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How to Slash Your Vet Bills

Try these tips to lower the cost of you vet visit — without skimping on care.

Learning Benefits

We love our pets, but they sure don’t come cheap, especially when illness strikes. To lower the cost of keeping and getting them well — without skimping on care — try these tips from Karen Halligan, D.V.M., author of Doc Halligan’s What Every Pet Owner Should Know:

Get ’em fixed
Spaying and neutering can reduce the chance of diseases, saving you cash later on. Find an affordable spay/neuter clinic near you at

Check vaccines
Not all pets need pricey yearly shots. If your adult animal has little contact with other critters, you may be able to skip canine bordatella and influenza and feline leukemia vaccines.

Get people meds
Ask for a generic Rx you can fill at your local pharmacy for a fraction of the cost of just-for-pets antibiotics, steroids, or pain relievers.

Look for deals
Some vets offer discounts for more expensive senior pets. Others give price cuts if you have more than one animal or for special procedures (like
dental cleanings) at certain times of the year.

Shop around
A vet school can be a lower-cost option for more expensive treatments. (Find one at Still too strapped? The Humane Society provides a list of organizations that offer financial assistance. Find it at

Early Bird Special
Book early-a.m. appointments if your pet requires anesthesia. You'll avoid the price of an overnight stay.

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