A healthy pet is the dream of every lovely pet parent. But maintaining a healthy pet means a lot of work. Does your overcharged vet bill one such obstacle?
Veterinarians may overcharge due to high costs to maintain the veterinary clinics, overpriced drugs, pet food supplements, expensive laboratory tests, and repay their student loan debts. Price shopping, open discussion, becoming an empowering pet owner, obtaining pet insurance are a few solutions.
A major concern of pet parents is the overcharged vet bills. Let’s dive in deep and find out whether vets really overcharge, if so, how to avoid them.
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Do veterinarians really charge more?
Like human healthcare, pet health care also costs a lot. However, people believe that vets overcharge. Is this accusation true?
Not all vets overcharge; on the contrary, some vets overcharge their clients. Therefore, it is wrong to say that all vets overcharge.
Vets have committed their whole lives for the betterment of animals; they have chosen to be a veterinarian out of the love they possess towards animals.
Therefore, most vets’ priority is the wellbeing of their loving pet.
However, when it comes to running a veterinary clinic and providing the best care to your loving pet, it requires a lot of finances.
Some treatments and laboratory tests performed on your pet are expensive; therefore, your vet bill is also covered.
We have to understand that running a veterinary practice comes with a lot of costs, and vets cannot do it at a loss.
But we do have to agree that some veterinarians overcharge you, mainly by prescribing pet medications and running unwanted tests on your pet.
Therefore, you need to be aware of such situations.
Although there are some fee guidelines about veterinary charges, there is no standardization in them, so they are not followed.
By the way, here is whether your vet can keep your pet.
Why do some vets overcharge?
Now let’s look through 4 reasons why some vets overcharge.
1. To cover the cost of running a Veterinary practice.
To provide your pet the best care, maintaining a fully equipped Veterinary facility is essential. This cost a lot.
Like in human medical practices, veterinary diagnostic equipment costs a lot.
X-ray and ultrasound machines, anesthetic equipment, laboratory equipment, and physical examination tools are huge investments.
Not only for this equipment and for the hospital to run properly, the veterinary staff members( veterinarians, receptionists, veterinary technicians) should also be maintained properly.
As with any business, there are fixed overheads that should be paid by the veterinary hospitals like rent, property taxes, insurance, and building maintenance.
Different veterinary clinics maintain different standards. Accordingly, their facilities might change along with their charges.
2.Student loan debts.
To complete their veterinary undergraduate studies, many veterinarians have taken student loans.
A large amount of debt means that the veterinarians have to earn a salary to make a sustainable living, maintain their veterinary practice, pay the employees, and repay their student loans.
3. Overcharge for pet medications.
One of the main ways vets overcharge is by certain pet medications.
According to recent studies, vets often markup the price of prescription drugs when you directly purchase them from their veterinary clinics.
They prescribe drugs to be purchased from their drug stores. These prescription drugs are really expensive in their drug stores.
Some of these overcharged prescriptions are flea, tick, and heartworm medications.
As an empowered pet owner, you should be aware of the prices of these drugs in the market as well as online drug stores.
It will help you to decide how to purchase these drugs without overpaying your veterinarian.
4. Laboratory tests.
We all know how much a lab test can cost! It is true that lab tests are of high diagnostic value but did you know that it is one of the main reasons why you are overcharged by your vet?
Laboratory equipment is extremely expensive, and without them, your pet might not receive the proper medications he requires.
However, some vets tend to run many tests on pets, where some of them are not necessary.
Not only unnecessary tests but also they sometimes suggest unwanted procedures to be performed. These can cost a lot of money.
By the way, here is what to do if your dog has never been to the vet.
How to tell if the veterinarian is going to fool you?
To predict whether your veterinarian is gonna fool you by overcharging is not very easy. As a committed vet owner, it takes some experience with different vets to understand whether your vet is overcharging you.
You have to be familiar with the medical procedures and their average costs to compare and understand whether your vet is overcharging you.
Another important thing you need to be aware of is the prices of drugs. This is one of the main ways you are overcharged by your vets.
How to prevent getting overcharged by your veterinarian?
Rather than worrying about an overpriced vet bill after you receive it, it’s better if we can prevent getting overcharged by your vet.
Here are 5 tips to prevent getting overcharged by your vet.
1. Price shopping-
One of the misconceptions about veterinary care is that you have to pay more to receive the best care for your pet. This is not always the case.
While some procedures, drugs, and laboratory tests are expensive and extremely necessary, not all procedures are equally costly. Maybe you are paying more than you should!
So the best way to avoid this is to do price shopping before you choose your vet.
You can easily get information about other veterinarians in your area by simply talking with your neighbors, friends, and relatives who are loving pet owners.
Then you can figure out the market rate in your area.
Not only from other pet owners, but you can also always contact a trustworthy pet rescue organization in your area to get authentic information about reasonable and honest vets you can consult.
They get to work with many vets; therefore, that information is valid.
A prior price check on the veterinary charges will help you choose a vet at a reasonable and affordable price.
2. Open discussion with your veterinarian.
This method will solve most of your concerns about vet bills.
As a client, it is your right to know about the medical procedures carried out on your pet and how much it costs because, at the end of the day, you are the one who is gonna pay the vet bill.
Informed consent is one of the key values of ethical healthcare.
As the client, you have to be professional and direct with your veterinarian when discussing the price of the medical procedures carried out on your pet.
If your pet is facing a major health problem, you can openly discuss the long-term treatment options, compulsory tests to be carried out on your pet, the prognosis for recovery, and the process of recovery.
Along with these subjects, you can directly ask about how much each of these tests will cost.
By breaking down the charges for every procedure and test, you can better understand the approximate costs for the treatment process; therefore, you can be prepared.
However, this helps you be prepared for your vet bills and allows cutting down some of the additional expenses.
If a vet recommends supplements, additional food items, and unwanted tests and procedures, by openly discussing with him every recommendation and their outcomes, you can have an idea of which choices are to be made.
Discussing money can be hard sometimes, but veterinarians are professionals who will understand your situation, and they are bound to provide you with information.
This step will be helpful to you to get the best care for your loving pet.
3. Do not purchase the drugs from the veterinarians’ office.
One of the major reasons for overpriced vet bills is due to the pet medications purchased directly from the vet office.
Many veterinarians who are overcharging you mark up the price of the prescription drugs when you purchase them directly from their office.
However, these drugs can be purchased at a lower price from other pharmacies as well as authentic online drug stores. You can also find some sources which will provide the drugs wholesale.
Before directly purchasing drugs from your vet office, do some prior research and have an idea about the prices of drugs from other reliable sources.
After finding out the real prices, you can ask your veterinarian to give a prescription, and you can purchase the drug from another convenient source.
This will help you to get rid of additional vet costs.
4. Become an empowered pet owner.
Who knows your pet more than you? I believe it’s you. You are the closest to your pet, and you spend more time with him than anyone.
You are the best person to detect every little detail and change of your lovely pet. So it’s best if you can educate yourself a bit more about pet health care as well.
So you do not have to run to your vet every time you feel that your pet is not doing well.
Not every pet loves a visit to the vet; maybe this is your pet. So why bother him with these stressful vet visits. If you can learn and study about pet health care, your loving pet will be safer.
This will also help you reduce your vet bills because you can also minimize some diseases as an empowered pet parent.
As both of us know, Prevention is always better than cure, therefore keeping your lovely pet healthy will bring many positive outcomes.
Not only will it help your lovely pet to live a long healthy life, but it will also cut down additional vet charges.
Here are some important basics you should follow to keep your pet healthy.
- Provide a healthy diet- it will help him to grow well with fewer deficiencies and gastrointestinal diseases.
- Provide mandatory vaccines and preventive drugs- it is always better to prevent these diseases rather than treat them.
5. Consider Pet Insurance and Enroll for a Well Health Saving program.
Pet insurance is not uncommon, although it is not popular as human insurance.
For unavoidable medical problems of your pet and long-term medical treatments, insurance can save your money.
You can research a few insurance plans and choose what’s best for you and your pet.
Many veterinary hospitals now provide Well Health Saving programs for pets.
They provide you with the most essential and basic immunizations, routine dental cleanings, and lab tests for an annual or monthly fee.
However, the goal of this program is to prevent the diseases because it is easier and cost-friendly rather than treating a disease.
This is comparatively affordable because you do not have to pay at once.
Suggested Reading: Read this if you cannot afford dental work for your dog.
Things to be aware of.
We have to always remember that owning a pet is expensive. Most pet owners only worry about the initial cost when adopting a pet.
To provide a healthy and long, happy life for your loving pet, we must provide the best medical care. Some vaccines, drugs, and treatments are mandatory as they save your pet’s life.
Therefore, they are unavoidable costs. However, you can always find affordable veterinary services from many professionals. You have to be aware of them.
However, if you can’t afford an overcharged vet bill, here are 5 important tips for you:
- Consider pet insurance.
- Talk with your veterinarian about payment options.
- Use free or low-cost clinics.
- Get help from friends and family who own pets.
- Start a pet savings account when you adopt your pet.
This comprehensive article will give you an insight into why some vets overcharge you and 5 tips to prevent getting overcharged by your vet.