How I Just Saved a Bundle on Pet Vaccines

by Marcy on July 23, 2008 · 0 comments

My family has a 3 year old, small breed dog. When we first got her, we were childless, and had two nice incomes. She was our baby, and we really didn’t hold back all that much when it came to spending money on her. Don’t get me wrong…she wasn’t decked out in Louis Vuitton (or any clothes for that matter!), but we didn’t shop around much when it came to her treats, vaccinations, heart worm meds. etc…

Fast forward a couple of years and we now have a daughter and live on one income. Needless to say, because times have changed and I am trying to cut costs wherever I can, I am having a hard time spending boatloads of money on the dog. That doesn’t mean that I love her any less, or that I am scrimping on her care. It just means that I am trying to get creative and find ways to cut all dog related expenses. Which leads me to my story about how I just saved a ton of money on vaccinations.

I called my vet’s office a couple of weeks ago to get an estimate of how much it was going to cost in order to have 2 boosters & a heart worm test. I was told that it would cost approximately $142. Because I just paid $80 for grooming and prescription dog food, this was not news I want to hear. I decided that I would check into a few other options before making the appointment to see our vet. I emailed a friend who said it was possible to find pet vaccinations that you can administer yourself, but I wasn’t sure where to check.

As I mentioned in a couple of my previous posts, I just got back from a long weekend visit to my mom and step dad’s house. They live near where I grew up, which is a pretty rural area. While not everything is cheaper there, many things are. See where I am going with this?

I decided to call a vet in my hometown on Monday to check out his prices. He has been a vet there for years, has low overhead (1 employee) and has a good reputation. I figured his prices would be reasonable. Little did I know how reasonable!

My local vet was going to charge me $33 plus $41 for an office visit to give my dog her two booster shots. I was told that I could not purchase the vaccinations to administer myself because my pet was due for a check up. Total Price = $74

The vet from my hometown didn’t blink an eye when I asked to purchase vaccinations to administer myself. Total Price = $17

My total cost savings on the vaccinations: $57!!

I also asked about the heart worm test. Because I give my dog a preventative every month, I was told that she would likely never have an issue. While I think that I will still get her tested, I think that I am going to have her tested every other year rather than yearly.

Because the cost savings was so great on the vaccinations, I decided to get prices for the heart worm preventative and flea/tick preventative that I use.

My local vet charges $241.79 for a 6 month supply of heart worm preventative and a 7 month supply of flea/tick preventative.

The vet in my hometown charges $74.56. That is savings of $167.23 for the same exact products!

I am not writing this post to encourage you to skip routine testing and exams or to administer vaccinations by yourself. That is a personal decision and would vary based on the age and health of your pet(s). Plus I am not a vet and am in no way, shape or form an expert when it comes to animal care.

I am writing this post to let you know (if you didn’t already) that like most things in life, you can save money if you are willing/able to shop around.

I have said this many times since I started watching our money more carefully – I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner!!

Now just keep your fingers crossed that our dog doesn’t hate us after we give her the shots. It should be interesting (and I have a feeling I’ll be the one doing it!) :-)

Do you have a pet? How do you attempt to cut back on expenses while still aiming to give them quality care?


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