Skip to main content

6 great ways to save money on your pet’s vet bills

During his life, your pet will need to see a vet regularly to keep him healthy and happy. Vet care is just part of owning a pet, and it’s an important investment in your pet’s health, comfort, and even in his life span. But just like human health care, vet care can be expensive, and those vet bills can add up quickly if your pet has a health issue or if you have multiple pets. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can save money on your pet’s vet bills. You’ll need to plan for some of them, but that planning can pay off with big savings.

Get quotes when choosing a vet

When you’re initially choosing a vet, get some quotes for basic services, like the cost of a wellness exam and routine vaccinations. You can use these quotes to get a sense of each practice’s rates, which may help you avoid practices that charge premium prices. Remember, though, that prices between different services can vary, and even if you’re given a rough quote for an exam, it’s possible that your vet may find issues that need to be treated. That can increase the price you’ll actually pay for the exam and those extra services.

It’s also important to consider whether the practice offers emergency services. Seeking emergency after-hours treatment at a vet’s office will usually be more affordable than getting those services at an emergency vet hospital. It may be worth it to pay a little bit more as a client at a vet that offers these emergency services, since you could save significant money if your pet ever does have an after-hours emergency.

Brown and white dog wearing an e-collar
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Strategically schedule appointments

When you can plan ahead, schedule appointments so that you can bring multiple pets in at the same time. Many vets will offer discounts for multi-pet appointments.

In addition to strategically scheduling appointments, make sure you keep up with those appointments so your pet sees the vet regularly. This regular care can help prevent health issues and ensures that you stay on top of your pet’s health. If your vet recommends routine testing, like blood work, that can also help identify any health issues early on. With an earlier diagnosis, you may save money over the cost of treating an advanced, more complicated condition.

Consider pet insurance

You might consider investing in pet insurance. Insurance can help cover some of the larger costs your pet might face if he gets sick or needs surgery. When looking into pet insurance, be sure to read each policy thoroughly. Make sure you understand the deductibles, the coverage limits, and any exclusions. If you’re worried about being able to pay larger pet health care costs, then insurance might give you increased peace of mind and help with vet bills.

Subscribe to your vet’s newsletter

Subscribing to your vet’s newsletter or following the practice on social media can keep you informed about important information. Some vets may offer special programs or discounts on services or seasonal items like flea and tick treatments. Your vet might also issue notices if there are rebates available for certain medications or products. Staying up to date may save you money.

Orange cat lying in a metal kennel
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Look into prescription options

If your pet needs prescription medication, you may be able to fill that right at your vet’s office. However, you might want to look into filling that medication through a pharmacy. Some pharmacies offer lower medication prices, so do a little comparison shopping to find the best deal.

In some cases, your vet may prescribe a medication they don’t carry in the clinic’s pharmacy. Before you have that prescription filled, call around to local pharmacies for the best price.

Look for discount plans

You might also want to explore pet health discount plans. Plans like Pet Assure often offer discounts on vet care and prescriptions and at participating pet retailers. Prescription discount cards, like the GoodRx discount card, can also help you save on prescriptions bought through participating pharmacies. These plans have varying costs, and some are even free. Just make sure that any plan you’re considering covers the items and services that you’ll need for your pet.

Vet bills can be expensive, but they’re an essential part of owning and caring for a pet. With a little planning, you can save money on your typical vet bills. Keep in mind that it’s also important to be prepared for any emergency vet bills. It’s always a good idea to build up an emergency fund so you’re prepared for those unexpected expenses and can get your pet the care he needs right away. Vet bills can add up, but the price is well worth it for a healthy, comfortable pet.

Editors' Recommendations

Paige Cerulli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paige's work has appeared in American Veterinarian, Business Insider, Healthline, and more. When she's not writing, Paige…
8 autumn Instagram pet photographs that will get you excited for the gorgeous season ahead
Fall Instagram pet photos sweeter than a pumpkin spice latte
a dog and woman cuddling on fall woodland walk

Fall is such a fun and inspirational time of year. Nature offers up some awesome colors as leaves turn from lush green to stunning shades of red, yellow, and orange. Farm fields are dotted with orange pumpkins, and people and pets get to dress up for Halloween. It’s the perfect season for taking photos of your pet. We scoured social media. Here are our favorite autumn Instagram pet photos.

Dogs falling for autumn on Instagram
These pups have an extra pep in their steps as the seasons change. They're dressing up, winding down, and taking scenic routes.

Read more
The 6 biggest myths about Chihuahuas, debunked once and for all
Chihuahua fact or fiction? Here's the truth behind 6 common myths about these small dogs
A black Chihuahua against a yellow backdrop

Chihuahuas are a small breed with a big personality. Some have a Napoleon complex — they totally think they can take on the mail carrier, and they will threaten to do so. Purebred Chihuahuas don’t exceed 6 pounds, so their valiant efforts can be more comedic than anything. Their reputation as an opinionated, snuggly, and incredibly loyal breed precedes them, and more than a few dog owners dream of being a Chihuahua's favorite person.
However, not every part of their reputation is true, and there are more than a few myths about these lovable dogs. We’re debunking them and giving you straight Chihuahua facts.

Myth 1: Chihuahuas don’t need much exercise
This statement is one of the biggest Chihuahua myths. Though the breed is small, Chihuahuas are full of energy and need stimulation. Any dog can become overweight, and Chihuahuas are particularly prone to obesity. Physical activity is one way to keep your Chihuahua healthy. While they don’t need as much physical activity as a larger breed, such as a Labrador Retriever, they need frequent exercise. About 30 minutes of walking and playing per day should do, and it’s a great way to bond. Some dogs may need more or less, depending on their age and overall health. Talk to your vet.

Read more
These national parks are stunning in the fall – and allow your dog to visit, too
These 4 beautiful national parks have pet-friendly attractions
Couple looking at map on fall trail with dog.

With cooler fall temperatures just around the corner, pet parents dream of taking their dogs on long outdoor adventures. Some might even be planning pet-friendly getaways. Autumn is certainly a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy nature, and where better to do this than in a U.S. national park? Many of these wonderful parks are pet-friendly. Here we highlight four national parks that are incredible in the fall and perfect for both of you.

Are dogs allowed in national parks?
The good news is that most national parks do allow pets in some areas and under certain conditions. Only a few deny pets in all parts of the park — so you can easily plan an outing or vacation for you and your four-legged friend. However, it's important to follow the rules, especially when it comes to hiking and wildlife. The National Park Service uses the acronym B.A.R.K. to sum up the four basic principles you should follow while in the parks with your pets. It stands for:

Read more