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How Much Do Vet Visits Cost?

Rachel Horan

Rachel Horan

June 30, 20213 minute read
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If you need to take your furry friend to the vet, you might be worried about how much it’s going to cost you. Unfortunately, vets aren’t cheap, but they’re sometimes unavoidable.

On this page:

    In this simple guide, we discuss how much you might expect to pay for visiting the vet, tips to reduce the costs, and more.

    Typical vet visit

    For a standard check-up, vaccination appointment, or another non-emergency vet visit, the costs are likely going to be less. According to the RSPCA, a standard vet visit for a cat or dog will sit at around $50 to $100. However, additional costs for vaccinations can be around $80 to $90 per year for an adult animal, but can be more expensive for a puppy or kitten.

    Additionally, if you have an ‘exotic’ animal, you’re more likely to pay a much higher vet bill. This is because there are fewer vets that are qualified to treat exotic animals, like reptiles or ferrets, and the care required is often more specialised.


    Did you know?

    Ferrets can catch colds and flus from humans, so if you have a ferret and you’re feeling unwell, it’s best to steer clear of them until you’re feeling better.

    Emergency vet visit

    On the other hand, an emergency vet visit is going to be much more expensive, especially if it is after hours. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Whether your pet ate something it shouldn’t have, had an accident, or simply doesn’t seem right, an emergency trip to the vet might be necessary.

    According to the RSPCA, the most dangerous foods for dogs and cats to ingest are: chocolate, onions, grapes, macadamia nuts, and even chewing gum.

    Depending on the type of care required, the prices of an emergency visit to the vet will vary. However, to give you an idea, we’ve provided some examples below.

    According to RSPCA statistics, the most common pet accident and illness claims were for the following:

    • Cancer: $3,503.74
    • Tick paralysis: $1,156.87
    • Diabetes: $1,952.39
    • Snake bites: $2,133.31

    Additionally, Finder outlined the most common pet surgeries and their costs from 2019, which are also quite considerable. Some of these costs are included below:


    Surgery Type Average Claim Amount Highest Claim Amount
    Cancer $3,503 $34,183
    Gastro intestinal $1,319 $21,633
    Snake bite $2,133 $20,147
    Pneumonia $1,610 $7,316
    Arthritis $688 $12,460
    Diabetes $1,952 $16,712
    Ear infection $833 $14,271

    Average vet costs

    To give you an idea of how much you might expect to pay in vet bills, Moneysmart.gov.au estimates that you should expect to pay about $450 per year on your pet’s health. This is without factoring in the cost of emergency vet trips, like unwanted food consumption, or other influences such as your pet’s age or species.

    According to Greencross Vets, there are two major kinds of age-related changes that your pet might experience, which could result in more vet visits. Firstly, they may experience hearing loss, changes in vision, or reduced activity. Unfortunately, these cannot be prevented and are normal. Secondly, there are pathological changes or diseases that can occur, such as heart disease, kidney disease, or dental disease. These can be somewhat preventable, otherwise they can be managed. However, they’re likely to incur more costs.

    In addition, cocker spaniels and german shepherds are both considered to be at a “high risk” of health issues, which could result in more expensive pet ownership.

    Tips to avoid costly vet trips

    While sometimes, the vet is unavoidable, there are still things you can do to minimise the need for costly vet trips in the future. Not to mention, having a happy and healthy animal that isn’t in need of medical treatments!

    • Use a six-foot leash when walking your dog, especially near roads, to avoid motor vehicle injuries;
    • Keep dogs and cats lean, as obesity can lead to arthritis and other health issues;
    • As well as keeping animals lean, avoid running on pavement for better bone health;
    • Don’t allow pets to eat food off the ground;
    • Don’t feed your pets “people food”;
    • Don’t allow your dog to eat fecal matter;
    • Brush your animals’ teeth to avoid dental issues in the future;
    • Seek professional teeth cleaning to avoid periodontal disease;
    • Feed your animals the recommended amount of food based on their weight and breed, avoid exercise after eating, and be aware of non-productive vomiting.

    Copyright © www.jacarandafinance.com.au Jacaranda Finance Pty Ltd ® ABN 53 162 078 195 Australian Credit Licence 456 404, Pawnbroking License Number 4221738. The information on this web-page is general information and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Information provided on this website is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.

    Rachel Horan
    Rachel Horan

    Written by Rachel Horan

    Rachel Horan is a Content Writer for Jacaranda Finance. Rachel has previously produced content for Brisbane City Council, Black & White Cabs, and Clubs Queensland. She has a Bachelor of Mass Communication with Distinction from the Queensland University of Technology.

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