Are Low-Cost Pet Vaccines Worth It, When Low Cost Has a High Price?

So, you’ve been driving around St. Pete and you’ve seen signs for a low-cost vaccine bus. Seems like a pretty good way to stretch the dollar and still make sure your pet stays healthy, right? Let us explain why that’s so very wrong.

Many might say, “Of course you’re against low-cost vaccine pop-ups, they hurt your bottom line.” Part of that is true, but that’s because we can see that they often don’t have you or your pet’s best interests at heart. “Devoted to Pets and their people” is not a clever marketing slogan, it’s at the very heart of what we do. It’s why we come to work every day, and it’s why we are committed to continuing education and to learning how we can better help your pets live their best life longer.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Low cost vaccine pop-ups are temporary setups that have the goal of getting as many animals vaccinated as possible. Do they ask you about your pet’s lifestyle, breed, where they go, who they come in contact with, and what their previous vaccine and medical histories are? There are many different types of vaccines available and not all are recommended for every pet, and not every pet needs vaccines every year. We don’t want to over vaccinate your pet, therefore, we give each pet their own individualized vaccination protocols.

Your pet also must be healthy enough to receive vaccinations; that’s why we perform a thorough examination when we see your pet. For new clients, we ask to review the pet's previous medical records to look for any past reactions to vaccinations. At mobile clinics, if the pet is given an exam at all, it’s usually just a quick look at the eyes, ears, and nose. If a reaction occurs hours or days later, is the veterinarian on the bus available to see your pet? This becomes a larger concern if they have purchased inferior or even fake vaccines, or if they have not stored vaccines at proper temperatures. We use only vaccines from legitimate, well-known, and trusted pharmaceutical companies with decades of experience behind them.

What Low-Cost Really Costs

Finally, and probably most importantly, the biggest reason we do not recommend “low cost” mobile clinics is because all too often they end up hurting owners financially. When a low cost clinic vet performs their brief “exam” and declares the pet healthy enough for a vaccination, the pet parent can be misled into thinking that everything is fine, even when it isn’t. This also leads to the misconception that vaccines are all that’s required to keep a pet healthy. You and your pet’s relationship with your vet, regular exams—including diagnostic lab work when needed—and the education we provide on caring for pets, are all invaluable to the health and wellness of your pet. It’s also the most economical way to provide the care your pet needs in situations where early disease would have been detected and addressed during a regular vaccine appointment. Diseases are much more difficult and expensive to treat when they are identified after they’ve been allowed to progress.

Anytime we decide to cut costs in our spending, we have to ask ourselves, “Will there be a loss of quality and if so, will it be worth the savings I receive?” It’s our hope after reading this article that you will agree: low cost vaccines aren’t worth the cost to your pet.

Additional Resources:

Dog Vaccinations (Should I get my dog vaccinated at a “low-cost” clinic?)

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