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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lowering Vet Costs

Ever wonder how you go into the veterinarian for one thing and you leave their office with more things tacked on? After I called to schedule Cheyenne's Bordatella shot for this coming weekend, I started to think about it. Then it occurred to me how a small visit, with shots, can rise to over $300!

Simply: The other dog!

Whenever we bring one Lab into the vet, we bring the other along just so that she knows that she doesn't have to get poked and prodded each time she enters his office. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens - especially when it is Cheyenne's visit and Dakota is just along for the ride. You see, Dakota has hip dysplasia and even though she only has stiffness during the colder months, the vet just can't seem to keep his hands off of her once she enters the office. Sometimes, he will question something about her hip and mention that it is time for an updated x-ray. If she weren't there, the x-ray would wait until her normal appointment and instead of having multiple degrees of diagnosis over the year, she would have one.

So, this got me thinking and I have come to the conclusion that Dakota is no longer going to visit the veterinarian with us unless it is her appointment. With that said, here are some other ideas on how to lower vet costs.

1) Only bring the one pet that the appointment is made for and leave others at home. Once the vet puts their hands on the other pet(s), you have a new office visit added to your bill.

2)Clip nails at home between vet visits. Each nail clipping can run you $12 so buy a pair of pet nail clippers and cut them at home. Then when you have an appointment for the vet, ask the technician to cut them very short.

3) Bring a list of ailments or questions with you to the vet's office. This will make sure that you don't have any return visits.

4)Don't be shy to call your vet with questions you have about your pet. You don't need an office visit copay to just have questions answered.

5) If you have an upcoming flea/tick treatment or heart worm medication to give and need your pet's weight, many local pet stores will have a scale that you can use for free. Some vets will charge you with an office visit even to allow you to weigh your pet.

6) Order your maintenance medications online instead of getting them at the veterinarian's office. The best place we have found for our Lab Brat's Metacam, Heartguard Plus, Frontline Plus, and Cosequin is! The prices are unbeatable and you can usually find a discount coupon to use with them by going to and searching for "Entirely Pets". Sometimes the coupon is free shipping or money off your order and other times there are free treats with the order.

7) Keep your dog safe from harm and things it could ingest. (Trust me, this cost us over $1,000 in vet bills and surgery for Cheyenne last year!)

8) Feed your Lab a high quality food that will support its hips and joints as well as its overall health.

This list is just a tip of the iceberg but the Lab Brats hope it will help you lower some of your vet bills as well. Sure, Dakota will hate not going for a ride in the car with Cheyenne come Saturday morning but in order to save the expense, it is well worth it. Not to mention she will get extra special doggy cookies when we get back so I don't think she will be too upset.



Blogger -j- said...

We have many multiple animals, & we actually receive a discount for bringing 3+ at a time for vaccines since it helps them control inventory/dosing.
Some clinics actually offer "preferred client discounts" for long time clients, too.
Another place we save money is how we buy our Frontline. All of our animals are 30 lbs & under, but we buy the Large Dog dose of Frontline & dose out for the individual critters based on their weight - 0.5ml for the cats & 1.34ml for the dogs. Not as convenient, but a good bit more cost effective.

June 16, 2007 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found unbelievable discounts and offers on pets food & health products at store with many coupons.....!

February 24, 2008 11:34 PM  

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