Why Pet Insurance?

How Much Does a Vet Checkup Cost?

A recent survey indicated that on average pet parents spend about $4000 a year on their dog or $2500 on their cat.1 Out of the total, dog parents spend about $1200 on dog food, $743 on dental cleanings, and another $746 on exams, tests, and preventive care medication.2 Cat parents spend an average of $576 on cat food, $743 on dental cleaning, and another $544 on exams, tests, and preventative care medications.3

Your pet may need to visit a vet for multiple reasons. These can include – 

  • Routine checkup – For overall wellness and treating any ongoing conditions

  • Vaccinations – As per the schedule

  • Medical condition – If you see any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drooling, etc. 

  • Emergencies – If your pup gets into a fight, or accident, eats something it’s not supposed to, or has a seizure, etc. 

  • Special visits – For procedures like spaying or neutering, foreign object removal, dental extraction, ongoing therapy like aqua therapy, etc. 

How Much is a Dog Check-Up?

A veterinarian examines a large dog's face.

The average cost for a routine vet visit is about $145 - $175, not including the cost of any vaccines your pet may need.4 The check-up will likely involve the following - 

  • Measuring vitals like heart rate, breathing, temperature and weight.

  • Any sign of infection in the ears, eyes, nose or mouth.

  • Parasites on the skin and coat.

Apart from that, some other costs that you may incur during a vet visit are – 

  • Flea and tick prevention - $200 - $345 per year4

  • Dental Cleanings - $850 - $1,5004

  • Fecal examinations - $50 - $602

  • Heartworm Prevention - $25 - $1506

If your visit coincides with the dog’s vaccination schedule, you can expect to spend another $40 - $70 per vaccine.7

If you want to have your pet spayed or neutered, this procedure can cost $750 - $1000.4

How Much is a Cat Check-Up?

A veterinarian in blue scrubs holds a small calico cat.

The average cost of a routine check-up for cats is between $150 - $200 per year, including the cost of vaccines.8 You can expect a nose-to-tail examination during the visit. The examination can give vets the opportunity to detect potential health issues earl, which could include – 

  • Dental disease

  • Lumps

  • Obesity

  • Arthritis, etc.

Again, if your cat’s visit coincides with its vaccination schedule, you can expect to pay around $40 - $80 per vaccine depending on the location and the type of facility you choose.7

Preventive measures like flea and tick protection, heartworm prevention, etc. can cost you around $150.8 These usually come in a combination of one or two and can help protect your kitty for up to 6 months. Add a routine dental cleaning to your visit and you can expect to spend another $600 - $700.8

Spaying and neutering during the visit can add another $280 - $700 to the visit cost.5

Vet Checkup Costs for Cats and Dogs with Insurance

A woman with long hair holds a small white dog and takes a selfie on her phone.

The cost of a vet visit itself won't change whether your pet has insurance or not. However, pet insurance can help provide reimbursement for eligible expenses after the claim is processed and approved.


The amount your insurance covers depends on the plan's specifics like your deductible, annual limit, and base plan; accident-only and accident and illness plans are both popular. Wellness add-ons can help cover the eligible costs of routine care like spaying or neutering, dental cleaning, and vaccinations. 


Similar to cats, pet insurance with wellness add-ons can significantly help you to afford vet visit costs for your dog. Spot Pet Insurance, for example, can reimburse up to 90% on various expenses, including prescription medications, alternative therapies, and behavioural treatments. However, it’s important to note that your reimbursement rate is based on your pet’s age at enrollment and renewal.

To learn more about Spot Plans or to get a free quote, click here.

Spot Pet Insurance gives pet parents the opportunity to choose a plan that will best match the needs of their pet and their budget. Spot offers both accident-only and accident and illness plans, and pet parents can add wellness riders to their base plan for an additional fee. Wellness riders can help cover the eligible costs of routine exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and more.


  1. “Pet Ownership Statistics 2024,” Forbes Advisor, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/pet-insurance/pet-ownership-statistics/, Jan. 25, 2024.

  2. “2024 Pet insurance Survey,” MarketWatch, https://www.marketwatch.com/guides/pet-insurance/pet-insurance-survey/, Dec. 28, 2023.

  3. “How much does a vet visit cost?” Care Credit, https://www.carecredit.com/vetmed/costs/#average-state-costs, n.d.

  4. “How much does a vet visit cost?” MarketWatch https://www.marketwatch.com/guides/pet-insurance/how-much-does-a-vet-visit-cost/, May 13, 2024.

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