How Much Should You Pay for Shots for Cats & Dogs at Your Vet?

Vaccinations provide critical protections for pets.
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Vaccinations are critical for the health of your dogs and cats. Without them, your pet is at risk for rabies, distemper, parvovirus, panleukopenia and other diseases. The cost of vaccines to prevent disease will save you thousands of dollars in treating disease.

Cost at Traditional Veterinarians

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Traditional veterinary clinics are the most expensive places to have your pet vaccinated. Most vets will charge an office visit of $35 to $60 in addition to the cost of the vaccines. Individual vaccine costs may range from $20 to $40, and most pets need three annual vaccines. Vaccination at a traditional veterinarian may cost $100 to $200 per pet. The benefit of this most expensive option is that your pet will also get a full examination during the visit.

Cost at Low-Cost Veterinary Clinics or Vaccination Clinics

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Many cities now offer low-cost veterinary clinics or mobile vaccination clinics. These clinics often forgo full examinations; as a result, office visits are usually not charged or are very minimal. Vaccination clinics are designed to see a large number of pets in a day, so examinations are cursory. However, low-cost and mobile clinics are significantly less expensive than traditional veterinarians. Generally, annual vaccination packages may range from $45 to $70 per pet.

Cost of Vaccinating at Home

In most states, the rabies vaccination is the only vaccination that must be administered by a veterinarian. If you feel comfortable vaccinating your pet at home, you can save a significant amount of money. Single vaccines may cost as low as $5 per pet.

Cost of Titer Tests

Some veterinarians and researchers are concerned about the risks of vaccinating pets yearly. An alternative to vaccinations are titer tests, which measure the level of antibodies to a particular virus in your pet's immune system. Titer tests costs are generally similar to vaccine costs at traditional veterinarians, but carry much lower risks than vaccinations.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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