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How To Save Money on Your Pets’ Vaccines and Preventative Care

Pet owners can all agree on one thing. Our Pets are family. They’re in our pictures and even included in our Christmas cards. Some even have their own social media accounts and are searchable on Instagram, like #dogsofinstagram, as part of an extreme cuteness overload.

It’s not complicated to understand why we call our pets family; they are always there for us and when the going gets rough (pun intended), they’ll stay by your side while you have a good cry.

Of course, we all want our pets to get the best care possible, but we often don’t realize what costs go into owning a pet.

Breaking Down Pet Costs

According to the ASPCA, the annual cost of owning a pet can be upwards of $3,200 for dogs and $2,000 for cats. These costs include everything from spay/neuter procedures to daily boarding and kenneling, all in just the first year of ownership. Those numbers don’t include the cost associated with finding a pet, however.

Adopting can cost $150-400 depending on your location. Keep in mind, adoption generally comes with a spay/neuter procedure included, as well as vital vaccines and, in some cases, even microchipping.

If you purchase a pet from a reputable breeder, depending on the breed can run you $800-5,000. Unlike adoption, you are usually responsible for everything except the animal’s first vaccines, which may be included in the cost of the pet.

Some of these expenses can be reduced though, depending on veterinary services.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Most veterinarians truly care about the animals and the owners they serve. While they do provide an essential service, they are still a business. The cost of staff, techs, assistants, testing resources, and other variables are typically high and many of the costs for vaccines and medications are unfortunately oftentimes significantly inflated.

Pet Wellness Matters

Some people view pets as an investment and, in some cases, that may be true. If you get your pet as a puppy or kitten, it’s certainly possible the pet may be with you for 10+ years.

However, the return on said investment can’t be measured, like the wet, sloppy dog kisses or the sheer joy of your pet rushing to see you when you walk in the door. We can’t find a way to measure that kind of love and devotion.

Emergencies do happen, unfortunately, but there are preventative measures you can take to lessen the possibility of a pet emergency:

Vaccinate your pet! Making sure your pet has the required vaccines is the first line of defense and the best preventative measure you can take for your pet’s overall health.

Necessary Vaccines Your Dog Needs

  • DHPP
    • Distemper
    • Hepatitis
    • Parainfluenza
    • Parvovirus
  • Rabies

Recommended Dog Vaccines Based on Lifestyle

For dogs that board, go to a groomer, daycare, dog parks, or socialize with neighbor dogs

  • Leptospirosis
  • Bordetella (also called “kennel cough”)
  • Canine Influenza
  • Coronavirus (not the same as human coronavirus)

For dogs that live in or visit wooded areas

  • Lyme Disease

Necessary Vaccines Your Cat Needs

    • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
    • Calicivirus
    • Panleukopenia

Recommended Cat Vaccines Based on Lifestyle

For cats that spend time outdoors, live with other cats, or visit boarding and grooming facilities

  • Chlamydia
  • Feline Leukemia
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis
  • Bordetella

Say ‘yes’ to the tests as some are required by your veterinarian, while others are more precautionary or optional. Here are the ones you should say yes to:

  • Fecal test
  • Heartworm and tick-borne diseases
  • Pre-vaccination screenings (FeLV/FIV for cats is an example)
  • Pre-preventative screenings (Heartworm for dogs is an example)

Unless your pet shows signs of illness, these tests may only be required on a yearly basis.

You Can Cut Costs Without Sacrificing Care

Fear not, because there are some things you can do to reduce the costs of your pet’s medical bills:

Request a breakdown of all the charges on your vet bill. Including the name of the tests or procedures that were done.

Require the vet to keep any imaging, testing, or lab work limited to what is immediately essential.

Have the veterinarian explain all treatment options and possible outcomes if there is an issue.

Remember, you have the power to take control of your pet’s health and you have the right to refuse any service or get a second opinion.

About Cheap Pricks

Cheap Pricks was founded by Matt Bowler and Kristen Duhr, who have been in the pet care industry for over a decade. Using their years of experience, they are opening the first of its kind affordable and preventative care clinic for dogs and cats. For more info visit