Emergency vet visit cost in Canada

12 minute read Published on Mar 13, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

Veterinarian examining a kitten in animal hospital

Caring for a pet comes at a cost. While this cost is nothing compared to the love you have for them, the reality is that paying to feed and house your pet can add up. Plus, when you adopt a pet, there is always the risk that they will become seriously injured or sick and require an emergency visit to the vet. Understanding how much emergency vet visits cost in Canada and preparing for them by taking steps like purchasing Fetch pet insurance, is critical if you want to provide your pet with the best care possible. Keep reading to learn more about how emergency vet visit costs are determined in Canada and how pet insurance can cover them.

Determining the cost of an emergency vet visit

There is nothing more stressful than an emergency relating to the health of your pet. In such an instance, you will have no choice but to rush your pet to the vet at the last minute. Although you can rest easy knowing you are doing what is right for your pet, the financial burden of emergency vet visits in Canada can cause a great deal of stress.

To avoid adding stress to an already stressful situation, it is important to understand how emergency vet visit costs are determined in Canada. This can give you a better idea of how much you can expect to pay in the event that your pet is rushed to the vet. As you might expect, not all emergency vet costs are the same. In reality, many factors can influence the price of your emergency vet visit, such as the location of your veterinarian hospital, the type of illness or injury your pet suffers from, and even the type of animal your pet is. We outline some of the main factors impacting emergency vet visit costs in Canada:

Where the veterinary hospital‍ is located

Veterinary costs vary depending on where you live in Canada. The general cost of living in a certain area, along with demographics, can both influence how much the average emergency vet visit costs. To find out about typical vet costs in your city or province, contact Fetch.

The type of veterinary hospital‍ you take your pet to

A second factor that influences the cost of emergency veterinary care is the type of veterinary hospital you take your pet to. Just as there are a wide range of hospitals and medical clinics for humans, there also are for animals. From general hospitals that treat common illnesses to specialty clinics or emergency care clinics, the type of facility your pet receives care at can influence the cost. For example, if your pet requires a trip to a vet clinic for a specialized illness, the cost could be higher as more advanced equipment or knowledge might be needed. To give you an idea of how vet costs may differ, the average cost of exam fees at a general veterinarian’s office may be somewhere between $45 and $65. Meanwhile, the average cost of exam fees at a veterinary specialist’s office can be more than double, averaging between $100 to $250. The cost of diagnostics and treatment plans can also vary between the two types of facilities, costing up to $1,500 at a general vet’s office and up to $3,000 at a specialty vet’s office.

The type of illness or injury your pet is suffering from

Next, the type of illness or injury your pet is suffering from is another detail that will affect your emergency vet bill. As you might expect, administering a vaccine to your dog or cat generally costs far less than treating an infection or gastrointestinal issue. Of course, surgery is often the most expensive. According to Fetch, pet vaccinations range from $20 to $40, the treatment for an infection with gastrointestinal worms averages $181, and the cost of surgery to remove a foreign object that is obstructing your dog’s gastrointestinal system can be upwards of $3,000. For more insight into how much various illnesses or injuries may cost to treat in Canada, contact a pet insurance specialist at Fetch.

The extent of the emergency veterinary care required

Beyond the type of illness your pet is dealing with, the extent of the illness (and therefore the emergency veterinary care required) will also impact the cost. For example, if your pet is very ill and needs to stay at a veterinary hospital or clinic for several days or weeks, this will be more expensive than a less severe illness that does not require an overnight stay. Generally speaking, if your pet can be treated and discharged from the vet’s office on the same day, the cost of the emergency visit will be lower. To highlight this contrast, Fetch claims that the average emergency visit cost for a minor ailment, such as an ear infection, is around $474, while the cost of a sick visit for a serious ailment requiring hospitalization, such as bloating, hovers around $4,012.

The type of pet receiving care

The type of pet receiving care is yet another factor that can impact how much you pay for your emergency vet visit. Generally speaking, vet care for a smaller animal, such as a cat or small dog, may be less than vet care for a large or medium-sized dog. This is because sometimes medications or treatments are priced by weight, so if you have a larger pet, it may cost more. In addition, veterinary care for older pets may be more expensive than for younger pets, mainly because they are more likely to suffer from more severe illnesses or injuries. Your pet’s weight, medical or health history, and temperament may also impact the price of your emergency vet visit bill. For example, if you have an aggressive dog, the vet may need to give them medication to calm them, which can add to the overall cost.

The breed of your pet

The breed of your pet is one final factor that may impact how much you pay for an emergency vet visit in Canada. Breed matters most when discussing dogs as opposed to cats, but it can come into play for both. The reason that breed matters is due to the fact that some breeds are more prone to specific health issues. Examples of breed-specific issues include the following:

  • ACL tears
  • Bladder stones
  • Brachiocephalic syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Ear infections
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Knee and elbow dislocations
  • Slipped discs

If you don’t know whether your pet is at risk for a hereditary or congenital condition, contact your local veterinarian. The good news is that Fetch pet insurance covers breed-specific issues, so if you find out that your pet is at higher risk of developing a certain illness, pet insurance might be a great solution.

Get a pet insurance quote 1-866-381-1946

Costs associated with emergency veterinary care

Now that you know which factors can influence the cost of emergency veterinary care in Canada, let’s dive into some of the most common fees incurred during such visits. Remember that emergency vet visits are visits where your pet requires immediate or life-saving care, to the point that you cannot afford to wait until regular business hours to schedule an appointment with your vet. Depending on where you live, there might be several 24-hour emergency veterinary clinics or animal hospitals near you that provide this type of urgent care. In the event that your pet requires emergency care, you will need to take them to your local animal hospital as soon as possible.

Upon arrival, you can expect that your pet will be examined by a veterinarian. Though you won’t receive your bill until the end of the appointment, you can expect the charges to start adding up from the moment your pet’s exam begins. To give you a better idea of which types of charges you may incur during an emergency vet visit, we have put together the following list:

  • Emergency room examination fees
  • IV catheter
  • IV fluids
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • X-ray or CAT scan
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Pain medication
  • Hospitalization or vet tech monitoring

The cost of each of these fees varies. However, emergency vet costs are generally higher than routine vet costs.

Are emergency vet visits covered by Fetch pet insurance?

Yes! By now you know that even just one emergency vet visit can add up. Thankfully, there is a way to mitigate the financial ramifications of an emergency trip to the vet, and that is with pet insurance. Fetch’s comprehensive pet insurance policies include coverage against emergency vet visits, which means by enrolling with Fetch, you can receive partial compensation (according to the reimbursement rate chosen) when your pet requires urgent care.

What other pet insurance coverage is included in my policy?

Fetches pet insurance policies do not stop at emergency vet visit coverage. To find out “what does pet insurance cover?”, we have put together a list of protection that Fetch dog and cat insurance policies provide coverage for:

  • Prescription medications & supplements
  • Emergency vet visits
  • Virtual, in-home & office visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Physical therapy
  • Allergies
  • Surgeries
  • X-rays & CT scans
  • Ultrasounds
  • Blood tests
  • Breed-specific issues, including hip dysplasia
  • Specialists
  • Sick-visit exam fees
  • Laboratory tests
  • Vomiting & diarrhea
  • Hereditary & congenital issues
  • Swallowed objects & toxins
  • Every tooth covered
  • Gum disease
  • Diabetes & insulin
  • Cancer treatment
  • Acupuncture & chiropractic care
  • Treatment for aggression & separation anxiety

As you can see, not only does Fetch cover emergency vet visits, but they also cover a wide array of other health-related scenarios, like diabetes, cancer treatment, ultrasounds, blood tests, and more. They even cover a few things that most pet insurance companies don’t. Namely, Fetch plans cover illness and diseases in each and every one of your pet’s adult teeth, treatment for hereditary conditions that stem from your pet’s breed, and sick-visit exam fees, which can save policyholders up to $250 per sick visit. Call Fetch today to learn more about Fetch’s extensive pet insurance coverage or request a pet insurance quote today.

Get a pet insurance quote 1-866-381-1946

What is not covered by my pet insurance policy?

Although you can rest easy knowing that Fetch pet insurance covers emergency vet visit costs in Canada, there are a few things that your Fetch policy does not cover. Note that the following list of exclusions is common among pet insurance policies across North America:

Pre-existing conditions

Fetch pet insurance does not cover any pre-existing conditions that your pet suffers from. Pre-existing conditions are those that your pet has been diagnosed with prior to enrolling in your Fetch policy or any conditions that are discovered during the 15-day waiting period.

Cosmetic or elective procedures

Fetch pet insurance also does not cover cosmetic procedures, elective procedures, or grooming. In other words, if your pet is undergoing a procedure that is not necessary for their health, Fetch won’t cover you. Tail docking, ear trimming, and cat declawing are just a few examples of cosmetic procedures that are excluded from your policy.

Routine and preventative care

It is common practice for pet insurance policies not to cover routine and preventative care. Thus, your Fetch pet insurance plan will not compensate you for vet bills relating to flea and tick prevention, heartworm medication, spaying and neutering, annual check-ups, vaccines, dental cleanings, etc.

Prescription food

Prescription food is also not covered by Fetch pet insurance. However, prescription medication, as well as any vitamins or supplements recommended by your veterinarian to treat a covered illness or injury in your pet will be covered.

Late claims

Fetch does not cover late claims. Late claims are any claims submitted more than 90 days after your pet received treatment. In other words, you have 90 days from the date your pet went to the vet to file your claim with Fetch. If you try to submit a claim after 90 days have passed, it will be invalid and Fetch will not reimburse you.

The benefits of pet insurance: Is Fetch pet insurance worth it?

At this point, you might be wondering, does pet insurance make sense for me? Is it really worth it? The answer in most cases is yes. Pet insurance is worth it, even if you are buying it solely to cover the cost of a potential emergency vet visit. Emergency vet visits can be expensive, as you now know, but with pet insurance, you won’t have to bear the brunt of these costs alone. Instead, you can pay your vet bill upfront, submit a claim with Fetch, and receive compensation for up to 90% of your vet bill (after the deductible has been reached). If you’re still on the fence about whether Fetch pet insurance is worth it, check out the list of benefits below:

Fetch pet insurance plans are simple and easy to understand

Fetch makes finding quality pet insurance easier than ever before. Rather than forcing you to compare a wide range of policies and coverage options, they offer just one simple pet insurance policy, and it includes comprehensive coverage. You can receive a free pet insurance quote online and buy your policy on their website in a matter of minutes.

Fetch pet insurance is affordable

Another benefit of Fetch pet insurance is that it is affordable. You might think that their policies would be expensive due to the comprehensive coverage they provide, but they are not. The average Fetch pet insurance plan costs $50 per month for dogs and $30 per month for cats. When you consider how much the average emergency vet visit costs in Canada, this is nothing and is certainly worth the peace of mind that insurance coverage offers. Fetch policies also do not have enrolment fees. To find out exactly how much Fetch pet insurance will cost for your dog or cat, contact them today. Fetch uses their patent-pending Fetch Forward technology to provide accurate and competitive quotes to all pet owners. This state-of-the-art technology takes into account various factors like your pet’s age, breed, and location while ignoring other factors that Fetch does not consider, like the sex of your pet, whether they are spayed or neutered, their behavioural or medical history, and whether they are an indoor or outdoor pet, to determine the cost of pet insurance.

Fetch allows policyholders to stay with their existing vets

Some pet insurance companies only offer coverage for pets that are treated by certain veterinarians or veterinarian’s offices, and this can be a pain. Having to switch veterinarians and find a new one off of your insurance company’s “approved” list may not only be stressful for your pet but can also be inconvenient for you. Thankfully, Fetch makes pet insurance as convenient as possible by allowing policyholders to stay with their existing vets. Fetch does not have a specific network of veterinarians that they work with, which means policyholders have complete freedom to keep seeing their current veterinarian or find a new one if they wish. The veterinarian or veterinarian’s office where your pet is treated will not impact your coverage. You will be eligible for reimbursement so long as the treatment your pet receives is covered. Fetch even provides coverage for veterinary care from a specialist or emergency clinic.

Fetch pet insurance allows you to give your pet the best care possible

One final reason that Fetch pet insurance might be worth it is that it allows you to give your pet the best care possible. No pet owner ever wants to be forced to choose between the health of their pet and their bank account, but without pet insurance, the cost of veterinary care can add up and at times, might be too much to handle. Avoid the stress of such a situation by purchasing pet insurance coverage through Fetch. Knowing you have financial protection if your pet falls ill or gets injured can provide you with peace of mind while ensuring your pet receives the care they need.

Gain further insight into emergency vet visit costs in Canada by contacting Fetch

Do you still have questions about emergency vet visits in Canada? Contact Fetch today, and a pet insurance specialist would be pleased to answer your questions. For example, they can explain how emergency vet visit costs are calculated and offer insight into the average cost of vet visits for different types of pets and treatment plans. They can also offer a free pet insurance quote and discuss how pet insurance can protect you from the high cost of emergency vet visits in Canada. To get started today, contact Fetch. You can also obtain a free quote online now.

Get a pet insurance quote 1-866-381-1946

For related articles, check out our pet travel tips, and how to protect your pet in your car.