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The cost of taking care of a pet can be daunting. Between food, grooming, toys, training classes and general day-to-day maintenance for your furry friend, it takes a hefty budget to keep all that fluffy fur in tip-top shape. But how much does it really cost to go to the vet? How much do you need on hand when you have an emergency visit with Fido? Here’s everything you need to know about your next trip:

Emergency visits

If you think your pet is having an emergency, don’t hesitate to bring him or her to the vet. But if it turns out that the problem isn’t urgent and there are no other symptoms, then a visit will be extremely expensive. Plus, there is the possibility that your vet won’t know what is wrong with your pet in 20 minutes and they will have to keep them overnight (or longer) until they figure it out.

A lot of times this can be avoided by knowing what signs indicate that something needs immediate attention versus those that don’t.

Point-of-care diagnostic testing

Malamute lying in vet clinic, vets posing behind

Point-of-care diagnostic testing is the most readily available diagnostic test that can be performed at the veterinary clinic. Point-of-care diagnostic testing is a type of test that allows for immediate results, and it is one of many types of diagnostics that may be performed in your vet’s office.

The cost of point-of-care diagnostic testing varies depending on what kind of test you need performed and where you go to have it done. The cost will vary between vets as well because different vets charge different rates for their services.

Annual/preventative care

When it comes to annual or preventative care, there is no single answer for every pet owner. The cost of pet care depends on several factors, including age and size of your animal, as well as your location. In general, annual vet visits can cost anywhere from $100-200 per year (depending on where you live).

In addition to the routine costs of annual vaccinations and checkups, if you want to take full advantage of preventative care—which we recommend—you’ll also need to consider things like flea/tick prevention products and heartworm medication (if applicable). But even if you’re not interested in preventative care right now and just want to cover the basics so that your pet stays healthy during his first year with you? That could easily add up to $500 by the time all is said and done!


Another cost to keep in mind is medication. You may need to buy medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics, on a regular basis. The cost of these medications depends on the type of medication you get, your pet’s weight and size, and how many times a day your pet needs the medication.

Food and supplements

Vets carrying angora rabbit

One of the biggest expenses for pet owners is food. Depending on the size of your pet, you can expect to pay between $2 and $20 per day. You can get cheaper food if you buy in bulk, but the quality may not be as good. If your dog eats a lot and needs special food like fish oil or glucosamine chondroitin to keep their joints healthy, then it’s best to buy online where there are deals on these supplements (especially when they’re sold by the manufacturer).

Lab work

Once you’ve established the basics of your pet’s condition, your vet will order lab work. This is a crucial step in the process of determining what type of treatment your pet needs and how much it will cost to provide that treatment.

It can be hard to know what kind of lab work you should be expecting for any given ailment, so we’ll break down exactly what types of tests are done and how often they should be administered based on each disease/condition. Lab work usually consists of blood testing (to check for abnormalities or infections) and urine testing (to see if there are markers present).

In many cases, a simple blood draw is all it takes for a veterinarian to get the information they need from their patient. However, some animals need frequent drawing over time due to chronic conditions or ongoing illnesses like diabetes mellitus (DM). In these cases, it’s important that you inform your vet if there are any times when drawing blood isn’t possible because even small bumps can have an impact on healing time!


Vaccinations are one of the most important things you can do for your pet’s health. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends vaccinations starting at six weeks old, then every three to four weeks, or as directed by your vet.

Some common vaccinations include rabies (which is required by law in many states), canine distemper/parvovirus combo, and feline panleukopenia/feline leukemia combo vaccines. You’ll want to stick with one vet so they get used to administering the same vaccine over time—this way they’ll be more familiar with what’s going on inside your pet’s body when it comes time for a booster shot or blood draw for testing. Vaccines typically cost about $40 per visit and require yearly boosters.

If you have multiple pets who need their shots administered simultaneously (at least two), ask about lower prices for multi-pet appointments; some clinics offer discounts if you bring all of your animals in at once instead of just one at a time. For instance, BluePearl Veterinary Partners offers discounted rates when three or more pets are seen together; this means that if your cat needs her annual exam plus new flea meds while Fido gets his Rabies shot and other recommended vaccines, they’ll only charge $50 total ($25 per pet) instead of $100 total ($50 per pet).

House call fees and mileage fees

Vet Checking Pups Ears
Vet Checking Pups Ears

You may be surprised to learn that the cost of a house call depends on where you live. In rural areas, a vet may travel for several hours to make a home visit. This can add up quickly, and if your pet needs multiple visits, it can get expensive very quickly. In more urban areas like New York City or Los Angeles, veterinarians are more likely to have offices right in town and charge less for house calls because they don’t have as far to go.

The price of a house call will also vary depending on what city you’re in—and even what part of town you live in! For example:

  • If your dog gets sick while vacationing at Disney World (in Orlando), the vet might charge $300 per hour plus mileage fees if they have to drive 20 miles out of their way – which could mean more than $100! On the other hand if he gets sick while staying at Universal Studios Hollywood then it will probably only cost about half as much since it’s only about 10 miles away from where he was staying anyways…

Your vet bill is going to be different depending on the kind of care your pet needs.

Your vet bill will be different depending on the kind of care your pet needs. There are three main categories of veterinary care:

  • Emergency visits are more expensive than regular office visits, because they’re often unexpected and urgent. You also have to pay extra for point-of-care diagnostic testing, which is done on the spot to help diagnose your pet’s condition quickly.
  • Annual or preventative care costs more than basic checkups and vaccinations because there are additional treatments involved with these services (like vaccines). When you take your animal in for annual checkups and vaccines, you’ll also need blood work done so that you can tell if everything has been properly administered and respond accordingly if there’s any concern about it not being effective.
  • Medication is generally more expensive at a vet clinic than it would be through a pharmacy or online retailer like Amazon Prime Pet Pharmacy (which offers free shipping). Some medications require multiple dosages over several days before they become effective—and those dosages don’t come cheap! Lab work may also cost more at the vet clinic due to high demand from all types of animals coming through their doors each day who need things like x-rays or DNA testing done right away; this type of work requires technicians’ time as well as specialized equipment that might not exist elsewhere outside large hospitals or universities where students practice on live creatures such as mice instead of just using fake plastic models made out cardboard boxes stuffed full cotton balls held together with yarns cut from old sweaters…


As you can see, the cost of a vet depends on what kind of care your pet needs. Hopefully we’ve helped you understand some of the different costs involved so you can figure out how much it will cost you and plan accordingly!