We adopted our first Boston Terrier puppy 11 years ago, and we knew there would be vet visits in the future. We were taken aback by how costly veterinary care can be, so we’d like to share some of our money-saving techniques with you. Our most recent visit cost $332, which I’ll discuss in this post so that you know what to expect.
In the United States, the average vet visit costs between $45 and $55, and does not include any extra tests. Fecal examinations, which check for parasites and worms, average $25 to $45. Annual blood panel tests for senior dogs costs between $90 and $110 on average.
The most important thing to remember is that veterinarian charges can vary wildly by region and even in the same city. Plus, there are just some vets that are exceptions to the rules and offer extraordinary care ensuring all demographics of pet owners get the care their pets need. Thank you!
Vet Visit Savings Tip #1 – Preventative Care
By far, the number one way to save on veterinarian bills for your dog is to keep them healthy! Well-pet visits are way less expensive than visits with a sick pet.
Boston Terriers are brachycephalic (flat-faced), which can lead to health issues, so they should have preventative health checks every year. This yearly visit should include a wellness exam and vaccinations. That is a $60-128 visit in our area.
They should also be on heartworm and flea/tick preventatives as well. Our Symparica Trio is $26/month.
Finally, don’t let them get overweight. Fat Boston Terriers are going to be at a much higher risk for health problems. This will certainly lead to more costly vet visits.
Try some of our bonding tips to keep their bodies and your relationships with them strong.
Vet Visit Savings Tip #2 – Grooming at Home
Wait, what?!?!?! Yes, most dog owners use the groomer that is associated with their vet. So, you can save money at the vet by doing some or all of your Boston’s grooming at home.
Bostons shed, a lot! If you falsely believe short-haired dogs shed less than long-haired breeds, it’s time to buy a Dyson pet vacuum and look at what it picks up. Eeek!
Brushing your Boston Terrier every day makes shedding manageable and reduces the amount of fur you find all over your home (and yourself). The best brush to buy for your Boston Terrier is a bristle brush.
In our most recent vet visit, we could have saved $10 by trimming Bridgette’s nails ourselves, which we normally do. But, I was heading out of town and so it was a “convenience tax”.
Vet Visit Savings Tip #3 – Shop Around For Specific Services
I know you LOVE your vet! We do too.
But, there are some once per life services that you can shop around for and not feel too bad about not using your regular vet.
Two of these services include spay/neuter and microchipping.
For obvious reasons, getting your Boston Terrier spayed or neutered is a one-time procedure for them. Call around and find out the going rates for the procedure from other reputable providers.
This gives you something to measure your vet’s price against and allows you to make an informed decision. If there is a big difference in the cost between your regular vet and another like facility, then talk to your vet, explain the difference and your desire to stay with them. Sometimes they can/will make accommodations, sometimes not.
Just don’t make it a haggling situation. Your vet set their prices for a reason, they studied long and hard to become a vet and have student loans and bills just like the rest of us.
Microchipping is another service where you could shop around for a free local shelter event where they are doing no-cost microchipping. It may not be a luxurious experience, but get’s the job done at little to no cost.
Look At Our Most Recent Vet Visit
We took Bridgette, one of our Bostons, to the vet because she was not eating fully for two days and seemed to be breathing in a little more labored manner. After a quick call to the vet, we were able to take her in the next day.
In order to so you some real-world costs, here is EXACTLY what our itemized bill consisted of and a comparison of other vet clinics I called that were willing to give me itemized costs over the phone for the same services:
|Item||Our Vet Price||Other Vet #1||Other Vet #2|
|IDEXX Heartworm, snap test||$29.00||$35.00||$30.00|
|Fecal Examination, Flotation||$20.00||$10.00||$15.00|
|Complete Blood Count (CBC)||$55.00||$60.00||$52.00|
|Biochemical Profile, General||$82.00||$90.00||$76.00|
|Simparica Trio, 22-44lbs, blue||$78.00||*$60.00||$78.00|
|Nail Trim||$10.00||$11.00||No Charge|
So in total, our visit totaled $332. It was the highest of the vets surveyed by $29 or 8.13% difference between our vet and the lowest-priced, reputable, vet we could find.
We love our vet. They are very familiar with agricultural animals as well as pets of all shapes and sizes. They are honest and won’t do unnecessary testing or treatments. So, that bill shows legitimate charges for a visit where our Boston was not feeling well. We’re sticking with them.
A well-dog visit runs $58. And, the Simparica Trio is $26/month for heartworm, flea, and tick protection. We purchased 3 months for $78 and a toenail trim for $10 which were included in the bill. Without the Simparica Trio, the visit would have cost $244. That’s not bad in our neck of the woods.
So, how can you save on your vet visits for your Boston Terrier? Let’s look at 3 ways to save.
P.S. Sadly, four short weeks later, Bridgette was euthanized from suffering congestive heart failure. We share the story and the costs in another article.
Do Pet Wellness Plans Save Money?
Banfield Pet Hospital is a national veterinarian services provider in the United States. I bring them up because they are the provider for one of the most well-known pet wellness programs, Optimum Wellness Program.
This program allows you to purchase a plan for a year that includes a package of services that may or may not be used during the year. Plans start at $455.40/year and go up depending on your dog’s age, breed, and health.
For example, the Active Care plans include:
So, will this save you money for preventative healthcare for your Boston Terrier? If you plan to take your Boston to the vet for a checkup 4-6 times per year rather than annually, it might.
On the other hand, if your typical plan is an annual visit to the vet for their vaccinations, a wellness exam, and a fecal test, then no, this is not a savings versus paying as you go for those services.
It’s important to know that the Optimum Wellness Program is not pet insurance. Instead, you are pre-purchasing a set of services at a reduced price. The thing to calculate is whether or not you will use all those services during the program year. Some might, many more may not.
Ask them some questions and do the calculations yourself in order to make an informed decision. Banfield actually posts their price list so I love the fact that they are not hiding anything and are being transparent. Do your homework.
The cost of vet visits for your Boston Terrier can vary depending on where you go. To get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to do some research upfront and find out which options are best suited to meet your needs.
For example, if you’re looking for a vet that will provide preventative care at an affordable price point while still providing quality service, Banfield Pet Hospital may be able to help with its Optimum Wellness Program.
We recommend taking time upfront in order to make the right decision when choosing between different veterinary clinics so that paying less money doesn’t mean sacrificing value or quality of service!