How Much Does a Veterinary Visit Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

A veterinary visit is similar to regular doctor’s visit, expect, it’s for your pet, of course. Some visits to the veterinarian are for regular checkups, while others may be for a specific illness or symptom if the animal is sick.  Regardless of what the reason is, you should always bring your pet to the vet if you recently adopted it or once per year to maintain your pet’s overall health.

The cost of a veterinary visit will depend on the reason for the visit, the vet clinic, complexity of the case, type of animal and where you live.

Sick Kittens at the Vet by www.metaphoricalplatypus.com, on Flickr
Sick Kittens at the Vet” (CC BY 2.0) by www.metaphoricalplatypus.com

How much does a veterinary visit cost?

The cost to visit a veterinary alone without any type of procedures done can range anywhere from $35 to $65 per visit.  If you were to take your pet to a specialist or an emergency vet that’s opened 24 hours per day, then the costs can be closer to $125 to $250 for the visit alone.

PetCarRx says the office visit alone can average $45 to $55 and will depend on the geographical location and where you live.

According to Petmd.com, the main reason your vet visit will be so expensive will be due to the geographical location.  A vet in New York City, for example, will be much cheaper than one in the middle of nowhere.

Members on City-data.com said they pay anywhere from $48 to close to $100 for a complete first visit exam.

Veterinary visit overview

During any routine appointment, the office will usually do the following:

  1. Take the animal’s weight
  2. Listen to the heart
  3. Take the temperature
  4. Examine the eyes, nose, feet, and ears
  5. Examine the skin and the coat
  6. Look inside the mouth and at the teeth
  7. They may want to examine the feces, depending on the reason you’re bringing the pet in for
  8. Lastly, they will want to discuss the pet’s history, if you have had any problems since the last visit and if there are any concerns you would like to discuss.  If you were to go home with any medications or an upcoming surgery and/or treatment were needed in the future, then they can discuss this as well.

What are the extra costs?

The estimate mentioned above will include the office visit only and won’t include any other testing.  Vaccines, for example, can cost $15 to $25 each, depending on the vaccination needed.  This is often common for new puppies or kittens.  Other popular tests such as a heartworm test and fecal exam can all cost $25 to $50 per test.

Other tests, while not as common as the vaccines and fecal exam, can include a geriatric screening ($80 to $150), dental cleaning ($75 to $450), allergy test ($150 to $300) and/or surgery ($250+) for a specific issue.

Some of these additional tests will reoccur annually, while other procedures will be done only as needed.

House calls, where the vet comes to your home to perform the checkup, can cost $80 to $150, plus a mileage fee if they have to travel outside their radius.

Tips to know:

Don’t settle on the first office you come across; instead, visit the office in person unannounced and speak with the staff.  How do they respond?  Are they friendly?  It’s also ideal to pay close attention to the cleanliness and organization of the clinic.

Don’t wait until the last minute to book your veterinarian appointment, especially if it’s an emergency.  Good vets, on average, could have a wait time of up to a week.

How can I save money?

Get a regular veterinarian.  This will guarantee the vet will have an understanding of the pet’s medical history and may even lead to discounts.  Follow-up visits, for instance, can be much cheaper than the initial visit.

Consider getting pet insurance.  While this will cost a small monthly fee, it may save you money in the future if your pet ever needs any major medical attention.

Be aware of low prices you may receive over the phone or even see on the website.  These low prices can often get you in the door but will try to tack on unnecessary tests to bring up the costs.  Always ask the vet what you’re going to get with the price.

If you’re bringing your pet into the vet’s office for the first time, consider looking for packages.  These packages are designed to include the office visit, vaccine boosters and other tests depending on the pet’s age.

Larger vet chains, such as Banfield, often offer coupons for free exams or even discounted services for first-time customers.


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