Free clinics for dogs usually include routine procedures, such as vaccinations, microchipping and spay or neuter surgery. Some may include nail trimming and dental care, although these are less common.
Some free clinics require proof of financial need for dogs to qualify for free services. There may also be different qualifying criteria, such as programs focused on pit bulls. Owners should contact the clinic before bringing the dog in to make sure it qualifies for free care.
Most free clinics are focused on general health and population control measures. Free spay and neuter is the most common service offered. Some clinics offer all vaccinations for free, while others focus on essential ones, such as rabies and distemper. In some clinics, some of these procedures may be offered for a small fee to cover the cost of the supplies. Diagnostic tests for serious illnesses, such as heartworm, are also available for little or no cost in many areas.
Emergency care is generally not offered for free at these clinics, but there are foundations and grants that can help owners pay for it. Many animal rescue organizations have a list of these charitable organizations, so owners can try contacting their local animal shelters for assistance. The Humane Society of the United States also has a list of some of the larger organizations. Some veterinarians also offer payment plans or sliding scale payments.