Saving Money on Veterinary Care at a Vet School

The high cost of veterinary care concerns many pet owners. If your pet falls ill or injured, can you afford the necessary care? Many veterinary hospitals tied to a college or university program provide discounted services because their students need the additional training. Using a veterinary teaching hospital ensures excellent care for your dog, while keeping bills low.

Obtaining Discounted Veterinary Care

Veterinarian care through a teaching hospital provides an affordable means to quality care at a discount. Veterinary teaching hospitals exist at colleges offering veterinary science. By using a teaching hospital, your pet receives care from a veterinarian-in-training, always under the supervision of a licensed vet.

Appointments may take longer because the student is learning. Expect the first exam with your dog to take up to two hours. In addition, demand for appointments with a training clinic is much higher. It is harder to get an appointment that fits into your schedule. Moreover, the teaching hospital may not operate year round. Some close for school vacations.

Be aware that some veterinary teaching hospitals charge the same rates as a typical veterinarian. However, they offer discounted rates to welfare families and the disabled. You must ask to receive these discounts.

Locating Veterinary Care through Teaching Hospitals

Veterinary hospitals linked to college or university teaching programs generally provide websites. It's often quicker to call your area colleges and universities and ask if they have a teaching hospital within their school. You will find college and university contact information in your phone book.

Remember that some teaching veterinary hospitals offering veterinary care may only accept household pets others may focus on horses and cattle. Always ask that they provide care to dogs before setting up an appointment.

Benefits to Veterinarian Care with Students

Having a student oversee your animal's care is beneficial to your pet. Students offer fresh ideas on ailments, animal care and testing. They consult with a licensed veterinarian, so you gain the benefit of having two doctors for the price of one.

Veterinary teaching hospitals offer up-to-date technology and equipment. Often these establishments have been equipment than your current veterinarian.

Some routine procedures like spaying and neutering occur in discounted clinics making them extremely affordable on any income. Operation PETS in New York and the Arizona Spay/Neuter Clinic both offer spay/neuter clinics run by students of area colleges. Pet owners pay less than half the cost of a normal spay or neuter and receive a free check-up and vaccinations as well.

What to Watch for with Teaching Hospitals

When seeking discounted veterinary care at a teaching hospital, be sure to ask questions. Some teaching hospitals do not accept partial payments or offer loan services. Many refuse to accept Care Credit, a credit card plan specifically used for veterinary services. Some teaching veterinary hospitals only accept cash or personal checks.

Many teaching hospitals provide specialized veterinary care. You will need a referral from your current veterinarian.

Teaching hospitals generally refuse walk-in patients. Make sure you call ahead for an appointment.