How Much Is A Vet Check-Up: Average Cost & Factors

vet visit cost

vet visit cost

If you’re concerned about how much your next vet visit will cost, we’re here to help. Yes, going to the veterinarian with your cat or dog can be quite an investment, but you can learn more about the average costs of common procedures by reading this article.

Each vet visit is different, and how much you’ll pay depends on whether this is your pet’s first visit, an annual check-up, or an emergency visit. Having great pet insurance will save you from unexpected costs and high veterinary bills.

The factors that can affect the cost of a visit are the pet’s age, your location, type of pet insurance you have, the type of clinic you visit, and the type of visit. Learn more about the average prices and why these factors influence the prices below.

Average Vet Visit Cost

If you are wondering how much a vet visit will be, we’ll try to give you an estimate based on several procedures that you’ll probably have to pay for as a pet parent. We’ve divided the visits into three groups: first, annual, and urgent.

First Vet Visit

Your first vet visit with a puppy or kitten will include several essential exams and vaccines that are required for the pet’s wellbeing. It includes a general exam of the skin, eyes, ears, fur, teeth, weight, height, and temperature, to check if the pet is healthy.

Next, puppies and kittens have to be vaccinated with a range of vaccines to protect them from diseases. Puppies usually receive a vaccine against parvovirus, rabies, distemper, adenovirus, and parainfluenza. Kittens get vaccinated against panleukopenia, feline immunodeficiency virus, and feline leukemia virus.

The prices vary between $10 and $30 per vaccine. During the following years, your pets will receive booster shots.

The vet may also want to do bloodwork and a fecal exam to determine if there are any other conditions that might need treatment.

The first visit is more expensive compared to an annual or bi-annual visit because it requires more vaccines and tests. On average, the price can range between $150 and $300.

Annual Vet Visit

Scheduling a regular annual vet visit is the smartest thing you can do. Aside from necessary visits, this is a check-up that you have to remember because it will lower the chances of more expensive emergency visits.

Annual physicals include a general check-up, annual vaccine booster shots, a fecal exam, and a heartworm test. The physical exam costs between $40 and $50 and is usually the same price as a regular vet visit. Booster vaccines can cost between $18 and $28 each. The average price for a fecal exam can range between $25 and $45, while the heartworm test can range between $45 and $50.

If you add wellness coverage to your insurance plan, it usually covers the costs for three vaccines, an annual heartworm test, a fecal exam, and more. Some insurance plans also cover the fees for a vet visit.

If you have an elderly cat or dog, it’s recommended that you have regular geriatric screenings that include urinalysis and bloodwork.

Emergency Vet Visit

There is no way you can predict how much an emergency vet visit will cost. To make a diagnosis, a vet will often need to do a range of diagnostic procedures that can include: bloodwork, x-rays, CT scans, and more. Aside from that, urgent treatment might include hospitalization, surgery, and wound treatment.

If you weren’t aware, vets often charge extra for emergency visits, and you can avoid this by investing in pet insurance. The average cost can range between $100 and $300 per visit.

Factors That Will Affect The Vet Check-Up Cost

Factors That Will Affect The Vet Check-Up Cost

How much does a vet visit cost? Unfortunately, there is no set price for every vet visit, but the final cost depends on numerous factors. Here are the most common ones that you need to know about.

Type Of Insurance

Needless to say, it’s important to have great dog and cat insurance. The more you pay attention to choosing the right insurance type and the more you invest in it, the lower your vet bills will be.

Insurance companies such as Petfirst offer you to customize your plan and decide which package you’ll opt for. The regular accident and illness plans are meant to cover the diagnosis and treatment of symptoms, medication, and procedures that happen because of accidents and illnesses.

One of the things you can benefit from is finding an insurance company that offers bundle deals. For example, you can get Lemonade pet insurance to pay less for the company’s homeowners or renters insurance. They offer a 10% discount if you purchase pet insurance from them and combine it with their homeowners or renters policies.


Your location is important when it comes to anything vet-related. This includes the price of the visit, procedures, pet insurance cost, and much more.

How much the visit will cost depends on the average cost of living in your area. The general rule is that the higher these costs, the more likely you’ll be to pay more at the vet’s office. But, this isn’t set in stone, and in some cases people who live in expensive cities can pay less than people who live in more affordable places.

Another thing to know is that sometimes vet clinics in bigger cities have higher overhead costs such as rent, utilities, a large number of employees, and more.


Elderly pets are more prone to being ill and to have chronic illnesses. That’s why certain insurance companies decline insuring older pets. Petplan is a great alternative because they insure pets as young as six weeks and don’t have an upper age limit.

Type Of Visit

Is this a regular vet exam or an emergency visit? You probably already know that emergency visits cost more, which is why it’s essential that you have insurance and that you practice regular annual vet visits.

Type Of Clinic

The type of veterinary clinic or practice that you visit will also influence the price. In general, specialty clinics tend to be costlier because they do specialty procedures that are more complicated and take more time and knowledge. These clinics are also equipped with expensive equipment, might require the work of several professionals for a single procedure, are stocked with various types of medication, and more.

General vet clinics are more affordable, but that doesn’t mean the veterinary price list will be the same in every general clinic that you’ll visit.


Do you have to pay vet bills upfront?

Yes, you need to pay your vet bills immediately after the visit. If you don’t have insurance, you won’t be able to get a reimbursement after paying, and you’ll have to cover the full price out of pocket.

If you have pet insurance, you pay the bills then file a claim with the insurer. Human insurance works differently. Doctor clinics and practices are the ones who submit the claim to the insurer. That’s why you won’t always have to pay the full price after a visit.

Whenever you go to the veterinary clinic, you have to cover the cost and then file the claim, and you will be reimbursed by the insurance company.

Will a vet do payment plans?

Some vets can agree to an installment payment plan, but not all of them will. Unfortunately, many practices don’t offer this as a payment solution, so if you don’t have insurance you might face large amounts that you’ll have to pay right away.

If a vet agrees to an installment payment plan, you’ll be able to pay the total price over several months rather than paying it all at once right after the visit. It’s totally up to the vet as to the number of months they’ll set for the payments, and you’ll have to negotiate the deal with them.

Since the average vet visit cost can be high, your best bet is to find the best pet insurance company and work out an insurance plan that is best for you and your pet. Having insurance will save you from huge and unanticipated costs, and will also save you money.


How much is a vet check-up? Is there a way to determine your cost before you take your pet to the veterinarian? The answer is no, not really.

There are numerous factors that will influence the final vet check-up cost. Some of the most important ones are the type of insurance you’ll opt for, your location, pet’s age, type of clinic, and the type of visit. The cost will also depend on whether you’re taking a puppy or kitten for the first time, if this is a regular annual check-up, or an emergency visit.

Getting pet insurance with extensive coverage will save you from having to spend crazy amounts of money, because most companies will reimburse you for illnesses and accidents.

  • The main factors that influence the cost of a vet visit are pet age, your location, type of insurance, type of visit, and the type of vet clinic you’ll visit.
  • The first vet visit with your puppy will be the costliest one because it often includes several vaccines, diagnostic measures, bloodwork, and more. Regular annual visits are less expensive because they include vaccine booster shots, a fecal exam, and a heartworm test.
  • Urgent vet visits are generally the most expensive ones because vets charge more for emergency cases, and these situations require a wide range of diagnostic and treatment measures.