Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pet Care Adds Up

If you have any pets, you know that they can be extremely costly to take care of, feed, and the vet bills can be nothing short of outrageous.  I take my daughters to the pediatrician many times a year, and I never have that pit in the stomach feeling that I do when I visit the vets with my dogs.  I agonize over having to make their appointments knowing full well that I will be bullied into items that my dogs probably don't really need, but because I want to be a good Pet Caregiver, I feel too badly to say, "No." 

It's that time of year again, the time where the dogs need to go in for their annual checkups, and get their shots.  They also need heartworm and flea medications too, which as I sit here typing this I can almost feel my throat begin to close up a little in anticipation of the bill that I will receive.  "No MORE", I think as I move to another browser in my screen and begin searching for more vets in the area.  Maybe it's just my vet, and possibly I have chosen the most expensive vet in Bluffton.  When I find the Vet websites, absolutely none of them list the costs fore services related to the annual check ups, shots, or medication offered.  This is not going to be easy, but I'm ready to put in the work to save the money.  So we called 3 Vets in Bluffton and none of the prices were the same:

Banfield Pet Hospital
  • Exam $110/ dog not including the Heartworm and feces test - Includes Rabies, DHLP, and Bordetalla shots
  • Heartworm and feces test (which they recommend) $75/pet
  • Heartworm meds (6 for $35)
  • Frontline (4 for $57)
Bluffton Vet
  • Exam $186/dog - includes Rabies, DHLP, Bordatella, and Feces test.  If you want a 3 year Rabies, add $23.
  • Heartworm (Interceptor) ($55.75 for 6 - 55lb and up) ($40.50 for 6 - under 55lbs) and singles for $10
  • Frontline (55lb dog - 6 for $78) (45lb dog - 6 for $75), Singles are $18 and $17
Coastal Vet
  • Exam $150/dog - includes 3 year Rabies, DHLP, Bordatella, heartworm and feces test.
  • Heartworm (Interceptor) (55lb - 6 for $49)(45lb - 6 for $36)
  • Heartworm (Heartgrade) (55lb - 6 for $43) (45lb - 6 for $38)
  • Advantage (55lb - 7 for $90) (45lb - 7 for $85)
After calling all of these vets, I was still feeling like I was going to have yet another $600.00 bill to pay when I took them in and was feeling a bit beaten.  As I sat there I was trying to figure out what to do, do I keep calling more vets just to get the same prices, or do I call the Humane Society for information.  It occurred to me that the Humane Society wants to help because they don't want to end up with dogs who have no home because their owners can't afford to care for them.  We called and she recommend Affordable Pet Clinic in Beaufort, SC.  The prices for this vet are below, and amazingly enough we have to wait a few weeks for an appointment while the other vets could get us in immediately. 

Affordable Pet Clinic (Beaufort, SC)
  • Exam $75/dog includes 3 year Rabies, DHLP, Dewormer, and Heartworm test.  Bordatella is $15 extra.



  2. You should get all kinds of feathers ruffled when this hits the news stand... I would look in Hardeeville/Rigdeland area. But I'm sure we get what we pay for yes?

  3. Yep, gotta agree with the Mad Hatter, like everything else, you pay for what you get! I've been to most of the places you've mentioned, its like comparing getting your child's vaccines/exams at the Health Dept vs getting them at a pediatrician's office.

  4. Thanks so much for this info. I have been taking my dog to the Hampton Animal Hospital. It's a small place and, granted, it's a one hour drive but I like Dr. Sease and I think they are reasonable,too. My dog needed his teeth cleaned so I priced Riverwalk. They gave me a printed sheet that showed procedures that could be related to the cleaning...price was an anything-can-happen charge from 300 to 582.00. Hampton Hospital's bill came to $151.00
    Hampton Animal Hospital is 803-943-4887.
    Thanks for the good work you do.

  5. Hi I just found your blog on Bloggers. I'm now following you. This is some great information and very eye opening... we have been throwing around the idea of getting a dog, but after reading this I think we will wait a bit and start to save for it!

    I would love for you to come check out my blog Tips for Savings:
    I posted a coupon for a free first exam with Banfield. I hope that helps anyone who is thinking about using them!

    Thanks and keep in touch,