Submitted by blacknbluebird t3_10so1zq in ColumbiaMD

I’m looking for recommendations for a reasonably priced but thorough vet. I have searched through the sub’s history for recent, local vet recommendations, but sometimes the suggestions don’t have much detail about what they like about the vet.

Currently, my dog goes to a “great” vet based on online reviews, but the check-ups are often ~15 minutes maximum and seem rather expensive. Most visits are over $400 when my dog is healthy, receives her routine vaccines, and doesn’t have any maintenance medication to refill.

Is this others’ experience at local vets or does anyone have more thorough check-ups at perhaps a lower price point for a healthy dog? I’m worried things might get missed in such a brief visit. Thanks in advance!!



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PamperedPotato t1_j73ntob wrote

So I take my dogs to a "regular" vet for their checkups but take them to Vetco for vaccines which is much cheaper. They are also able to do the yearly heartworm test which you'll need for the Rx heartworm meds. Vetco is a mobile vaccine clinic and they make stops at local Petco stores. They allow for online scheduling now (they didn't used to and it was a mess). You can also ask your vet for written Rxs for any meds and get them filled elsewhere/ online- usually the vets charge more for the same meds.


runlikethewind5 t1_j73cwpp wrote

If you see VCA in the name, it’s owned by a national company who sets policies, prices, etc. We took our dog to a great vet until one day they suddenly began insisting on expensive tests our vet didn’t do before — the practice had been bought by VCA.


wildpolymath t1_j7h0aqc wrote

Second this. VCA are scammers who want to gouge as much money as they can from folks and sell unnecessary pet health plans. Charged us 3-4X the cost of what we paid elsewhere.


Sufficient-Item-2750 t1_j72zujl wrote

I think Cat and Dog in Owen Brown will fit the bill; my experience with them is not super current, but I found I had longer wait times there than my pricier and more convenient vet that I'd switched to, but noticed that their value was much better.


Choosegoose1234 t1_j7954hp wrote

We go there: it’s definitely reasonably priced. We typically spend like 120 on yearly exam and shots


No_Chicken8949 t1_j73bpmv wrote

I take my dog to Triadelphia Vet Clinic in Gleneg. I used to pay $300-400 for the wellness visits plus vaccines. After changing to Triadelphia, I paid max $150. The dental cleaning from them is around $600-700 for easy cases. I really like the staff and I have no difficulties making appointments.


FrankieHellis t1_j73ck48 wrote

$150 for what vaccines?


No_Chicken8949 t1_j7hi99j wrote

My dog gets rabies, bivalent flu, and bordetella all in the same visit. The other vaccines like Lyme are given in another time of the year.

Those were their prices in 2021. They probably have increased, but I didn’t see much of a difference last year. Our next vet visit is just next month. But I can post here the updated costs.

Annual wellness visit - $68 Bordetella - $25 Lyme - $48 Heartworm test - $56 Bivalent flu - $60


No_Chicken8949 t1_j7higpl wrote

I forgot to mention that the rabies vaccine is very 2 years. So he didn’t get last time. But when he gets it next month, I can update the post with prices.


nadialena t1_j7409kf wrote

I take my cat here, too. I can’t speak to the costs of a dog visit, but they’ve been really nice and I don’t ever feel like they’re rushing through an exam, and they’re always very clear about the costs of what they’re proposing to do.


soitgoes8 t1_j7443c3 wrote

countryside vet in ellicott city has been the vet both me and my parents have gone to for years. they are a little pricey, but very thorough and ive always been happy with their services. they also have always worked hard to fit my pets in same day when ive had emergencies.


vButts t1_j74fja7 wrote

I go there too! Routine vet visits with vaccinations for us have been ~$350.


FrankieHellis t1_j72sut9 wrote

So maybe a better question is about what do you pay for your dog to have an annual visit with rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper, bordatella, leptospirosis, Lyme, and influenza vaccines?

I think we must go to the same place OP goes to because it is about $400.


blacknbluebird OP t1_j72w6kt wrote

Ha maybe we do! I’m curious if the cost and quick visits is normal. This is my first dog and first vet, so my baseline for prices is just the wild ranges of estimates I can Google.

Looks like for an annual visit (physical exam & worm check) with routine vaccines for rabies, lyme, Bordetella, influenza, and distemper it’s about $425.

My quality concern started because I realize they missed the leptospirosis shot this time even though it was in her chart. The visits are so quick I worry more might get overlooked at later visits.


FrankieHellis t1_j73c6p1 wrote

So even in human medicine, in a group practice you need to request someone you know or suspect is a good provider. I go to our vet because I love the owner, but I have to request her specifically or else I get someone else. The place is owned by husband and wife (different surnames though). Their kid is a vet now too and he has the same last name as Dad. If I want to request Dad, I have to be super specific or I get the son because they do have the same surname.

I know we pay about that for all the vaccines, maybe even more. I can tell you exactly in 2 weeks, as we have a visit coming up. I hate that they push so many vaccines these days, but they say it is because the corresponding diseases have been identified and vaccines have been created and it Is a good thing. Can’t really argue with that, I suppose.


[deleted] t1_j73h6tz wrote



FrankieHellis t1_j73jfdw wrote

Even your link lists 4 “core” vaccines, plus Lyme (which I think is important in this area), Bordatella (which we have to have), and Leptospirosis, which we might skip this year. I don see where we have been over-vaccinating our dogs. I will continue to research though.


FrankieHellis t1_j73dcuo wrote

Also… just try a different vet in the group next time. It is a personality thing. Some vets have them and some don’t ;)

That said, if there is a cheaper place, I would try it. I just don’t see how some posters here are getting that list of vaccines for what they are remembering. I’d be willing to bet maybe they went and got a rabies booster or something and not the yearly exhaustive list.

I know routine well visits and vaccines are pretty quick, but for concerns, our vet has spent lots of time with us. Vet medicine is like people medicine these days - you have to stay on top of your providers so things don’t get missed. It’s a sad state of affairs, but nevertheless it is true.


blacknbluebird OP t1_j73fb0k wrote

Thanks for the reply! I’ll keep that in mind when looking at new vets. The current vet I take my dog to is just one vet, not a group. There are a couple of vet techs to assist, but that might also be a factor in why the last few visits felt very rushed even when I did have questions.


anxiousoryx t1_j74wkkp wrote

This is an odd thing but many independent vets now are owned by consolidator groups. They keep the same name and everything but the location is owned by a corporate “partner” behind the scenes. It’s virtually impossible to tell without outright asking the practice manager or DVM unless you know the group they are part of. Then the corporate consolidators are backed by financing groups.

So yeah, it’s a lot more complicated than it used to be and way more like human medicine than it used to be too.


[deleted] t1_j73gcss wrote



FrankieHellis t1_j73hae3 wrote

I will look into it. We get ours Bordatella because we take them to the dog park when we are at a beach condo in the summer. They require it.

I agree it is not very effective, as I know some dogs who get Bordatella every time they are kenneled, despite the vaccine.


isthisavailable t1_j72mwcn wrote

I go to North Laurel Animal Hospital. I have no idea if they are cheap or not, but I budget for the well-being of my dog. However, the staff and vets there are incredible. They really take the time to answer any question I have, they are thorough, and they clearly love animals. I wouldn't go anywhere else if it would save me few hundred bucks, but that's just me.


blacknbluebird OP t1_j72pz3n wrote

Thanks for the suggestion!

I certainly didn’t mean to imply that I’m looking for the cheapest vet. I was hoping to get suggestions like yours, where even if the cost of the vet is still pricey, it’s at least good quality care rather than high cost, low quality, which I’m concerned about with my current vet.


anxiousoryx t1_j74zhfc wrote

I would be unhappy too if I left unsure that my pet got the care that they needed. I know it’s a big bill but I love the care we get.

My employer provides pet insurance now but I haven’t tried using it yet!


blacknbluebird OP t1_j75g1f8 wrote

Thanks for the suggestion! I do see Hickory Ridge is pretty popular in the other similar posts asked in the past.

I haven’t used my pet insurance either (thankfully! My dog has been in good health this far), but the plan I have doesn’t cover routine/preventative care. Although I titled the post asking for reasonably priced vets, I guess what I’m really looking for is best quality, even if it’s not a dime cheaper.


BoboSalex t1_j72q772 wrote

I went to patasco valley vet in Ellicott city. I think check ups and vaccines were usually around 80. But they seemed reasonably priced.


crruss t1_j73llkz wrote

I go to VCA and they’re amazing and nearby which is great, but they’re also pricey, which is frustrating.


Samuel_L_Blackson t1_j7491kc wrote

PetVet in Clarksville is reasonably priced and they're all extremely nice!

I was nervous about finding a new place for my cats when I moved up here, but they're really perfect.


wildpolymath t1_j7h0gh8 wrote

Cat and Dog Hospital is great and affordable. Been taking our pets there for years.


anxiousoryx t1_j74ytr2 wrote

I love our vet. Well visits (incl vaccines) are reasonably priced in the $400 range for the full work up for our senior dog (14 this year!) Our younger dog is a little bit cheaper.

We have been with this vet with two dogs that have since passed. One dog had an aggressive tumor that she found. At no point did she ever press us for invasive tests or treatments and supported us every step of the way. With our other senior, she discovered a heart valve issue issue, guided us while she lived to an old age with conservative care.

I know $300-$400 seems like a lot, but our fast visits are still thorough. Then the fact that we have had such great experience with catching health issues has been amazing. You would think that cancer or cardiac failure would be $$$$, but that wasn’t the case at all. I’ve never felt judged that we didn’t want to pursue chemo or that we didn’t want to do an invasive surgery. That means a lot to me. The doctor calls to go over results too which I appreciate—good or bad, she gives us the updates personally.

We go to Hickory Ridge Animal Hospital in Owen Brown.