How much does blood work cost for my dog?

It can be worrisome when your dog needs blood work or any type of testing for that matter. But, if you think about how often people get blood work at their routine yearly check-ups, it’s not always that scary. As pet parents, we of course, never want to put our dogs through unnecessary testing. Especially, when they can be costly. Depending on what type of test is required for your dog, the cost can vary. The cost also can be different depending on where you live and if you are at your regular vet’s office or an emergency vet clinic. On average, you can expect to pay $100-$200.

Various diagnostic tests may be routine or required for your dog to keep them healthy. Always take what your vet says into consideration, and get a second opinion if needed. But make sure your dog stays healthy through routine blood work for preventative care or any specific tests required to understand your dog’s symptoms. 

golden doodle getting a shot

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Other factors come into play when it comes to blood work for your dog. Below you will find out additional information on the following 4 topics:

Topic 1: Different types of lab work for your dog and estimated costs

The cost will vary depending on the test and vet location. Pet owners should expect anywhere up to $200 for a single blood test but as low as $30 for a urine sample. Contrary to popular belief, most vet clinics are not looking to increase their pricing to get more money. They have their costs and lab costs as well to cover. 

Topic 2: How is blood taken from a dog?

Most of the time from the neck. You can always ask your vet where blood will be taken before they do so for reassurance. 

Topic 3: Understanding your dog’s results from their lab or blood work

Results can be confusing with words you’ve never heard and numbers that don’t make sense. Make sure to schedule time with your vet to review the different results and what each means and what you need to monitor.

Topic 4: Do all dogs need blood work?

Most dogs will require blood work at some point in their lives. For example, all puppies usually have blood work completed.

Ways to lower the cost of your dog’s blood tests

Understand your vet costs when you choose them and consider pet insurance if it makes sense for you and your dog.

Continue reading to learn more about the blood work that may be required for your pet’s health as well the costs associated.

Sick dog

Different types of lab or blood work for your dog and estimated costs

Different tests will be required for your dog based on your dog’s symptoms and the reason for the visit. Below is a list of the various tests your dog may need.

Fecal Test

I think we can all attest to having to remember to bring in our dog’s poop from the morning of their vet visit. I can admit to forgetting this one many times and having to take it in the following day. A fecal exam looks for parasites or blood or mucus. The test is usually completed at your dog’s yearly check-up. You can expect to pay $25-$50 for this test. 

Heartworm Test

This test does require a blood sample. The cost of this test is around $35-$65. You will likely see it has a line item on your vet bill during their annual check-up. It’s an important test to have completed each year to have peace of mind that your dog does not have heartworm

Urine Test

A urine test looks for kidney disease, dehydration, or diabetes. Obtaining urine from your dog can be challenging. I had to do it for Wes once and I grabbed a large plastic container and put it under him quickly when he lifted his leg. If you have a girl dog, you could do the same thing as they squat. You might just want a short container. The cost of a urine sample will likely cost you between $15-$35.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

This test is a blood test and can help you and your vet understand many things about your dog. The test results will show your dog’s immune system response, infection, white blood cells, red blood cells, anemia, liver disease, kidney function or kidney failure, blood clotting ability, and other organ functions. This is a go-to test for older dogs or if you have a sick pet your vet can’t explain their symptoms through a physical exam. This test can cost you anywhere from $100-$200.

Wes had been acting a little off, nothing big, and the vet said he was likely a little off because my husband had been deployed for 10 months and had just come home. Plus he was 12 and getting older. They said they could do a CBC if we wanted, but it wasn’t necessary. We decided to go through with it just to be safe. This is where we found that he likely had a tumor which led us to the ultrasound to confirm the tumor on his spleen. He was scheduled for surgery the day after he died from a blood clot.

There was no way to know he was going to have the blood clot on that day or time. The timing of course was horrible but it was the CBC test that allowed us to find a few answers. I am very pro-CBC test for this reason in having some sort of explanation for Wes’s death. 

Allergy Test

There are different allergy tests that you can get for your dog. Blood tests are common for allergy tests. There is also a test where your dog will be sedated and various allergens are exposed to them. An allergy test might provide some answers and relief if you have a very itchy dog or one who is very uncomfortable. As you can probably imagine, allergy testing is quite expensive starting in the $200 range. It may also require a specialist vet so be sure to discuss with your vet what is possible if you think your dog has allergies and needs quick relief from them.

Preventative Care Tests

As a dog gets older, their health can change rapidly. Your vet may recommend various blood and lab tests for your senior dog to ensure good health. The cost of these will vary depending on what your vet is looking at or for compared to your dog’s symptoms and behaviors.

There are other types of tests out there for various things for your dog. Speak with your veterinarian if you want to know about other tests for your dog’s health. As well as the costs associated with those tests

It’s a good idea to have your dog’s records handy as well in case you need to go to an emergency vet or switch vets. This card is a great way to keep track of all your dog’s visits vs having to call your vet every time.

How is blood taken from a dog?

Taking a blood sample from a dog is a fairly simple process. The blood is taken from the dog’s vein and usually from the jugular. Where is the jugular and what is the jugular you might be thinking? Trust me, I thought the same when I learned this. It is located on the neck. Just like with a human blood draw, your dog will likely feel a sting but they are strong and are not in any harm. Remember, this blood test is likely being recommended by your vet for good reason to better understand what is going on with your dog. It’s a small piece to the puzzle of figuring out your dog’s symptoms and peace of mind for you as the dog owner.

bull dog getting a vaccine

Understanding the results of your dog’s blood tests

As dog owners, you are not expected to know or understand all the line items on blood test results or any lab work for that matter. You of course can google but try to stick with the facts. As we all know with our own research on ourselves we tend to go down a deep rabbit hole where nothing but fear for something is waiting. And usually, that something is not as bad as we think.

Please be sure to schedule time with your vet or the vet technician to review the blood and lab work following the results coming out. It’s important for you and your dog to have a clear understanding of the next steps that might require more tests, a different diet, or other changes to your dog’s lifestyle. Most blood and lab work will be sent back to your veterinarian in 3-5 business days. Ask your vet when you should expect the results just in case it’s more or less so you can also plan to have a discussion with them about the results. 

Do all dogs need blood work?

It’s unlikely that your dog will never need blood testing. As a puppy and at their yearly physicals, it should be anticipated to make sure they are on a healthy trajectory. It’s important for a dog owner to understand that a dog does come with costs. It’s not just the dog food and dog treats. Some dogs are also born will illnesses that require ongoing blood tests for monitoring. 

Of course, keeping your dog healthy will decrease the chances of them needing additional blood work completed. Making sure your dog is eating healthy dog food, taking his/her heartworm monthly medication, and getting exercise will help keep them in good health. 

There is always the chance that as they age, additional blood tests will be required of them. Just like humans, as we age we tend to need more testing for preventative care. And some diseases come about later on in life for dogs the same way they do for humans. Be prepared as a dog owner for the cost of an old-aged dog.

Ways to lower the cost of your dog’s blood work

There are low-cost veterinary clinics. The best way I have found these is by looking up the vet’s that shelters use if they don’t have an in-house vet. Usually, clinics that serve a large population of rescue pups in shelters are at a lower cost than private veterinarians. 

Pet insurance is always an option. Keep in mind that most insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions. The monthly cost is lower for younger dogs without health conditions but will still rise monthly as your dog gets older.

We had pet insurance for Wes for quite some time but eventually canceled it when he was 10. Our reasoning was that the yearly cost was more than what we would likely pay if he did have an emergency. Pet insurance is an entirely other topic on its own. But if you do have it, look into what it covers when it comes to routine blood tests and unexpected blood tests as well as diagnostic testing for your dog. 

It’s also a good idea to check with your vet before running blood tests and call around to other vets to see if you can get the tests at a lower rate. 

Get the blood test if your dog needs it

I know that a visit to the vet can be nerve-racking with the dollar signs floating in your head. But, keep in mind that your dog is likely part of your family and this expense should be budgeted for. Emergency vet visits will always cost more just like a human going to the emergency room vs their routine doc. As your pet ages, the cost of their care may increase.

The most important thing is finding out the reasons behind your dog’s health problems and keeping them healthy through preventative care.

Comment below if you have found your pet insurance to benefit you and your dog with their blood tests! Or if you have a favorite insurance company you would recommend to our readers!?


  1. Oh men, it can get pretty expensive with our little furry family member. We took our dog to the vet because he was itching and paid over $600 out of pocket just last month. So, we are thinking about just getting him an insurance plan.

  2. Oh men, it can get pretty expensive with our little furry family member. We took our dog to the vet because he was itching and paid over $600 out of pocket just last month. So, we are thinking about just getting him an insurance plan.

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