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Shopping around for a veterinarian

Many people surprisingly pick a vet either through word of mouth or a Google search, but many don't realize you can actually shop around for the best prices when it comes to a vet.

If you have a new puppy or kitten, phone around for prices - but not just on the first set of shots, but also on future services you know you will need - such as kennel cough vaccine, spaying or neutering. This will help you get a better idea of the rates each vet charges.

Ask for referrals. Some vet offices will offer special pricing if you are referred to them by a current client (your friend will also get something, ranging from a thank you to a credit off their next bill).

Look for new office specials. When veterinarians open new offices (whether starting their own office after working for someone else, or as a newly trained vet or just from moving to a new town) they often have great rates to get new clients. It is worth evaluating the rates after a year or two if you aren't completely happy with your vet.

If you have an unusual or exotic pet (such as your son's hedgehog or iguana), make sure the vet has experience with that pet. You don't want to use a vet who hasn't seen a hedgehog since vet school. With some of the unusual types of pets your family might have, ask for recommendations from a pet store that sells the type of pet, or check to see if there is a fanciers club for the animal in your state or province. Do be aware that you may end up paying a premium for rare or exotic species of pets for vet services.

Don't forget sometimes it is worth paying a little extra if you find your veterinarian goes the extra mile for you and your pet. I don't want to go to a vet who can't remember my pet, but you can bet I will keep returning to the vet who can remember about a health issue my dog had from a year ago when it comes to evaluating something new.

Related articles:
Finding help to pay your vet bills
Simple ways to save money on your vet bills


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