If you have a pet, chances are their health is one of your top priorities. Pet owners will do practically anything for their furry little friends—after all, dogs are called “man’s best friend” for a reason—and veterinarians know that.
Do you ever feel like you have to sell a kidney to pay for some of your pet’s vet bills? You’re not alone. Pet owners spend an average of $500 a year on vet bills, with an average of $1,000 or more for serious health conditions, according to USA Today.
It makes sense. Our pets are part of our family, and we’d go to the moon and back to keep them in our life. But there are still ways you can save on vet bills.
Shop Around for a Vet
When deciding on a vet, pet owners often settle on convenience or recommendations. But if you’re willing to drive a little farther, you can most likely save a lot more on vet bills, without sacrificing quality care for your four-legged friend.
I called three different vets in our city and couldn’t find a teeth cleaning for anything less than $190. By choosing a vet that was close to my in-law’s house—only a 20-minute drive away—we scored a teeth cleaning fort $125, saving us $65.
$65 is totally worth driving an extra 10-15 minutes in my opinion.
Regular vet visits also cost a flat rate of $40, as opposed to $60, which is the going rate in our neighborhood.
If you’re not sure where to start looking to find a cheaper vet, ask your friends or check out Yelp for recommendations. And also? Don’t be afraid to actually pick up the phone and shop around for prices before settling on a vet simply because they’re a few minutes away.
Fill Meds at the Pharmacy
You can save hundreds on vet medications by not filling them at the vet. In fact, a lot of pet medications have a human equivalent that you can fill at your local drugstore.
It may be a little more inconvenient, but we’re going for saving money not convenience. And it’s not usually that big of an inconvenience to stop at Target or CVS or one of the million of other pharmacies on every corner.
You can also check online if you want them delivered straight to your doorstep.
Take Preventative Measures
We all know we should provide the best for our pup, but it’s important that we’re doing the right things to prevent as many expensive vet visits as possible.
That includes ensuring you exercise your pet and give them proper nutrition. Taking your pet for his annual check-ups also helps check for any issues before they become bigger problems. Keeping your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date also helps.
Having pets is expensive, but you can also learn to save just by spending a few extra minutes doing your research.