If you’ve ever called in late to work because Scruffy’s nail appointment went over, you may be a dog lover. If you’ve spent an evening in the pet aisle agonizing over the Jack Skellington or the UPS driver’s companion costume—well, we feel your pain.

If you feel even slightly silly (and you probably don’t), you’re not alone. Americans are nuts about their dogs.

Dogs don’t only steal your heart. They command a chunk of your monthly budget. Between dog food, treats, grooming, clothes, and spa visits, dogs aren’t a cheap date.

And don’t forget healthcare. Some dog owners expect they’ll pay more for their dog’s medical care than they will for their own.

At Sykesville Animal Hospital we love helping dog parents figure things out. Here are answers to a few common questions dog owners think about (even if they don’t always ask them out loud).

Why Is My Dog’s Vet Bill THAT Much?

In the U.S. the average price of a basic visit with your veterinarian is between $25 and $75. 

We understand if you’re surprised when we hand you the bill for your dog’s visit. Most of us feel shocked when we see the bill from our human doctor. It seems like the bill for a dog who weighs much less than we do should be much less.

Staff at Sykesville Animal Hospital know dogs make amazing pets, but we also know caring for them can get expensive.

Veterinary care, like care from your physician, includes compensation for the vet’s staff as well as the vet. If your dog requires x-rays, lab tests, or consultations from specialists, those costs are included too.

You may not realize it but equipment and supplies your vet uses often come from companies that make human medical equipment.

You’re probably aware of how expensive equipment, supplies, and drugs are for people. It’s the same for dogs. 

How Much Does Dog Surgery Cost?

The short answer: it depends on the procedure, height, and weight of your dog, and your dog’s age.

Spay/neuter surgery costs between $150 and $250 or higher. A common surgery for senior dogs, hip dysplasia runs from $1,700 to $4,500 and up. Older dogs often develop cataracts and corrective surgery may cost anywhere from $1500-$3000.

Another common surgery for dogs is gastropexy surgery. Bloating in dogs can be life-threatening. It’s also preventable.

The vet bill for this gastropexy may be near $400 if it’s a preventative procedure. If a dog develops bloat, it’s a medical emergency and surgery costs range from $1200 to $5000 should complications arise.

When you receive the surgical bill from your vet, you’ll notice it includes the surgical procedure, a pre-anesthesia exam, anesthesia, pulse oximeter monitoring, post-op pain management, and antibiotics.

What if I Can’t Afford the Vet Bill?

The majority of dog owners know that at some point they’ll pay for veterinary care. Most dog owners don’t anticipate some of the more expensive items like emergency care and unplanned surgery.

There are things you can do to help offset the cost of medical care for your dog.

One popular choice is a third-party healthcare line of credit. You might also consider a credit card reserved solely for pet care. Another option is pet insurance.

Many veterinary offices offer discounts if you have multiple pets. Some practices offer a discount for dog parents who are 65 years or older.

The best option is to start a nest egg tagged for your dog’s healthcare.

More Questions for Sykesville Animal Hospital?

Hopefully, we’ve answered a few of your questions. We know, like most dog owners you may have other questions about your pup’s healthcare.

Contact us today and let’s schedule an appointment. The staff at Sykesville Animal Hospital can’t wait to meet you and your dog.