Saving Money on Pet Vaccinations

As responsible pet owners we want to keep them healthy. Visits to the vet can be expensive, but there are ways to save money. This is a guide about saving money on pet vaccinations.


March 31, 2010 Flag
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Pet shots and meds are very expensive, especially when you have to cut back due to job loss, etc.

I was surprised to discover that my local Rural King sold vaccines and pet meds, that you could administer, for a tiny fraction of the cost at a vets! If you do not have a local Rural King, then see if you have any farm suppliers or co-ops that offer the same animal supplies.

In addition, I understand that some veterinarians offer low income pet shots and certain treatments. Check with your local shelter as they probably know of just such a vet.

Let's keep our 'kids' healthy and happy, even in a bad economy. :)

By Gooby from Straughn, IN

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March 31, 20100 found this helpful

My town has an annual rabies clinic. You can bring your cat or dog to the local Grange hall and get your pet vaccinated for $10. We brought my cat there for her shot. It took 10 minutes to fill out the paperwork and have her vaccinated.

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April 1, 20100 found this helpful

If you're certain you're competent to give your own vaccines, this is a great tip; I'm not the queasy type, but no doc, either.

Our gal can get a three-year rabies shot in our state; in the long run, that's more economical than the yearly vaccine for us. Also another poster mentioned $55 for the annual shot; I'd say, shop around for more bang for your buck.

Out vet charges about $65 for an annual that includes the rabies vaccination, bortadella, blood workup and fecal exam ( to ensure the dog doesn't have heartworm).

The thing of it is: we can get the blinders on by thinking that as long as the rabies shot and the license tags are done for the year. The dog is good to go. The fact is that a lot more can be going on under the surface year to year that you can't see.

Case in point: we had a rescue a few years back who looked healthy and had a history of the previous owner keeping up on the rabies shots--but not much else. By the time we had him three months, we were hit with the fact he had heartworm and cancer that had already spread to various vital organs.

What I'm getting at is that an annual once-over not just the rabies shot is crucial in finding any possible conditions as early as you can before irreversible damage is done. Frugality goes out the window then as you're trying to save a precious pet.

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August 2, 2011 Flag
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The best way to save money on vaccinations is to make sure your pet really requires a particular shot. Pets' immune systems may not need booster shots every couple of years. How can you tell? Ask your vet about the serology test called the "Titer."

We have no choice about the mandatory shots in our particular states, but we may be able to skip some of the optional shots. You'd have to weigh the cost of the Titer against the cost of continuing the regular shots, but if your pets' immune systems are still sufficiently protected with their previous shots, follow-ups may not be necessary.

By Henry and Champ from Southern CA

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August 2, 20110 found this helpful

For instance, parvo vaccine often gives parvo. Optimum health---build immune system. Do not tear it down with insults like vaccines. Best friends deserve best care. No grocery aisle foods. Usual first ingredient is corn (an allergen) Wheat and soy are other fillers used. Simple recipes for animal foods found online.

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December 23, 2011 Flag
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How much does it cost for my dog's vaccination shots?

By Joey

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December 23, 20110 found this helpful

The cost depends on where you live and what the vets in your area charge. I would call around to several vets, ask what shots are recommended, and what the cost would be. Please don't delay in getting your pet vaccinated. These shots are necessary to the health of your dog, especially if it spends any time outside.

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December 27, 20111 found this helpful

I don't vaccinate and my dogs live for 20 years. Much studied about dangers of vaccines as my step grandson died with one, i have MS from a vaccine and many people i know have been adversely affected with disease and illness directly related to vaccine. Please go on and check ingredients. If you can name 5 ingredients in a vaccine that are helpful - then consider the big needle.

When you find brain damage because of mercury, anti freeze, formaldehyde and the like in vaccines you may decide to build the immune system instead of destroying it. Look at the ADD ADHD, SIDS, and autism in people, caused by vaccines and what do you think vaccines are doing to your dog?

Build systems by good food with no corn, wheat or soy. That means you cook, add some raw, get your kibble at a store other than your local grocer. The popular pet foods at the grocers are including euthanized animals from the pounds. That includes the chemicals to put them to sleep as that does not cook off. Google this and see for yourself. Rabies vaccine is required if you intend to license.

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March 17, 20160 found this helpful

You're very well educated and right on the money. I do Greyhound rescues & Adoptions and what I learned is that they feed these dogs 4D meat. Diseased, drugged, down & dying animal carcasses. I strongly believe that it's also in commercial dog food. I'm always laughed at because I cook chicken & veggies for my dogs. Let them laugh I have less vet bills.

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March 31, 2010 Flag
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I order all my shots from the company that makes them. I find by ordering the vaccines myself I am saving about $30.00 per pet. Each shot comes with a detailed diagram of where to give the shot and a syringe. I find this also saves on my pets angiush about going to the vet. Any detailed internet search on "Pet Vaccines" with give you lots of choices. I personally like Omaha Vaccine company. There prices are very reasonable and they ship within a couple of days. Most states will require that you get a Rabies shot by a vet but I wait until one of the pet supply companies (Petco or Petsmart) has a Rabies clinic so that I also get a discount on it.

By Debra in Colorado


How to Save on Your Pets Shots

So, you would also give your loved ones flu shots and other medical stuff? I would NEVER order shots for my pet over the internet, and would certainly not administer them myself, because I am not a vet! I would caution very strongly against this, if you truly love your pets! Saving money this way can kill the pet, and that doesn't really make me feel good, knowing I killed my pet trying to play vet! (07/23/2004)

By Ann

How to Save on Your Pets Shots

There are a lot of things you can safely do yourself without killing your pet. In fact, just ask your vet, they have been very helpful for me. And I wouldn't shy away from giving family members flu shots if I knew I could do it safely (I know nothing about it, so i wouldn't do it). The reality is that pets that don't find homes are killed. We need good owners, even if they can't afford a couple vet visits a year. The more people that know how to give pet vaccinations the better, too. The key is "knowing" and not jumping in blind. Like a I said, ask your vet, you may be surprised how helpful they are. (07/23/2004)

By Anne H.

How to Save on Your Pets Shots

I've used Drs Foster and Smith:

I have bought cat and dog vaccinations from them for multiple pets and have found it much less expensive than numerous vet visits. You can get complete instructions and they have a complete staff on hand for any questions.

I've know many multiple pet owners that have given their own vaccinations and have never heard of a death. I think it is much more important that the animals have their early vaccinations so they stay healthy and live long lives but otherwise I consider it safe.

It is best to have an extra person handy to hold the pet and make sure you read the instructions thoroughly before beginning. If you are faint of heart or afraid of needles, I wouldn't recommend it.

By Susan (07/23/2004)

How to Save on Your Pets Shots

Hundreds of animals suffer from vaccination reactions every year, ranging from fever and pain at the vaccination site to anaphylactic shock and death. Even animals that have never had a reaction before, may suffer one this time. Cats can also get vaccination site sarcoma, a malignant form of cancer. The vet does more than just give the vaccine, they also make sure that there are no other problems (physical or behavioral) that need to be attended to. If you want to save money on vaccinations, look for a vaccination clinic that will provide them inexpensively (along with an exam). Or at the very least, have the vet do a general health exam, then give the vaccines at home that same day. If you can't afford a vet visit, what are you going to do if the pet becomes sick or injured? How do you know if your pet is over weight? How would you know if they start to develop dental, vision or heart problems before it is too late? I have seen dogs who had such bad teeth that their jaw was broken and no-one knew!! If you have dogs, you can't get a prescription for heartworm preventative without the vet doing a test. Save money by measuring and feeding a high quality food (less food per feeding means the bag lasts longer, and less "junk" in the food means fewer health problems). Find out how to groom and trim your pet yourself if they need specific grooming. Set aside a couple dollars every week just for yearly vaccinations. A vet that sees your pet even just once a year will have a relationship with you and your pet and a complete medical history if anything happens. Proof of vaccination by a veterinarian is required for boarding, going to most dog parks, or traveling through many states.

The diagram in the package may explain how to mix the vaccine and where to give it, but will you be totally sure that you are doing it right? Can you be certain that the vaccine is mixed correctly? Will you always remember to draw back on the plunger to be sure that you don't inject any air into a blood vessel?

There has, however, been a lot of research showing that vaccinations aren't needed every year, and your pet may not need all of the vaccines that your vet is trying to sell you. Cats that live strictly indoors may be able to get away with boosters every other year (just in case they escape), most dogs don't need Lyme vaccinations, etc. Ask your vet directly about this. Vaccination manufacturers recommend yearly vaccinations mostly to make money, and most vets follow those recommendations to protect themselves from lawsuits if your pet develops a disease. Lastly, research has proven that people who don't take their pets to the vet, are the group most likely to dump their pet at the animal shelter. (07/23/2004)

By Patticat

How to Save on Your Pets Shots

I do vaccinations too, no problems. I also have never dropped off a pet at a shelter :-) I foster pets who are going to be put to death. (07/23/2004)

By Mary

How to Save on Your Pets Shots

The key here is to talk to a vet, IMO. They can give you valuable advice on home care. Especially if you let them know you have numerous pets you are caring for. I think this is a great thread! Glad it came up. (07/24/2004)

By Anne H.

How to Save on Your Pets Shots

This is a completely safe procedure that many pet owners, farmers and breeders do ALL The time. Don't buy into the hype.


By Scott

Editor's Note: I also have given all but rabies vaccines myself. We don't have parvo or heartworms here so don't know about those.

How to Save on Your Pets Shots

People who are fear mongers concerning giving your pet a vaccine need a reality check. It's all a money scheme in the end. I advocate giving your pet the best possible care, but, seriously we all know that some of our vet visits were really an utter waste of time and money. Anyone with any intelligence can follow the vaccination schedule and do the vaccines themselves. This is not complicated. In the end you are providing your pet with the care needed. Save the money for some others things for your pet. Just keep good records. A 40-50 dollar difference is really ridiculous when you think about it. The vet (God bless his/her soul) is making a profit and covering their overhead. I bought my vaccines at Tractor supply for $6.35. The vet visit cost $55. This is really over inflated. When I asked what all was included the vet told me an exam. When I asked what was covered they stated that a general overall "visual" exam and make sure the "organs" were functioning (i.e pees and poops and eats properly). I am around my dog 18 hours a day, everyday. I know more about him then the vet who sees him for 20 minutes. It was a waste of time. Save your money and have some common sense. Everyone in this country is told they can't do anything for themselves anymore. Wise up. It's a money game. You can do it and keep your pet as safe as well as save a good bit of money in the process. Yes! you can do it for yourself.

As far as the horrible reactions they allude to, yes anything can happen. But how many times does it really happen compared to how many times it doesn't. Horrible stories abound concerning everything just read the papers. Your pet has a higher chance of being hit by a car then dying from the vaccine. The same thing applies to you. You have a higher chance of dying getting to your doctor's appointment then from the shot itself. Please, think about it. (08/14/2008)

By Dan B.

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