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Your Right to Know: Why the Cost of Veterinary Care is so Expensive

The cost of veterinary care can be stressful for some pet owners

“Why is veterinary care so expensive?” is a question we’ve heard many times at West Park Animal Hospital. While it’s understandable to think we’re simply trying to make a profit off our clients, we want you to know this simply is not the case.

We value each and every one of our patients and their families, which is why we want to discuss the cost of veterinary care and what goes into providing the high-quality service you’ve come to expect and deserve.


A Changing Landscape

It wasn’t that long ago that dogs and cats lived mainly outdoors and were considered property rather than companions. The annual veterinary wellness exam was unheard of, and if an animal did see a veterinarian for an emergency situation, euthanasia was just as likely as treatment.

Today, pets are cherished members of the family, and we want them to live long, healthy, and happy lives. Proper nutrition, training, grooming, and, of course, medical care are now important elements of responsible pet ownership – and all of this comes at a cost.

What Goes into the Cost of Veterinary Care?

Operating costs – The cost of equipment and supplies, along with the need to pay for and maintain our building (which must be in compliance with state and local regulations) is a big reason why veterinary care is so expensive. In fact, most of the equipment and supplies we use to care for animals costs the same as materials that are used to treat humans.

AAHA accreditation – Maintaining our AAHA accreditation ensures that all of our veterinarians and support staff stay current on the latest trends and practices in veterinary care and that we can provide our patients with the best treatments and technologies available. It takes a great deal of time, energy, and expense to make sure we meet the over 900 standards of care that are required for accreditation.

Staffing – We believe that a veterinary practice is only as good as its staff, which is why we employ a team of caring, dedicated, and highly qualified individuals. Offering a competitive salary is one way to attract the best veterinary technicians, assistants, office staff, anesthesiologists, and kennel attendants.

In-house pharmacy – Much like for humans, the cost of veterinary pharmaceuticals is always on the rise, which means the cost of operating and maintaining our convenient in-house pharmacy is considerable.

Laboratory – Being able to analyze blood, tissue, urine, and fecal samples quickly and efficiently (often in a matter of minutes!) is part of our commitment to providing outstanding care. Consequently, maintaining an in-house laboratory is another contributing factor to the cost of veterinary care.

We hope this breakdown has been helpful in explaining some of the costs associated with your pet’s veterinary care. Please feel free to contact us anytime with additional questions or concerns. We’re always happy to hear from you!

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