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VET 101

Parents of new dogs, much like parents of children, come to their new and shiny parental status filled with angst and worry over just about anything and everything. For my husband and me, when our new rescue pup munched on some chocolate, panic ensued and we feared a quick and certain death. Some drugs, some vet-tech prodding and poking, and almost three hundred dollars later it was determined she’d be fine.  In another frantic episode, a few high-pitched yelps emitted while walking had us racing back to the vet again, certain her demise was imminent. But fear not! More poking, an application of a soothing topical ointment to the tune of 150 bucks, and we were again assured she would be just fine. 

Now, a few years in we’re a bit more laid back, and a lot more tight-fisted, when it comes to vet visits. Case in point, just last week when she got into more things she really shouldn't have. We watched her and shrugged and didn’t really even consider taking her to the vet just so they could tell us what we already could see, that she would be just fine… cha-ching!

The point here is that knowing your dog and understanding what seems normal is a great way to cut down on some unnecessary vet visits. However, having said that, if you know your dog and their behavior seems off, a vet visit or at least a call is well worth it.

Below are some resources and options for when you absolutely have to have your pup tended to but you just can’t afford it. Many vets will work with individuals and offer payment plans to pay for treatments.

Many Universities with veterinary programs also offer low-cost pet care done by students.

Services vary in different areas, but with some research you should be able to find the help you need to keep your pup healthy while staying within your budget.


Linda is an award winning producer whose work has ranged from documentaries to feature stories to breaking news. She’s currently the executive producer of the GPB Original digital series “Unleashed: A Dog’s Life.” Linda likes to spend the... more