Free Pet Exam

In the last 5 years, more and more veterinary care providers have rolled out some form of free online veterinary support for pet owners. This service is offered in two formats:

  • An online webchat or email form to connect with a veterinary practitioner.
  • A free 24/7 emergency helpline to speak to someone via phone.

Not all veterinary care providers offer this service, but it is becoming increasingly common as a way of providing quick and effective medical advice without the need for an in-person clinic appointment.

How much is a pet exam?

The average cost of a routine check-up is $50 in the US, but prices typically range from $35 to $60 depending on the species of the animal, individual veterinary clinic, annual fee increases and the area the clinic is located.

In the UK, routine vet exams are more expensive, with the average cost sitting at £60 as of September 2020. For clarity, $50 equates to £36 using 2021 currency conversion.

A visit price will increase if other treatments or services are added to the same appointment, such as routine bloodwork, vaccinations or flea and worming treatment.

Are animal hospitals cheaper than vets?

In the UK, animal hospitals refer to veterinary clinics managed by animal charities or veterinary care outsourced by a charity to a local veterinary clinic. Veterinary care provided by an animal charity is generally cheaper but pet owners must be in receipt of certain state benefits to qualify for free or reduced-cost veterinary care.

In the US, the terms “animal hospital” and “veterinary clinic” are used interchangeably, but it can be assumed that animal hospitals are usually larger chain clinics and veterinary clinics are smaller independent companies.

Larger animal care providers tend to be more expensive, but similarly, those clinics in rural areas and with fewer clients will have to charge a higher fee to be profitable.

What can I do for a sick dog with no money?

Your first point of contact should be your regular veterinary clinic. Be honest with them about your financial situation and ask if they would be happy to accept a payment plan.

Alternatively, you could contact your local animal charity and ask for advice regarding reduced-cost veterinary care. You may need to show that you are in receipt of state benefits or show proof of income to be eligible for any assistance with veterinary costs.

Other options that may be available are increasing your credit card limit to cover the vet costs, but you would need to speak with your card issuer first.

You may also ask friends and family for a loan or contact your local bank branch if you need a short-term loan.


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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