Understanding The Costs Of Veterinary Medicine

How many of us think of our pets as our children? When it comes to taking care of our pets, we all have to take into account what it costs to have a beloved pet to share our lives. This is true not only for food, supplies, and care when we travel but also for health care.

The cost of Veterinary Medicine is a topic for which there is an abundance of opinions and information. Here we’ll unpack some of the factors that must be considered. 

When someone makes the choice to go into veterinary medicine regardless of if it is to be a doctor or a member of the support staff, their choice usually stems first from a love for animals. After that, comes the reality that to become a DVM requires as much time in school as an MD. This usually means student loan debt as well. It has been shown that upon graduation, veterinarians will be paid substantially less than their counterparts in human medicine. 

A vet hospital is almost always run by a team. This is made up of a group of dedicated professionals that are there to look after our precious animal companions. These individuals are highly skilled and well trained to care for their patients to whom they must communicate through voice, touch and compassion while performing treatments that the patient often doesn’t understand let alone want to have done. 

In the vet industry as in all others, staffing is a major expense. We all want the best for our pets and to hire the best that each clinic can require salaries and benefits to ensure that the caregivers can take care of themselves and their families. Ongoing education is something else that goes into the mix. Each year the medical staff in a veterinary facility must complete a required amount of continuing education. This can mean travel, lodging and relief staff to fill in while the individual is out of the office.

Veterinary medicine has made major advances in the past decades when it comes to adding longevity to the lives of our furry/feathered and scaly friends. However, elderly pets can develop similar conditions to elderly humans. This can mean chronic medications and more frequent checkups. Bear in mind that the advances in veterinary medicine are in part due to the fact that the equipment, supplies, and medications are similar if not the same as those used in human medicine. This means they are equally expensive to purchase and maintain. 

When it comes to running a veterinary practice as a business, there are day to day expenses that must be met such as utilities and building costs. These are necessary budget items that keep the doors open and keep the clinic or hospital available.

These are just some of the factors that can influence the cost of running a veterinary clinic. As businesses, vet hospitals must carefully manage their expenses to ensure that they can provide high quality care to their patients while remaining financially sustainable.  

There are some strategies that can help. As with our own health, getting regular checkups, lab work and dental work can be helpful because we can manage health conditions should they develop rather than reacting to them when they are a crisis. Sometimes setting up a savings account to pay for health care for the pets or setting up a budget item for pet health care can be ways to meet these expenses. Pet health insurance is another way that has been successful for many. As with human health insurance, it is imperative to find a plan that offers the coverage that will best balance with the premium that is most affordable. This requires some homework, but the right plan can go a long way when it comes to peace of mind and relief of the burden. If an unforeseen situation does come up there are also payment solutions such as Carecredit and Scratchpay that can help meet immediate costs and offer payment plans over time. If the need arises, we are happy to discuss options with you.

The cost of veterinary care is a complex topic. For most pet parents, it is important to find a balance between the quality of care that our precious companion receives and the costs for that care. At Harmony, you are part of the care team. We will provide all the treatment options we can offer so that you can decide what is best for your furry friend, and your family. After all, everyone wants to do the best they can to care for their cherished pet.