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8 Ways To Get Affordable Vet Care

If you own pets, you’re certainly concerned about their safety and asking yourself how to find an affordable vet near me when they get in trouble. It could be a sickness, a severe injury, or an emergency. In most cases, a vet is unimaginably expensive or isn’t readily available.

It could happen to any pet owner: You have always afforded to give your dog or cat the medical care they deserve, but because of money issues, you can no longer afford to cover vet expenses.

Just like you, pets have needs. On top of grooming, exercise, food, and nutrition, pets also need medication, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, microchipping, etc. Veterinary services don’t come cheap.

No pet owner wants to see their pet in pain and discomfort. But something as simple as food bloat can be dangerous to your pet. Between those little surprises and routine appointments, your pet’s medical bills can add up very quickly. 

Lucky for you, hope is not lost. Before you bark at the high price of a treatment or procedure, consider other options. You have probably Googled “cheap vets near me” a couple of times. There are many organizations out there that offer financial aid. 

To cover an expensive pet bill, however, you need to follow the right procedures. That’s what this article is all about – giving you ways to find less expensive or even free vet care for your beloved pet. 

How To Get Affordable Vet Care 

If you’re reading this, you probably know that veterinary care can be necessary, unexpected, and costly. So, what’s the way forward? How do I find a cheap veterinarian near me?

Life happens, and the rising cost of living can force you to live from paycheck to paycheck. When you’re already on a tight budget, sparing some cash for vet care can be hard.

Sure there are several ways you can keep more money in your wallet, but trips to the vet are not the most fun of trips. What will happen to the safety and well-being of my most cherished furry companion if I can’t afford to pay for vet care?

What if I can’t find a cheap vet near me? 

Your pet doesn’t have to suffer unnecessarily, and neither should you carry the burden of vet bills. 

Other ways you can get affordable vet care include:

1. Veterinary School 

Vet schools are typically cheaper than animal hospitals and vet clinics. The students need training, and because of that, they offer basic services such as vaccinations, check-ups, and basic procedures at discounted rates. 

And don’t worry, while unlicensed veterinary students perform the procedures, they are not left unsupervised. Their services are always overseen by professional instructors.

You just have to find a veterinary school that operates in your local area. So if you were wondering where to find a cheap veterinarian near me, a vet school is an excellent place to start.  

2. Find Out What Treatment Options Are Available 

Depending on the severity of your pet’s injury or illness, there are a couple of treatment options available. It is vital that you discuss with your vet the prognosis and treatment options. 

If your pet requires a particularly high-cost procedure, don’t settle with the first quote you get. Charges vary vastly with facilities.

3. Organizations That Offer Financial Assistance 

There are several animal welfare associations and rescue groups in the United States that can help you out with general vet bills if you’re in search of a cheap vet. Some breed-specific groups fund treatment for specific diseases. 

Help is offered in the form of grants, loans and low-cost care for spaying and neutering, vaccination, and other routine care. 

If you sincerely cannot afford your pet’s medical expenses, look for an organization in your local area to help you out. They will offer assistance after examining your pet’s health status and your financial position. 

So, if your vet can’t help when it comes to low-cost vet care, try the following organizations for medical services:

American Veterinary Medical Foundation

Through their Veterinary Care Charitable Fund (VCCF) program, the AVMF funds veterinarians to offer charitable veterinary services to pet owners facing personal hardships, low-income seniors and disabled veterans in need of service dogs. 

The funds are also meant to support injured pets, and those rescued from neglect and abuse. If you qualify, you can visit an enrolled vet clinic to enjoy low or no-cost services. 

First Coast No More Homeless Pets

FCNMHP provides pet owners on a budget with an extensive and easy to access database of affordable vet care offices. Over the years, the organization has helped thousands of pet owners in America struggling financially in locating affordable vet care in their local area. 

The organization offers free, low-cost and discounted vet services for neutering, spaying, microchipping, diagnostic testing, dental cleanings, flea and heartworm prevention and treatment, parasite controls and other essential pet healthcare services at a fraction of the cost. 

Since 2009, the facility has provided medical aid to over 67,000 pets at 40 percent less than the cost of most local veterinary clinics. Regardless of your budget, your pet will still benefit from state-of-the-art medical care. To find out if they operate in your local area, visit their website. 

SpayUSA

The mission of this organization is to end pet overpopulation. With a focus on helping low-income pet owners with inexpensive neutering services, this nationwide referral service will link you with cheap vet clinics, 1,500 sterilization programs and doctors near your area. 

For 2 decades, SpayUSA has helped thousands of pet owners obtain affordable and quality spay and neuter services for their dogs and cats.

To be automatically connected to low-cost clinics and doctors, visit their website, enter your zip code and select your budget. 

Shakespeare Animal Fund

You can try the Shakespeare Animal Fund if you can’t afford to pay for your pet’s vet care. The organization offers pet owners who earn less than $35k per year and those with a fixed income one-time grants. To learn more about the organization and eligibility requirements, check out their website. 

There’s one catch, though. You must agree to allow the organization to post a picture of your cat or dog along with their biography as one of their success stories on their website.

To apply for assistance, fill out SAF’s Contact Form 

Humane Society 

If you have trouble affording your pet, the Humane Society provides a comprehensive list of national and state resources for pet parents in need. 

You should keep in mind that every organization is independent and is run by its own set of rules and guidelines. It’s your responsibility to scrutinize each organization independently and check whether or not you qualify for assistance. 

PAWS

This organization has helped thousands of financially strapped pet owners pay for vet care. Located in Lynnwood, Washington, the organization operates locally and regionally.

Besides low-income spay and neuter resources, PAWS also offers various veterinary services like microchipping and vaccinations at ZERO costs. Through their re-homing service, PAWS accepts owned pets.

You need to submit a dog or cat surrender form before PAWS can take custody of your pet. The staff will review the application and determine whether or not your pet is a good fit for the re-homing program.

Brown Dog Foundation 

Founded back in 2006, the mission of this organization is to bridge the gap between the cost of medical care and saving the family pet. 

The Brown Dog Foundation receives over 4,000 requests for assistance every year. Due to the high volumes of applications, pets with life-threatening conditions have a better chance of receiving resources.

Besides cash, the organization also offers referrals to lower-cost alternatives and guidance. 

Actors And Others For Animals

If you live in southern California, here is a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the humane treatment of animals. Actors and Others for Animals helps pet parents living on a low or fixed income to take care of their cats or dogs. 

Just like SpayUSA, Actors and Others for Animals’ mission is to stop pet overpopulation. The community-based animal welfare organization does this by subsidizing spay and neuter surgeries.

Other services include pet-assisted therapy and emergency medical assistance. It serves the greater Los Angeles and surrounding counties. 

Pet Fund

The Pet Fund is a registered non-profit organization committed to providing pet owners struggling financially with veterinary care. 

The Pet Fund works ONLY on non-basic, non-urgent care. Typically, there are 4 categories of care: primary care, urgent care, emergency care, and non-basic, non-urgent care.

The last group includes medical needs such as heart disease, cancer treatment, endocrine diseases, chronic conditions, etc.

You can apply online by sending them an email and joining a waiting list. If you’re successful, you will receive a one-time grant. 

CareCredit

CareCredit helps Americans get the care they want for themselves and their families. With a network of over 200k health-focused provider and retail locations, you can use your credit card to get care for a beloved family pet.

Unlike traditional pet financing, the CareCredit credit card allows you to use your card for your pet’s procedures repeatedly. Ask your vet if they accept medical-care specific credit cards like CareCredit.

To keep your four-legged companion in top shape, you can use your card for routine veterinary: rehab, dermatology, annual check-ups, teeth cleaning, care of chronic pet diseases and conditions, pet food and nutrition, microchipping and vaccinations. 

Veterinary surgery and emergencies like surgical procedures, emergency services, hip dysplasia surgery and spay and neutering are also covered. 

Applying is simple. Explain how you plan to use your credit card, complete your online application here and get a credit decision instantly! 

The Mosby Foundation 

This nationally recognized organization offers financial assistance and public education to deserving pet owners. It helps take care of injured, sick, neglected and abused dogs. 

The program has limited funding and receives thousands of applications every year. They can, therefore, help one family, rescue, or individual once only. Your dog must be spayed/neutered so you can receive financial assistance. 

The organization doesn’t have funds for general veterinary care (blood work, vaccinations, or dental cleanings); testing, diagnostics, x-rays or CT scans.

Clinics

Before scouring the internet for online options, how about you check your local area for any pet clinic. If you live in a crowded neighborhood, there are probably a couple of emergency pet services within your area that offer free veterinary care and other basic services. 

If you’re pondering “how can I find cheap vet clinics near me?”, then try searching on Google or your GPS. You can also search for clinics in your area here.

Most of the clinics have a website, but some may not have prices listed. When you work out your preferred vet services, visit the clinic, inquire about their rates and select an affordable option. 

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4. Compare Vets

Vet prices can vary considerably from one vet to another. Clinics in high-rent areas tend to charge more.

In the world of pet ownership, comparison shopping can save you a lot of money. Call as many clinics as you can and ask about their fees for basic pet care services (or services that you use regularly).

Making a comparison will help you do away with vets that are just exploiting your budget. A second opinion is always advised.

Charges often depend on the clinic’s location and equipment costs. For instance, for the same dog and reason, you may be quoted anywhere from $400 to over $1,000 for an abdominal ultrasound. Or $70 to $400 for a dental cleaning. 

If you’re looking for a new vet, try a vet in a less expensive area as they tend to charge lower fees. You will be required to pay a consultation fee, but get this, another vet may propose an alternative and less expensive treatment option, which is good news to your wallet. So, check around.

5. Affordable Pet Prescriptions

Pet medication is usually pricey, and you’re unlikely to come across many stores that offer discount cards to reduce the prices. But if you do thorough research online and compare prices, you can find some reliable, low-cost stores. 

If you are buying prescription medication from your vet, you may be overpaying. The trick is to ask your vet for a hard copy of any prescription your cat or dog needs so you can search for the best deal.

After comparing prices online, you can ask your vet if they will match the best price you find. If he or she refuses, you can try the following stores that offer affordable pet prescriptions:

PetCareRx

PetCareRx is an online store committed to creating the leading tailored pet experience by providing expert advice, connections and great products to local pet service providers. 

The store provides foods and vitamin, treats and toys, tick, heartworm and flea protection, and wide-ranging prescription and non-prescription medication. 

To order your prescription online, find the right product that matches your pet’s prescription, add the item to the cart, answer questions about your pet and vet during checkout and you’re good to go!

Walmart

You can shop for your pet’s medication from your favorite brands like Adams, Drontal, Trifexis and Advantage from Walmart PetRx. You will enjoy benefits such as a fully licensed pharmacy, over 3,000 products in stock and free 2-day shipping over $35.

To order your prescription, find your cat’s or dog’s vet prescribed medication, proceed to checkout and enter the required info, mail in your prescription or let Walmart contact your vet for you, place your order and wait!

Walmart accepts PayPal and all major credit cards including Discover, American Express, MasterCard and VISA.

Kroger

Kroger is another store where you can purchase your pet’s medication. You need to set up an account to make any purchase.

Creating an account makes it easy to manage your prescriptions. You can also transfer your pet’s prescriptions from another pharmacy to any Kroger Pharmacy and have them fill your new prescriptions.

Payment options include Discover, VISA, MasterCard and American Express credit cards. Kroger pharmacies do not charge any additional taxes for items purchased on the website.

You can download the Kroger app on the Google Play Store or Apple Store.

Petco

For unbeatable prices on pet medication, check out Petco. With over 5 decades of service to pet owners, Petco is a reputable pet specialty retailer devoted to delivering a happy and healthy experience for pets and their guardians.

There are over 1,500 locations across the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Petco offers advice, products and services that will keep your pet mentally alert, physically fit, emotionally happy and socially engaged. 

1-800-PetMeds

“America’s Most Trusted Pet Pharmacy” has all major brand medications sold at your vet’s office. As a licensed pharmacy, 1-1800-PetMeds only dispenses EPA/FDA approved drugs.

Their brand products are made with natural, third-party tested ingredients. To choose the best products for your pet, check the store’s ratings and comparison charts.

Download the 1-800-PetMeds App on the Apple Store or Google Play Store to find an affordable vet.

PRO TIP: While it can save you money, you should be careful not to get scammed when buying pet medications online. There are some unscrupulous sites that swindle unsuspecting pet owners. Only deal with the reputable sites mentioned above.

If you are suspicious about the quality of medications, the FDA has some guidelines that will determine if you’re dealing with a reputable pharmacy. You can check out the FDA’s consumer updates on veterinary medications. 

6. Talk To Your Vet

Cheap Vet

Vets understand how much our pets mean to us. After visiting your veterinarian and hearing treatment options, negotiate a payment plan.

Discuss your financial situation if your pet needs expensive medical treatment and you can’t afford to cover the cost of care.  If you’re a regular client in good standing, your vet can devise a weekly or monthly payment plan.

Your vet can also offer preventative plans like diagnostic tests, vaccines, office visits and dental cleaning for a set monthly fee. If you are visiting a new vet for the first time, they may not agree to such a policy or discount.

7. Discount Days And Specials

Keeping an eye out for specials is another way you can get affordable vet care. Pet clinics offer discounts and specials at certain times of the year, just like human-centered businesses.

Ask your vet if he or she has deals on preventative care or routine pet care. You can save a great deal by grabbing low-cost coupons and discounts at the right time. 

8. Preventative Health Care

Prevention is always better (and cheaper) than a cure. Being proactive to your pet’s health is the surest way to keep vet care bills low. 

Take precautions and steps to minimize your pet’s chance of needing expensive medical care. Keep up with the vaccination schedule and ensure your pet gets annual wellness exams. 

Also, consider pet-proofing your home by avoiding bringing toxic plants into the house and keeping dangerous foods out of your pet’s reach. 

Healthy Diet

Obese pets are at a higher risk for many medical issues like arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure. To keep your pets safe and healthy, feed them a healthy diet that your vet recommends.

Try to cut down on high-fat treats. You may be tempted to share your snack while watching a movie with your dog.

While the intention is good, human food can cause toxic poisoning, obesity, and other problems. Stick with the recommended pet food. 

Regular Exercise

Just like you, your pet needs to stay active. That evening walk with your dog can help him or her stay fit, potentially reducing your medical costs in the process. An active life will enhance your dog’s cardiovascular system and ensure their bloodstreams remain cleaner. 

Dental Care

Besides yearly check-ups, your pet also needs a periodic dental cleaning. Start brushing your pet’s teeth when they’re still young, so they get used to it.

Brushing is not your pet’s favorite activity, so try to combine with treats or cuddle time. There are special toothbrushes and toothpaste designed specifically for pets. They will make teeth brushing more pleasant. 

Love And Attention

Pets are those special, loyal friends that love us unconditionally. For all the love and loyalty they give, all they ask for in return is a little TLC. Whether it’s just cuddling or playing with toys, make time and interact with your furry companion

Summary Of Affordable Pet Care

Providing your pet with medical care is a vital part of being a responsible pet parent. While vet care can be costly, this article offers beneficial cost-saving tips.

With these smart tips, finding affordable vet care is cheap and quick. I hope we have answered your question of how to find an “affordable vet near me.”

Have you used any special techniques to lower the costs of your vet bills? If you have, please share in the comments below.

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