How to save money on pet vaccinations

A trip to the vet nowadays may easily cause owners to return home with a fully immunized pet and an empty wallet. With an average shot amounting between 15-20 dollars each, and with the physical exam amounting up to $50 dollars, a trip to the vet is definitely a very costly one that may end up even reaching hundreds of dollars.

However, not all owners are aware of the fact that some vaccinations may not be really necessary. Generally, it is a good idea to question the vaccinations before allowing the vet the green light to administer them. Big factors that will help determine if your dog or cat requires some specific vaccinations is their exposure to other dogs and cats, their age, the endemic level of the region, and more.

For instance, strictly indoor cats that do not get in contact with other cats may not need the FELV, FIP and FIV vaccinations. Lepto and Corona may not be required for dogs living in areas where these diseases are rare. Lyme is usually recommended, but dogs that never encounter ticks may refrain from getting this vaccination.

The most important vaccination your pet needs are called core vaccines. They consist of Distemper and Rabies for cats and Distemper, Bordetella and Rabies for dogs. Rabies is mandated by law and must be given to puppies and kittens once over 12 weeks old and then every three years. Distemper is highly recommended because it can be a devastating disease and both indoor and outdoor pets are vulnerable. Bordetella can be an option for dogs, however it is highly recommended for dogs that encounter other dogs and because it is required by all kennel facilities.

However, as already mentioned, each pet should be seen on a case to case basis. While the core vaccines are usually the main ones administered, your dog or cat may still need others because of their level of exposure.

While learning which vaccines are strictly necessary for your pet may help you save money and prevent your from over vaccinating your pet with unnecessary vaccinations, there are other ways to save money on vaccinations. There are more and more low cost vaccination clinics and spay/neuter clinics popping up near major cities.

You can ask your shelter about these clinics. These vaccines are still administered by licensed veterinarians and they offer valid vaccine certificates. You usually are charged half price of what your normal vet clinic charges. At these clinics you generally may expect to pay between 8-10 dollars per vaccine and usually there is no charge for the physical exam.

These low cost vaccines are offered in actual clinics or there may be organized events at shelters or pet stores on a scheduled basis. Usually no appointments are necessary, pets may just walk in and get their vaccines. However, some may need appointments so it is best to contact the organization.

Low cost vaccination clinics are a great way to help out those people that are struggling financially, however, many allow people from all walks of life to use their services. However, do not expect the vet to discuss your dog or cat’s latest physical ailments, the vaccine clinic will usually just quickly check the pet and administer the vaccinations. Should your pet have a physical problem refer to your regular veterinarian, vaccines clinics are just that, a quick visit and shots.

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