Veterinary Price Shopping by Jakki Papp

We get many calls daily from people looking for prices. Park Road Veterinary Clinic wanted to put together a list of questions that will be helpful need-to knows when looking to visit a new pet hospital for the first time. Veterinary Clinics are given a guideline for pricing but there is no specific pricing enforcement from the veterinary college.

Most clinics in the same area tend to be close in pricing however there are some that are significantly cheaper. Pet health care costs can be shocking to many new owners, especially if initial or annual appointments are not planned for or there is no emergency fund. As Canadians we are used to paying very little outright for our own personal health care so it can be a tough to wrap our heads around the health care costs for our animals. When one clinic is much less expensive than another we need to ask ourselves, how are they able to be that much cheaper? Are there hidden costs? Are corners being cut? What is the experience at that clinic? Do you feel like a number, or part of a family? Hidden costs is a common stress for pet owners, so when you are calling around for veterinary pricing here is a list of suggested questions you should be asking as a starting point:

Looking to book an examination:
What is the cost of an exam?
What does an exam include?
If my pet has more than one issue, will everything be addressed at the same appointment or do I need to schedule one appointment per issue?

Annual Exam with Vaccines:
Will a full examination be performed on my pet?
What vaccinations are included in this price?
Will the vaccinations be tailored to my pet?
Are there any other vaccinations that may be recommended and what is the cost of them?
Are any additional services performed that are included in that price? For example a nail trim.

Does your price include…

  • I.V. Fluids
  • Pain Medication (at the clinic and to go home)
  • Pre-operative Bloodwork
  • Microchip and registration
  • Follow Up Appointments
  • Is there a trained Registered Veterinary Technician monitoring my pet during their anesthetic and recovery?
  • How long will my pet stay and is this included in the price?
  • Is there an additional charge if I drop them off the night before or leave them the night after surgery?
  • Am I able to watch the surgery?
  • Would my pet need to wear a “cone” (Elizabethan collar) after surgery? Is that cost included?

If any of the above are not included, be sure to ask what the additional cost(s) would be.

As you can see, seeking price information should be much more than just getting the cost of a procedure for your pet. You love your pet as if he is one of the family and want him to be treated as such. While you are asking questions about prices feel free to ask about any concerns you may have around your pet’s health issues!