released a survey of Seattle area pet owners comparing local veterinarians on pricing, clinic staff, office wait times, self-help/prevention advice, and their overall competence.
Executive Editor Kevin Brasler told KOMO that his team also conducted mystery shopper price checks, and found “there’s often no relationship between cost and the quality of care your pet will receive.”
“This whole idea that well, you get what you pay for, that – ‘If I go to a lower-cost vet I’m going to get lousy care’- isn’t true at all,” said Brasler.
While I know that for some people (including me) will choose a vet based on quality of care a vet provides for their dog, this survey shows that you can find veterinarians that offer quality care AND lower prices.
Here’s a table from the survey that shows the cost for the same basic procedures that some veterinarians provide can vary wildly.
Table 1—Low, Average, and High Prices Quoted by Veterinary Practices for Illustrative Procedures
|Low, Average, and High Prices Quoted by Veterinary Practices for Illustrative Procedures1|
|Procedure||Low price||Average price||High price|
|Spaying of a seven-month-old, 25-pound dog||$122||$310||$616|
|Lab analysis of a dog’s stool for worms||$15||$35||$66|
|Spaying of a six-month-old cat||$67||$252||$620|
|Euthanasia of a cat||$35||$130||$268|
|Neutering of a six-month-old, 30-pound dog||$92||$289||$835|
|Routine teeth cleaning of a four-year-old, 65-pound dog||$130||$371||$815|
|1 Some prices were rounded to the nearest whole dollar. Each practice was given additional, detailed information about what services had to be included in the prices (for example, anesthetic, pre-surgical exam, hospitalization, check-up exam, etc.).|
The report also has a price estimate for procedures at each veterinarian that cost $100 dollars at the average surveyed vet as well as the percentage of customers that rated vet hospitals and “clinice” for “superior for overall care and advice.”
This isn’t a scientific survey, but it does give a good snapshot of how people in the Seattle rate their veterinarians. And, if you’re looking for ways to save money your vet bills while still getting quality care for your dog, the survey will show you which vets to try.
Normally you’d have to be a member of Checkbook.org to see this survey, but if you click on this link from the KOMO story you can access the full report for free until February 6.