccinations are necessary: The number of vaccinations depends on where your pet lives and the interaction they have with other animals. For example, things like "kennel cough" may not be required if your dog does not spend much time with other dogs.
Tip 14: Ask your vet how you can reduce costs: Always ask your vet what alternatives there are and if there is any way you can save money. If you do not ask you do not get!