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According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 38.4% of American households own a dog. With so many people owning dogs, the veterinarian and pet insurance market is thriving. In fact, the pet insurance market is expected to reach $12 million by 2027.

Visiting the veterinarian can be costly and if you don’t have the funds saved, overwhelming and scary. In New York City the average price of a routine check-up on your pup is $67.95 and a dental cleaning averages $394.95. 

The below guide will discuss expected vet costs for different procedures and behaviors to keep an eye on, and when you should visit the veterinarian. 

Expected Procedural Prices

When you bring your dog to the veterinarian, costs can vary greatly depending on what’s wrong. The below prices are from The Zebra’s research and are nationwide averages for vet visit costs for your dogs.


  • Microchipping: $20
  • Vaccines (per shot): $15-$30
  • Fecal exam: $45-$50
  • Bloodwork: $80-$200
  • X-rays: $150-$200
  • Allergy test: $195-$300
  • Spaying or neutering: $300
  • Wound treatment: $800-$2,500
  • Emergency surgery: $1,500-$5,000

Determining if Your Dog Needs a Vet Visit

Like most dog owners, you want to keep your dog happy and healthy. Part of keeping dogs healthy is exercising with them. However, it takes time to understand your dog’s needs and what behavior changes mean. The below section will discuss common behavioral changes and what your dog might be indicating. It’ll also discuss when a vet visit is the best route.

1. Not Eating

If your dog is in a new environment or it’s extremely hot outside for them, they might choose to skip a meal. However, if your dog goes 48 hours or more without eating it’s best to visit your veterinarian. 

On the flip side, if your dog is unusually hungry or maniacally eating items they shouldn’t, contact your veterinarian. This could be a neurological issue.

2. Changes in Poop

Yeah, it’s not fun to investigate your dog’s stool, but it’s often necessary. For instance, you can easily tell if your dog has some variation of worms because you’ll often see them in the stool. In general, though, your dog’s stool should be firm and moist. 

If you notice blood, mucus, or diarrhea for more than 24 hours, contact your vet. If you see any sign of worms then schedule a vet appointment and take a sample of your dog’s stool with you.

4. Poor balance 

If your dog is limping or doesn’t want to put pressure on its foot or leg contact your veterinarian. If it hurts to touch or they’re defensive when you approach, take them to the veterinarian ASAP. If your dog doesn’t wince it might just be a sprain and you can schedule a vet visit for the next day or later that week.


However, if your dog’s balance is off you should make an appointment with your veterinarian right away. This is a common sign for neurological issues, which are more common in senior dogs


If you’re looking to save money on veterinarian visits it’s recommended that you look into pet insurance or a wellness plan for your dog. If you’re worried about paying these medical costs, consider adopting a dog from an animal shelter instead. Most dogs have had their vaccines and other major medical needs are taken care of.


For more information on what vet visits cost, behavioral changes to be mindful of, and new technology to keep your dog safe, check out the below infographic from The Zebra.

photo credit:

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