white dog being held by vet
Money Saving, Pets

Is Your Vet Overcharging You?

Vets have a reputation for being expensive, which is why pet owners are encouraged to purchase insurance. The average vet bill for owners without insurance is £810, so it’s no surprise that many resent their hefty fees.

Our vets are amazing with our dog. He has recurring tummy issues and when he has a bout that we can’t handle, they squeeze him into their schedule. We’re currently doing an elimination diet with our pooch as our vet suspects he has a food allergy.

However, on two occasions, in the space of a fortnight, I was encouraged to purchase products direct from the vets that had to be specially ordered. But I later found out that the items are commercial products, available significantly cheaper elsewhere. In fact, both items are almost £10 cheaper online, which means the vets are selling them for more than 30% more. I will never make the same mistake again, that’s for sure. So, with this in mind, here’s how to ensure you’re not being overcharged by your vet.

Buy your pet’s prescription

If your pet requires repeat medication, compare your vet’s price to that of an online vets. Should you find the price differs substantially, ask for a copy of your pet’s prescription from your vet. Be aware, that they will charge you for this, though.

vet photo

Buy online

There’s a reason why online sales have continued to surge. Due to much smaller overheads and being able to buy larger quantities of stock, online retailers can charge less for pet goods, which is great news for us pet owners with young families. I previously purchased a Purina dry dog food from the vets for just under £30, but have just bought the same product for less than £18 from Pet Supermarket.

Don’t buy from the vets unless you really have to

Your vets will likely sell food, treats, collars, tags and various other pet goodies. But, if your practice is anything like mine they’ll be overpriced. Instead, purchase from a dedicated pet shop, such as Pets at Home, online or from your local supermarket. EBay is a good place to pick up doggy products, too. We got out dog’s ID tag with engraving from one seller for less than £5.00.

Have standby medications handy

When my dog has a bout of colitis, we put him straight on Promax. I incorrectly assumed I had to buy this direct from the vets, so every time he got sick I was hit with a consultation charge plus the price of the Promax. Now I keep one on standby which I usually pick up from Amazon.


Do you get a good deal from your vet practice? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.



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  1. Having four dogs this is very interesting to me. I stopped buying dog food from the vets years ago, but never considered medication. Food for thought… thanks xx

  2. I don’t think people realise, when they get a pet, quite how much vet bills can be. Our dog was diagnosed with kidney failure about 8 months before she died plus she had other issues with her bladder. She went in to have a scan to work out exactly what was wrong with her and when I went to pick her up I was given a bill for £1000!!! She was insured but because of her age, the insurance company would only pick up 80% of the bill and also we had to pay the bill upfront and claim it back. It was a nasty shock. The vets were very sympathetic and always did what they could to try to make the bills as low as they could but it is ridiculously expensive! #triumphanttales

  3. I am part of a payment plan for our cat and she gets quite a lot for the monthly fee including vaccines, treatments and annual check-ups. It makes it all quite affordable. Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales, we’d love to see you back again on Tuesday!

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