Veterinary Discount Plan

Veterinary Discount Plan

If you own a cat or dog you should consider a discount veterinary plan.

You are not alone.  Pet ownership in the U.S. has jumped by 300% from the 1970s. While about 67 million homes had pets in the 1970s, there are 164 million households with owned pets.

In 2012, fully 62 percent of American homes have at least one pet.

Pet-ownership estimates from the American Pet Products Association for 2012


  • 83.3 million
  • 47 percent homes own at least one dog
  • 1.47 is the average number of dogs per home
  • $231 is the annual amount spent by average cat owner on routine veterinary visits


  • 95.6 million
  • 2.11 is the average number of dogs per home
  • $193 is the annual amount spent by average cat owner on routine veterinary visits

For some pet owners, their dogs or cats are their children.  And they care for them like they would their kids, which includes providing for their health care.  But health care, even for animals, can be expensive.

What are the veterinary costs of owning a pet?

Just like with people, advances in veterinary medicine are making expensive treatment options available, from $3,000 pacemakers for dogs with potentially fatal cardiac problems to a $8,000 kidney transplant for cats suffering from renal failure.

For healthy pets, a battery of tests, shots, and even X-rays for the annual wellness check-up can cost from $140 to $340.

As a result, spending on veterinary services jumped to $18.2 billion in 2001, nearly triple the 1991 level. The average amount spent per veterinary visit jumped grew by about 100 percent between 1991 and 2001 for dog and cat owners. The average amount spent per visit is $99 for dogs and $93 for cats.

What can I expect to pay?

Once your dog or cat has become an adult, these are the basic services included in an annual vet visit.

  • Office Call: This is the basic cost, about $45-$55.
  • Vaccine Boosters: Most cats and dogs require 2-4 boosters each year. The average cost ranges between $18-$25.
  • Heartworm Test: Annual heartworm disease checks for parasitic worms. Blood tests costs $45-$50.
  • Fecal Exam: Fecal exams identify parasites and cost around $25-$45.

Additional Costs

Depending on your pet’s age or medical condition, you may need to pay for additional services at the annual vet visit.

  • Geriatric Screening: Older pets (typically seven years and up) often require geriatric screening. This is a comprehensive exam that may include complete blood work and chemistry, urinalysis, x-rays, and more. The typical cost for this type of exam is $85-$110.
  • Dental Cleaning: A dental cleaning is done if gingivitis is noticed during brushing. Many cleaned their pets teeth once a year at $70-$400.
  • Allergy Testing: Dogs and cats develop allergies. They can exhibit symptoms such as itching, licking, and sneezing. Your veterinarian might suggest an allergy test at $195-$250, and blood tests at $200-$300.
  • Surgery: If your pet needs to undergo surgery, or has other health issues that require treatment running into the thousands of dollars depending on your pet’s specific issue.

To assist you with these veterinary bills, consider Pet Assure.

What is it?

First of all, Pet Assure is not insurance.  As you know, with typical insurance you sometimes get pages of information about deductibles, medical exclusions, and waiting periods.  When you receive the medical care under insurance, there can be numerous forms to complete, and then you may need to wait for reimbursement.

In 1995, a young couple was shocked when their pet insurer denied a major claim because “the disease is inherent to the breed.” Thus, Pet Assure was born. Pet Assure is the nation’s oldest and largest veterinary discount plan, covering over 400,000 pets.

With Pet Assure, you can get the benefits the first day that you receive your card.  Pet Assure entitles you to an immediate 25% off the bill for ALL veterinary services from the growing network of veterinarians.  In addition, you can receive up 50% off other services, like pet boarding or pet training.  You receive your discount immediately when you pay the bill.  It’s that easy!

Pet Assure has over 150,000 satisfied customers, and a growing network of thousands of veterinarians and participating merchants.  A free lost pet recovery service with free 24/7 monitoring is even part of the program.

Which veterinary services are discounted?

All services provided by the vet, including routine office visits and exams, vaccines, spay and neutering and other surgeries, x-rays, dental care, and emergency visits.

What isn’t discounted?

Products you take home, like food, heartworm and other medications, and flea products.  Any services provided by a third party, such as to obtain lab results.  Anything already discounted.  Also, non-medical boarding and grooming are not covered (but may be provided by other professionals in the Pet Assure merchant network with even greater savings).

Which animals are covered?

Besides dogs and cats, Pet Assure covers horses, ferrets, birds, rats, hamsters, snakes, and even llamas and monkey.  In other words, the discount applies to any other member of the animal kingdom besides humans.

Does Pet Assure work for pre-existing conditions?

Yes. The vet will discount all medical services on any pet – any breed, any age, and in any health condition by 25%. Pets with pre-existing or hereditary conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hip dysplasia, and kennel cough are eligible.  Pet Assure has no medical exclusions.

Can I use Pet Assure along with pet insurance?

Yes.  Unlike Pet Assure, regular pet insurance companies require you to pay first and then submit your claim.  Simply show your Pet Assure card at the time of service and receive your discount. Next, submit your discounted bill to your insurance company.  In this way, you save 25% on all of your out-of-pocket expenses.

Is there a maximum amount of times I can get use my Pet Assure card?

No. Use your card frequently, and you’ll save 25% every time, on every vet medical service.

Are multiple plans available?

Yes.  Pet Assure has plans for:

  • single dog
  • single cat
  • family (up to 4 pets of any kind)
  • unlimited (5 or more pets of any kind)


Other Enhanced Insurance articles related to Pet Insurance:

Pet Insurance

Veterinary Discount Plan

Funny Pet Names

Ant Bites on Dogs

Understanding the Incontinent Tabby

Dog Insurance

Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.

Ted Janusz is a contributing author to all three annual editions of the PIA National Agency Marketing Guide. He is also the author of The Social Media Marketing Guide for the Insurance Professional and was a featured speaker at PIA of Minnesota's "Trust in Marketing" seminar. Because Baby Boomers view social media quite differently from Gen X and Gen Y, Ted speaks on "Social Media for Baby Boomers." He has delivered over 500 full-day seminars in 49 of the 50 United States (lone exception: Wyoming). Because of his business expertise, Ted was also invited to appear on Geraldo at Large on the Fox News Network.

3 comments on “Veterinary Discount Plan

  1. This is absolutely making a lot of sense, though i currently have a accident and illness plan for my dog, but i might consider trying this out, so far the pet plans i have is working ok, hopefully it all goes smoothly. However having a good option like this is great. i will give Pet Assure a try…….. Nice Info

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