9 Ways to Get Cheap or Free Veterinary Care for Your Pet

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By Angela Colley/MoneyTalksNews

One day I noticed my puppy was acting strange. She took a few steps, tripped, fell and slowly got up again, only to fall again. I realized that her stomach was extremely swollen.

I rushed her to the vet. The vet examined her for a few minutes and started laughing. Then my puppy let out a screaming burp and the vet started laughing.

When he asked me if I had left any dog ​​food, I remembered the big bowl on the kitchen floor for my other dog. My puppy had 4 cups of food in his half cup stomach.

It wasn’t a big deal — although food bloat can be a very serious illness – but I wasn’t laughing when I received the $100 bill.

Between routine care and these little surprises, your pet’s medical bills can be expensive.

Here are some ways to find cheaper or even free veterinary care.

1. Look for low-cost alternatives

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Local animal welfare organizations, rescue groups, and shelters often offer low-cost vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and other routine care.

To find animal shelters and animal rescue groups in your area, visit Petfinder.comthe list. The ASPCA has a list of low cost sterilization programs it can help.

2. Try veterinary school

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Veterinary schools are generally less expensive than veterinary clinics and veterinary hospitals. Although the procedures are performed by students, they are supervised by a veterinarian.

View the American Veterinary Medical Association report list of accredited veterinary schools for a location near you.

3. Shop around

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Veterinary prices can vary widely. For example, when I was looking for a new veterinarian in New Orleans, I called six different clinics. The base cost of a visit ranged from $35 to $75.

So, check around you. The price often depends on the clinic’s location, its equipment costs, and the veterinary staff’s student debt.

4. Ask your veterinarian for help

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If your pet requires expensive medical treatment or you are struggling to cover the cost of care, discuss the situation with your veterinarian. Many veterinarians offer payment plans or discounts to their regular clients.

5. Find a charity

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If your veterinarian can’t help and you can’t afford an expensive and necessary medical procedure, you may be able to get help from a charity.

The Humane Society has a list of charities, some of which help cover the cost of vital medical care for pets. Click on your state to see what’s available.

6. Shop for cheaper prescriptions

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If you buy prescription medications directly from your veterinarian, you risk paying too much. Compare prices online on sites like:

Be careful when purchasing pet medications online and deal only with reputable sites. The United States Food and Drug Administration has some red flags this should make you suspicious of the quality of the medications.

You may be able to get generic pet medications for $4 at stores like Target and Kroger. Finally, ask your veterinarian if they will give you the best price you can find.

7. Keep an eye on promotions

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Just like human-centered businesses, veterinarians offer promotions. My vet offered a 20% discount to new patients and $25 off dental cleanings.

Be sure to check veterinary websites and social media accounts for deals.

8. Be proactive to protect your pet’s health

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Take steps and precautions to reduce the chances of your pet needing expensive medical care:

“Spaying females before their first heat cycle almost eliminates the risk of breast cancer and completely prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer. Spaying males prevents testicular cancer and enlarged prostate and significantly reduces their risk of perianal tumors.”

  • Get wellness exams. Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure. Make sure your pets have annual wellness exams. Follow the vaccination schedule and be sure to discuss heartworm prevention with your veterinarian.
  • Protect your home from animals. Keep dangerous foods away from pets and avoid bringing toxic plants into the home. Check out the ASPCA list Foods Your Pets Should Not Eat and his toxic and non-toxic plants database.

9. Compare treatments

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If your pet has a serious health problem, the most expensive treatment may not be the best solution. Consumer Reports recommends that you ask your veterinarian about treatment options and their cost, as well as the likely prognosis for your pet.


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