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How Much Does Blood Work for a Dog Cost? (2023 Update)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cropped young veterinarian doctors taking blood work from dog

Just like how your doctor may order blood work to discover why you’re ill, your veterinarian may need to do blood work on your dog to find out why he’s sick. This type of laboratory testing provides your vet with a complete picture of your dog’s health.

The main types of blood work done on dogs is a complete blood count (CBC) and a chemistry profile. Both are noninvasive tests that can tell your vet a great deal about your dog’s general health. When CBC blood work is done, a small amount of your dog’s blood is taken from a vein and placed in a tube for analysis. This test tells your vet how many red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are present in the blood to see if your dog is suffering from an infection, inflammation, or disease.

When a chemistry profile is taken, a small amount of blood is drawn from a vein and placed in a tube so the serum in the blood can be analyzed. This test is done to help your vet detect problems associated with your dog’s internal organs as well as the metabolic state and electrolyte status.

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The Importance of Your Dog’s Health

Owning a dog shouldn’t be looked at as a chore. Rather, dog ownership should be viewed as an experience that enriches your life and the life of your dog. On top of needing food, water, and shelter to survive, your dog also needs physical care, mental stimulation, and nurturing. When you provide your dog with these basic things, you’ll be helping to keep him healthy and happy.

Your dog’s overall health is important to his well-being. By providing your dog with all the care he needs, you’ll be doing your part to keep him in top form. A dog that’s physically and mentally healthy is a happy-go-lucky animal that spreads joy wherever he goes!

If you notice your dog isn’t feeling well or suspect he’s sick, it’s vital to get him to the vet ASAP. Your vet may want to run some blood work on your dog to find out what’s ailing him. Never ignore changes in behavior or physical symptoms your dog displays because both things can indicate something’s wrong with his health!

owner using dog toy to play with his pet
Image Credit: Alena Veasey, Shutterstock

How Much Does Blood Work for a Dog Cost?

On average, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 for a CBC/chemistry profile combination blood test for your dog. Of course, the exact price you’ll have to pay for your dog’s blood work depends on a few factors, like which vet you use, where you live, and what tests are needed.

Blood work for a dog isn’t the cheapest service and for good reason. The price of these important blood tests covers the special equipment needed to conduct the tests, specially trained staff, and laboratory costs to process them. Most veterinary clinics work hard to keep their prices affordable so as many pet owners as possible can use their clinics.

If your vet tells you that the blood work for your dog will run between $100 and $200 for a CBC/chemistry profile combo, you can rest assured that the price is fair and reasonable. No reputable veterinarian purposely jacks up prices to simply make a profit.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

If your vet can’t determine what is wrong with your dog by running blood work, they may recommend a urinalysis. This is a routine diagnostic test of your dog’s urine that reports how well the kidneys are functioning and identifies problems in the urinary system like infections. A urinalysis can also help with the detection of diabetes and cancer of the urinary system.

The average cost of a dog urinalysis is between $40 and $70. Of course, your vet may recommend other testing—it all depends on what symptoms or behavioral changes are affecting your dog. If your vet recommends a test or procedure, be sure to ask what the cost will be ahead of time and whether it’s covered by your pet insurance.

hand in blue glove holding urine strip test results in healthy animal
Image Credit: Pee Paew, Shutterstock

How Often Do Dogs Need Blood Work Done?

It’s a good idea to take your dog to the vet once a year for a routine health check. During this type of vet visit, your veterinarian will check your dog’s heart and breathing and look him over from head to tail to assess his overall health and weight. It’s not necessary to ask your vet to run blood work on your dog during these annual visits because routine blood work isn’t typically necessary.

Your dog only needs blood work done when your vet recommends it. Your vet may recommend blood work if you’ve noticed a change in your dog’s behavior or health. For example, if your dog suddenly stops eating or has ongoing bouts of diarrhea, your vet may want to run some blood tests.

Keep an eye on your dog’s health and behavior. If you notice something that seems off, contact your vet for an appointment. Your vet will run any tests they deem necessary to find out what’s troubling your beloved pooch.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Blood Work?

Pet insurance typically covers the cost of blood work for a dog as long as the blood tests are not requested for routine, preventative care to treat pre-existing conditions. In the eyes of the average pet insurance company, dog blood work is considered a diagnostic service. Another common diagnostic service that’s also covered by pet insurance is an X-ray.

To make sure your dog’s blood work is covered by your pet insurance, get in touch with your insurer and ask. If the cost is covered as it should be, your insurer will most likely reimburse you for the cost. That’s why it’s important to get a receipt from your vet’s office once you’ve had the blood work done. This way, there won’t be any problems processing your claim.

vet performing blood test on dog
Image Credit: thirawatana phaisalratana, Shutterstock

What to Do to Avoid Your Dog Needing Blood Work

It’s impossible to control every circumstance that may call for some blood work for your dog. However, there are a few things you can do to help your dog avoid needing blood work. When your dog is healthy, he’ll be better able to ward off illnesses that can require blood work and other diagnostic tests.

Feed your dog quality dog food and make sure he gets plenty of exercise. If you’re not taking your dog for regular walks, buy a leash and collar and get him moving! Another great way to keep your dog well-exercised is to provide him with a treat dispenser dog ball he can spend hours playing with.

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Conclusion

Dog bloodwork is a way for your vet to uncover hidden diseases and other health issues your dog may be suffering from. If your vet recommends blood work for your dog, don’t discount it, or worse, refuse to have it done.

Even if you don’t have pet insurance and need to pay for the blood work out-of-pocket, the price of this important testing is worth it! Just remember that your dog depends on you to care for all his needs. Don’t let your four-legged friend down! Get the blood work done to help your dog live his best life.


Featured Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock

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