Last week, I called the veterinarian about a skin irritation on my dog's leg. He scratches his leg with his back paw and it becomes infected. He's been treated for it before and needed an antibiotic. So, I called his longtime veterinarian for a refill. They informed me that he needed his Indiana State required shots before he could be treated. So, I made an appointment and took him and my other dog in as he was due too and needs to have his teeth cleaned. Again, can't get his teeth cleaned without the shots and checkup.

We did checkups, shots, antibiotic, heart worm tests (to be able to get heart worm meds), and heart worm meds. It was $300. I almost fell over. Then, I scheduled the dogs' teeth cleaning. I inquired about the cost and was informed it will be about $500 for the pair. $800 for dog maintenance? And, I issue a monthly worm/flea/heart worm medication that's roughly $25-30 each month/animal. That's more than my 11-year-old truck! I don't know if I just forget from year-to-year how much this is but I'm planning a trip to Disney World and watching every penny that comes out of my pocket. This. Hit. Hard. It would be cheaper to put my dog up for adoption and readopt him!

It got me thinking... how many pets live in agony because their owners can't afford $800 for a vet bill? How many skip teeth cleanings and annual shots or treatment for issues like skin infections, heart worms, or much needed surgeries or therapies because of the cost? I certainly don't have a grand to spend on two dogs and a cat! Do you?!

Now, I get it... veterinary school isn't cheap. And pet meds cost a fortune from the company but $800 for annual stuff for two dogs? And, from what I understand, this is on the low end. My doc doesn't test for every single thing and he only charges about $25 for shots for each dog.

So, what can you do?

To help with vaccine costs, the VHS offers low-cost vaccine clinic . But, that doesn't help with annual check-ups, or dental. And, some low-income families qualify for special financial assistance. The best we can do is save a little money each month for special circumstances and call around to find out your best prices among local veterinarians. If you have tips for saving money with the vet,  I'm all ears!