9 smart ways to save money on vet bills in South Africa


Jade Poole from I Write Words


Simple and effective ways to keep your vet bills down and not sacrifice on quality medical care for your precious pet

Going to the vet doesn’t have to mean going into debt. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that your vet is on your side. Of course, there are a few ways you could maybe save a little bit of cash if you are clever about your vet visits.

1. Find a vet college

A quick Google search for ‘vet colleges near me’ might bring up some great results.

Vet colleges tend to offer some fantastic discounts over other vet clinics and animal hospitals because of the high number of students who need to gain some hands-on experience.

Keep in mind that your pet will be cared for by a student who is overseen by an experienced veterinarian.

2. Phone to ask what different vets charge

Do some research on pets in your area and find one your pet is comfortable with and so is your wallet.

Some vets might be more expensive than others, so do some digging on their prices and fee structures.

It helps if you have pet insurance which allows you to go to ANY vet of your choice. Oneplan does that.

3. Keep an eye out for specials

Some vets will offer multi-pet discounts or run specials on routine care such as dental cleanings.

4. Go to a pop up clinic

The SPCA and other animal welfare organisation often offer vaccinations, sterilisations and other routine care through the use of Pop Up Clinics. Their prices are usually low and can save you and your wallet from expensive vet care.

5. Communicate

Your vet might not know that you are on a tight budget so be sure to tell him or her this. He or she might be able to offer a cheaper alternative.

6. Plan for the expenses

Of course, you could always open a savings account for your pet which will help cover unexpected costs of vet bills.

Be warned - this type of saving takes a lot of discipline on your part. For one, it can be difficult to find the money to set aside every month for vet bills and secondly, it can be hard to not dip into these funds when you need some extra cash for your own expenses.

7. Go for regular check-ups

Seeing your vet on a regular basis will help detect and treat any underlying issues that might result in more costly procedures down the line.

8. Keep your pet’s weight in-check

Obesity is the leading cause of a number of health issues in pets. In some pets, it can lead to spinal and bone issues in having to support the extra weight. Health issues include:

●        urinary bladder stones

●        osteoarthritis and faster degeneration of affected joints

●        many types of cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and hypertension (high blood pressure)

●        anaesthetic complications

By maintaining a healthy weight in your pet, this can prevent huge vet bills in the future.

9. Get pet insurance

Vet visits, and prescribed pet medication can be costly. Unlike human medication, you can’t fill out pet medication scripts at any old pharmacy. Remember, once your vet has written a prescription for medication for your pet, you have to fill this prescription at the same vet’s office. It is illegal for a veterinarian to fill a prescription from another vet’s practice.

You cannot ask your vet to dispense medication without first examining your pet. Your vet has yours and your pet’s best interest’s at heart and although it is always great to try and save money as and when you can, your pet’s health should always come first.

Which brings us to our personal favourite way to save on vet bills every time - get pet insurance.

Instead of having to search for pop up clinics, find a vet college, save the money yourself or negotiate a better deal with your vet, you could save yourself from all of this trouble and get pet health cover.

There are a number of pet insurance companies out there, so our word of advice is to make sure you know exactly what you are covered for and what you are not.

There is no point in paying a monthly premium only to find out you are not covered for the things that matter most.

Here’s what makes Oneplan Pet Insurance so cuddle-worthy:

  1. Get paid before the vet
  2. More than hospital cover plans - vet visits and routine care included
  3. Go to ANY vet of your choice
  4. Simple claims system
  5. Manage your premium from the palm of your hand with the Oneplan App

If you want to know more about our pet insurance or are interested in insuring your pets with us, then why not give us a call or have a look at our website to find out how we work and how we make insurance work for you.

Yours in paws,



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