Low-Cost Vet Care

There are several options to getting low-cost, or sometimes even no-cost, vet care. TSCR has a very large service area, and it would be virtually impossible to list all available sources. Using the following nine suggestions will generally get you great options in your geographic area. In addition to finding lower-cost vet care options, pet insurance is also a great idea for some homes and is even being offered now through some employers as part of their benefits package. Each plan is different, so make sure to look into the details to see if pet insurance may be the right option for you.


Look for low-cost alternatives.

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

Check out Petfinder’s animal welfare group search tool, or the ASPCA’s low-cost spay/neuter program search tool.


Try a veterinary school.

Veterinary schools are typically cheaper than veterinary clinics and animal hospitals. While procedures are performed by students, they are supervised by a licensed and credentialed veterinarian.

Check out the American Veterinary Medical Association’s list of accredited veterinary colleges for a location near you.


Shop around.

Veterinarians’ prices can vary widely, even within the same geographic area. For example, when I was looking for a new vet in New Orleans, I called six different clinics. The base cost of a visit ranged from $35 to $75. So, make sure to compare prices at different clinics before making your selection.


Ask your vet for help.

If your pet needs an expensive medical treatment, or you’re struggling to cover the cost of care, discuss the situation with your veterinarian. Some vets offer payment plans or discounts to their steady clients.


Find a charity.

If your vet 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 of the United States has a list of organizations that help with the cost of certain types of medical care for pets.


Look for cheaper prescriptions.

If you’re buying prescription medication directly from your vet, you may be overpaying. You can compare prescription prices online at sites like:

Pet prescriptions can be filled through some online retailers like Chewy, and the pharmacies of retail chains like Sam’s Club and Walmart also carry some pet meds. Be careful when buying pet medications online, and make sure to deal only with reputable sites.

Finally, you can always ask your vet if he or she will match the best prescription price that you find.


Keep an eye out for specials.

Just like human-centered businesses, vet clinics sometimes offer specials. My vet has offered a 20% discount for new patients and $25 off dental cleanings.

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


Be proactive to protect your pet’s health.

Take precautions to reduce your pet’s chances of requiring expensive medical care. Such steps include:

  • Spaying or neutering, which can help lower the risk of some diseases in dogs and cats.
  • Annual wellness checkups.
  • Routine immunizations, including booster vaccines.
  • Heartworm preventative medications.
  • Pet-proofing your home, such as keeping dangerous foods out of the reach of pets and avoiding bringing toxic plants into the house.


Compare treatments.

If your pet has a serious medical condition, the most expensive treatment may not be the best course of action. Ask your vet about other treatment options and costs, as well as the likely prognosis for your pet.


Courtesy MoneyTalksNews