How much are vets paid

These costs await you at the vet

If you want to get a pet, you shouldn't just have enough time to care for it. In addition, you should also be sure that you can afford the four-legged friend.

Food and accessories such as toys are by far not all you have to take into account. Visits to the vet also cost money. Many owners only realize how expensive this can be when they receive their first invoice.

Key facts at a glance

  • There are different types of services that vary greatly in price.
  • There are one-time benefits and there are recurring ones.
  • The veterinary costs are regulated by the GOT.
  • The costs can reach high sums in the case of chronic illnesses.

This is how the vet prices are regulated

The costs that a veterinarian may charge you are regulated in the veterinary fee schedule (GOT). This provides a framework for the treatment costs.

Veterinarians can determine the costs themselves within the GOT specifications and invoice their customers between the single and four times the fee rate. For this reason, you may have to pay more or less for the same service at a different veterinarian.

For example, a simple consultation without an examination will cost you between 7.04 euros (single rate) and 21.12 euros (triple rate). In the case of an emergency service, four times the rate may even be charged. How high the costs ultimately turn out to be at the vet is at the discretion of the doctor, who takes into account, among other things, the effort involved, his own costs and the establishment of his practice.

Costs for basic services at the veterinarian

Standard services such as counseling, general examinations or the inpatient accommodation of pets are referred to as basic services. The costs that the veterinarian charges for this depend on the selected fee rate and, to some extent, on the species.

Advice without an investigation€ 7.04 to € 21.12
General examination with advice
€ 13.47 to € 40.41
General examination with advice
€ 8.98 to € 26.94
Follow-up examination with advice (dog)€ 10.90 to € 32.70
Follow-up examination with advice (cat)7.71 to 23.13 €
Inpatient accommodation (dog)€ 16.03 to € 48.09
Inpatient accommodation (cat)€ 9.62 to € 28.86

Costs for diagnostics, special examinations and treatments

The costs for general examinations and consultations are of course not enough at the vet. In many cases, further examinations and more detailed diagnostics are required to find out what exactly is missing from your four-legged friend.

If this turns out to be an illness, there are additional costs for the treatment. Here, too, the vet may choose the rate of charge and the amount may differ depending on the species.

Liver or kidney biopsy€ 38.48 to € 115.44
Laser acupuncture€ 12.84 to € 38.52
Fluoroscopy€ 25.65 to € 76.95
Ultrasound diagnostics€ 42.34 to € 127.02

Costs for certificates and reports

Another factor that can cause costs when visiting the vet is the issuing of certificates or reports. The amount of the invoice depends not only on the rate applied, but also on the document issued.

For example, a vaccination certificate costs between 3.85 and 11.55 euros. For a simple report, the veterinarian charges 25.65 to 76.95 euros, while a detailed report costs up to 250.14 euros.

Vaccination certificate€ 3.85 to € 11.55
Other certification€ 6.41 to € 19.23
Simple reports€ 25.65 to € 76.95
Prescribing one
Medicated feed
€ 6.41 to € 19.23

Operations are particularly expensive

Operations on pets are usually particularly expensive. The costs that you will have to face in the event of a surgical procedure by the veterinarian can easily reach four-figure sums. Preliminary examinations and follow-up treatments required in this context are not even taken into account.

Exactly how much the cost of an operation is depends on various factors. In addition to any complications that may arise and the fee rate charged, the species of animal plays a particularly important role.

Tracheotomy (dog and cat)€ 48.10 to € 144.30
Surgical fracture treatment€ 192.42 to € 1,154.46
Femoral Head Resection (Dog and Cat)€ 160.34 to € 481.02
Meniscus surgery€ 224.47 to € 673.41
Caesarean section (dog)€ 160.34 to € 481.02
Caesarean section (cat)€ 121.87 to € 365.61

Other possible costs at the vet

Aside from consultations, examinations and treatments, there are a number of other things that are costly to the veterinarian. At least for dogs and cats, this includes preventive measures such as vaccinations and castration.


Vaccinations are basically a must for dogs and cats and should not be neglected by any owner. In order to prevent dangerous diseases, you should definitely have the most important vaccinations.


Castration is primarily used to prevent unwanted reproduction. In addition, this procedure can also prevent certain diseases. Spaying and neutering is certainly not an obligation, but it makes sense depending on the animal.


Unfortunately, there are cases in which even the best treatment by the vet no longer helps and the only thing left is to put the four-legged friend to sleep. Of course, this achievement is not free either.

Medicines also cost money

Incidentally, medication is not included in the costs that the veterinarian charges for his work. If your pet needs medication, you will have to pay extra for it.

The sums you should expect in this case depend on the drug in question. The price can be 10 euros. However, some drugs can cost several hundred euros.

Animal health insurance protects you from high costs

Pets bring a lot of joy to their owners. Dogs and cats in particular are often loyal companions who are seen as full members of the family. If the animal becomes ill, there is no question that a veterinarian should be consulted immediately to enable the four-legged friend the necessary treatment.

But the costs at the vet can quickly lead to problems. Getting animal health insurance can protect you from this. This takes over the bill within the framework of the selected tariff, so that necessary treatments do not fail because of money.

With Petplan you can take out the following insurance:

You determine the scope of your insurance coverage. Because you have the choice between our operating theater insurance for animals and two different tariffs for comprehensive health insurance. Send us your application promptly and protect yourself against the costs that you will have to pay at the veterinarian in the future.
Free choice of vet
You decide by which veterinarian your pet should be treated - we take over the veterinary bill!
Fast reimbursement
We pay your veterinarian bill quickly and easily and reimburse the insured costs up to 4 times the GOT rate.
Also insured abroad
Your pet is also protected abroad for up to three months.

Costs at the vet - our conclusion

The veterinary fee regulations provide the framework that doctors must adhere to when making their invoices. The amount of costs that the vet will charge you varies from case to case. It depends on the service provided, the fee rate charged and, in many cases, on the species of animal treated.

However, you can be sure that the veterinarian will settle all activities carried out in any case. As a result, the costs can add up quickly and represent a real challenge for your household budget, at least in the case of serious illnesses or operations.

You can protect yourself against this with animal health insurance from Petplan.

This article was made by Manuela Vogt checked and revised!

Manuela Vogt
Animal caretaker & animal behavior consultant

Manuela Vogt is a trained animal keeper and has worked in animal shelters for many years.

She lives with her family, dogs, cats and rabbits in Northern Germany.