Having a dog is expensive! The cost of healthcare definitely adds up, and even more so when you’re living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. But living in New York doesn’t have to be a deal breaker when it comes to owning a healthy dog. There are lots of ways to ensure your wallet doesn’t suffer too badly. We’ll show you how to get your pet the care they need without hurting your bank account. Here are the best ways to save on vet care in NYC.
Low-Cost Veterinary Care
You can get quality vet care at an affordable price with just a bit of patience. The Humane Society of New York animal clinic (306 E. 59th St) is open seven days a week. You’ll have to call, make an appointment, and pay in advance, but their care is top notch. They offer everything from wellness visits to advanced surgical procedures. Plus, they have the cheapest dentals in the city.
The Low Cost Vet Mobile is an affordable, full-service mobile veterinary clinic serving all five boroughs. They offer full examinations for only $25, plus a range of services, from chemotherapy to major surgery. They also have their own online pharmacy where medications are available for purchase at reduced cost. They’re currently working on opening a 24-hour animal hospital and adoption center.
The ASPCA Animal Hospital provides urgent care for animals whose owners’ annual household income totals $75,000 or less. They even offer financial assistance to certain cases. Call ahead to make an appointment.
Always ask a clinic if they offer packages, to see if costs are reduced if you’re getting multiple procedures at a time. Vetco clinics, by Petco, offer vaccination packages for cats and dogs at reduced cost, as does VIP Pet Care, found in Petland Discount stores across the city.
The ASPCA offers a spay and neuter mobile clinic that travels throughout New York City to spay and neuter pets. Their low-cost, high-quality service is definitely worth it for anyone looking to spay or neuter their pet! The fee is only $5 for people on public assistance, or $125 for those that are not. Microchips are offered for an additional $20 per animal.
Pro tip: If you’re a low-income NYC resident, you can get everything for FREE in either Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island. All you have to do is print out and bring this voucher, bring a government issued photo ID showing a New York City address, and proof of benefits.
Be warned: only a certain number of animals (usually 20-25) are seen per day. Here are tips to make sure you’re one of them:
- Show up early and be prepared to wait. The mobile clinic arrives promptly at 7:00am, but we advise showing up between 5:00 – 6:00am to ensure you make it on the list.
- Double check the mobile clinic’s location on the website, and then call to confirm.
- Bring photo ID, proof of public assistance (if applicable), and cash to pay.
- Be prepared to leave your dog or cat until pick up at approximately 4PM.
- They will provide a e-collar and instructions on recovery and where to call if there’s an emergency.
CareCredit is a special credit card that can be used for veterinary financing. It can be used to cover procedures big or small, and is great for emergencies or unexpected situations that cost a lot of money. They have financing options for up to 60 months, with reduced APR and fixed monthly payments.
Don’t forget, this operates similar to conventional credit cards, so if you don’t pay your bill in full within a designated period, you could start to accrue significant interest. Be careful people!
Having pet insurance means you’ll never have to decide between your wallet and your pet. It’s a great resource to have in case of emergencies or large vet bills. It works differently than human health insurance. There are no co-pays or stipulations on which veterinarians you can see. The way it generally works is that you pay your vet bill directly, then submit an itemized receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement. There are many available companies on the market, with different plans you can choose from. Plans can be paid either monthly or yearly.
Pet medicine can be expensive! If your pet needs medication, you can save money by buying generic alternatives instead of name brands. Generics have the same active ingredients and safety standards at a fraction of the price. These affordable alternatives can save you lots of money, especially if your pet needs to take meds for an extended period of time. Check out companies like 1-800-PetMeds or Chewy pharmacy.