Every pet parent should take their pet to the veterinarian once a year for a check-up. The annual vet visit is essential to maintaining your pet’s overall health -- it is not only an opportunity for your vet to catch any problems during an examination, it is also when your pet will receive their vaccination boosters and undergo important health tests. You might be avoiding these routine visits because of the cost, but the fact of the matter is that regular maintenance of your pet’s health can save you money in the long run. So just how much does a vet visit cost? Let’s crunch the numbers.
Standard Vet Visit Costs Include:
There are standard services and costs built in to every annual visit to the veterinarian, and pet parents should budget accordingly.
Office Call: The office call cost includes the appointment and the examination performed by your veterinarian. This cost can vary depending on your geographic location and the veterinarian, or clinic, that you visit. The average cost of the office call is $45-$55.
Vaccine Boosters: Vaccine boosters are the shots that are given to keep vaccines effective after the initial dose. Some vaccinations require boosters while others do not, but most pets end up needing 2-4 boosters per year. Booster shots generally range between $18-$25.
Fecal Exam: A fecal exam is conducted to check for gastrointestinal parasites, and it generally costs $25-$45.Heartworm Test:
This important test checks for heartworm disease
, which is an often fatal condition caused by parasitic worms. The average cost of blood testing
for this disease is $45-$50.
Extra Vet Visit Costs
Some cats and dogs may require additional services at the annual vet visit, and these can vary depending on your pet’s age and medical condition.
Dental Cleaning: Many pets undergo a dental cleaning during their annual check-up. Your veterinarian will usually recommend it if they see signs of gingivitis or if you mention that you have noticed bleeding during teeth brushing. The cost will vary between dogs and cats, but the procedure typically costs $70-$400.
Allergy Testing: Dogs and cats suffering from allergies will often exhibit symptoms such as licking, itching, and sneezing. If you or your veterinarian suspect that your pet has developed allergies, testing may be ordered. Allergy testing is performed with either a blood test or an intradermal skin test. The average cost of a blood test is $200-$300, and an intradermal skin test usually costs $195-$250.
Geriatric Screening: Pets who are older -- usually 7 years and up -- must undergo geriatric screening. This thorough exam typically includes blood work and chemistry, urinalysis, x-rays, and other testing. Geriatric screening generally costs $85-$110.
Surgery and Other Treatments: Certain medical conditions and injuries may require surgery or other treatments. Depending on your pet’s specific health issue, a bill north of a thousand dollars could be expected.
Your pet relies on you to keep them healthy, and there is no excuse for not visiting the veterinarian once a year. If you are finding it difficult to pay for your pet’s health care, you may want consider purchasing pet insurance
or signing up for a pet health care savings plan such as PetPlus