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Digging Deeper Into The Costs of Quality Veterinary Care


Jade Poole from I Write Words

Cost of Vet

Ever wondered why your pet’s vet bills closely rival those of your own healthcare costs? We get the facts on veterinary bills to give you a new perspective on pet healthcare.

Your pets are a part of your family, which naturally means that you want to give them the best possible care when they are ill or injured. But there is obviously never a good time for an unexpected vet bill. And the truth of the matter is that vet bills can cost thousands of rands if something serious happens to your pet.

Many pet parents do not take the cost of responsible pet ownership into consideration when they make the decision to welcome a pet into their homes and their hearts.

From the costs of routine care (check-ups, vaccinations, deworming, and sterilisation), to vet visits and of course, the more expensive and unpredictable costs associated with emergency veterinary care. It can all leave you with a large dent in your bank account and a lump in your throat.

It’s no wonder that so many pet parents are turning to affordable pet insurance to help cover the bills of both expected and unexpected pet healthcare.

I typically tend to cover topics related to pet insurance in my blogs. However, I have lately gotten a number of questions about the cost of veterinary care and why it is so high. Which is why I decided to breakdown the bills of veterinary clinics and explain to the pet parents reading this, the reasons for these bills.

Understanding the cost of quality pet healthcare

Let’s look at an example…

You bring Fluffy to the vet for a mild illness when you notice he isn’t acting like his usual, bouncy and happy self. You’re there for about 15 minutes (sometimes more) and your vet prescribes Fluffy some medication, you then leave. When checking out, you’re taken aback by the bill.

The cost of the consult was R350 and the antibiotics to treat the infection cost R500. Your bill then comes to R850 after only spending a total of 30 minutes at the vet.

How could it possibly cost that much?

It turns out, your vet is NOT charging too much

If you think your veterinarian charges too much, you’re sorely mistaken. The fact is that pets are expensive, as are the services of veterinary healthcare. Your vet’s time, pet medication, and clinic overheads all have to be taken into account.

As pet parents, we know that pet healthcare services can quickly add up, especially when our pets are diagnosed with an illness or are involved in an accident.

Your vet is not in this for the money

The first thing you need to know is that vets are not in it for the money. If all they cared about was their bottom line, then they would not have studied for years and years on end, worked late nights, early mornings and long days to pass their final exams, let alone their community service years and various outreach programs so many of them are involved in. Vets do that they do because they have a passion for animals and helping them to lead healthy and happy lives.

Vets have their own bills to pay

What pet owners tend to forget is that veterinary medicine is still a business at the end of the day. In order for a business to succeed, it still needs to make a profit. Even if your vet operates from a non-profit facility, there are still expenses to cover and pay for to keep the business up and running.

The costs of veterinary care

The nest time you are under the impression that your vet is charging too much, keep the following points in mind…

  1. Your vet is not the only one working in his or her clinic. There are a number of highly skilled and trained staff, many of whom share your vet’s passion for animal healthcare. These people cannot work for free.
  2. The costs of the facilities, equipment and supplies are similar to those of human medicine.
  3. As mentioned earlier, your vet’s clinic is still a business and needs to turn over a profit in order to thrive and continue to source the best possible supplies, medication and equipment for your pets.

How to prepare for vet bills

Pet insurance is an affordable way to plan for unexpected vet bills. I cannot stress the importance of pet insurance enough when it comes to being a responsible pet owner.

Even if you can afford vet bills, why not avoid these costs and better prepare for them with a pet insurance plan in place? As I previously stated, the costs of routine care and vet visits can quickly add up, not to mention the skyrocketing costs of emergency pet care (these can easily cost R10 000 to R30 000 or more for a basic procedure to save your pet’s life).

Pet insurance was created to help pet parents extend their pets life through routine healthcare benefits which encourage regular vet visits, and of course, save you from the surprise costs of accidental and emergency pet healthcare. 

Do yourself (and your bank account) a favour and do some research into what pet insurance plans are available to you (check out this guide to choosing a pet insurance plan for you and your pet) My advice is to choose one that includes day to day benefits as well as hospital cover.

Until next time,

The Pet Insurance Team

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