Q. Why is vet care so expensive?

A. There is no government support for your pet’s health care, it might seem that you are paying more for your pet’s treatment. Human patients have Medicare, which pays most of the cost of our medical treatment.  Added to this there are many treatment options available today, and they are continually developing treatments for pets.

However, when you compare veterinary fees with other professional service fees, they are really not excessive.

It’s also important to remember that your veterinarian is not only your pet’s GP, but also their surgeon, radiologist, dermatologist, neurologist, oncologist and pharmacist as well.

Q. Why do veterinary fees and charges differ between practices?

A. Each veterinarian sets their fees based on the treatment being given as well as the expertise available and the cost of supplying the service. These prices cover all of the expenses that keep the veterinary practice running, such as salaries, overheads and equipment. Expenses can vary widely from place to place depending on their cost structures.

Q. Why can’t vets advise, diagnose or prescribe over the phone?

A. As with humans, it’s very difficult for a vet to come up with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan if they haven’t seen and examined the animal themselves.

It is also unethical and illegal to prescribe prescription medication for an animal that hasn’t been physically examined by a veterinarian.

Q. How do I know I am going to get the best vet service for my pet?

A. If you use a vet that is an AVA member they are committed to a Professional Code of Conduct which means high ethical standards for people and their pets. Members also take advantage of continuing education programs to keep up on the latest techniques and research, which is important for your pet’s health and treatment.

The AVA offers a community for vets to network and to share ideas, to find out who is offering breakthrough treatments or alternative options, and vets can use this information to better treat pets.

Q. Do I need pet insurance?

A. The decision to get pet insurance is up to individual owners, but it can be a good idea and save you money in the long run. 

Some owners find that pet health insurance gives them peace of mind. It also helps you avoid unplanned expenses and helps with your family budgeting.

If your pet is involved in an accident or suffers a sudden illness it can give you the ability to consider all treatment options and not be restricted by cost.