• Chappelle Small Animal Hospital: Fort Collins Vet Services


Client Education Articles

Explaining the Cost of Veterinary Care

As pet owners, we have a lot of things to consider when taking care of our pets.  One of the largest expenses that most pet owners incur is veterinary care. Here are a few key points to help you understand the cost of veterinary care.

How can my veterinarian help me reduce the cost of veterinary care?

Preventative healthcare is a key factor in assisting in reducing long-term medical costs. Scheduling regular exams for your pet provides an opportunity for the veterinarian to help to avoid preventable conditions and detect disease early.

How does the cost of veterinary care compare to that of human health care?

Veterinary care is very comparable to human medicine. We are able to utilize many of the same technologies that human doctors use. Fortunately, veterinary medical care comes at a much lower cost than human medicine – human health care fees are generally offset by health insurance coverage.

How are veterinary fees determined?

Many veterinarians set their fees based on the following criteria:

  • complexity of the case
  • treatment options available
  • tests needed to diagnose a condition
  • operational costs for maintaining the hospital facilities, technologies and equipment
  • support personnel to provide the high level of quality service and care

Why do fees appear to vary so much from one veterinary hospital to another?

Fees can vary greatly between veterinary hospitals due to the varying levels of care and expertise that a hospital can provide. As consumers of health care services, owners must choose based on the quality of care they seek as well as financial constraints. 

Does my veterinarian act in the best interest of my pet?

Veterinarians are pet owners too and are committed to maintaining the human-animal bond. As a member of AAHA, we are committed to quality care and are concerned with what is in the best interest of the pet as well as the wishes of the owner.

What can I do to keep my pet healthy and avoid costly and painful disease treatments?

The best thing to do for your pet is to schedule regular examinations with the veterinarian. At that time, you and the vet can discuss the recommendations for routine tests (blood work, fecal tests, X-rays) that can help the vet to spot disease before it becomes serious. Diet and exercise are vital to your pet's wellbeing – you can discuss any recommendations for your pet with the vet during a routine examination.