Not a fan of big vet bills here, a position I'm sure I share with every cat and dog owner on the planet. Fortunately, I've developed a strategy over the decades that has served me well. Suffice it to say that vets have not grown rich off my paltry expenditures on the health maintenance of my dogs and I doubt they ever will. Here's why:
1) I will only get a breed with a healthy track record like terriers or sporting dogs. No trendy or ersatz designer breeds for me, or breeds with exaggerated features that a wild canine would never have.
2) I acquire my dogs from top breeders with extensive medical documentation on their dogs, i.e., hips, eyes, etc.
3) I like selective breeders who don't want to sell their pups, act more like they are placing a child up for a compassionate adoption and offer extensive guarantees of the puppy's health.
4) I feed raw from the get-go.
5) I give my dog plenty of exercise, take him with me to work so he's rarely alone and far less prone to getting into trouble.
6) Never miss my annual check up and go to a vet who doesn't give them unnecessary shots, blood tests, and vaccines "just to be safe." No vet on this planet is going to scare me into parting with one extra buck.
7) I don't run to the vet every time my dog vomits, gets diarrhea, coughs or acts weird. Most of the time these little conditions are temporary and cure themselves. (Understand that a dog's metabolism runs at a hyper speed compared to us. They become adults after just a year and sadly their lifespans are relatively short compared to ours. On the upshot, their bodies have the ability to fight off sickness and heal quickly).
8) All this said, I'm no ostrich with a head buried in the sand. If my dog would have a condition that would last a few days and show signs of deterioration, then I would visit the vet...although it's yet to occur in over 30 years as a dog owner.
Remember this: The more precautions you take in your journey as a dog or cat owner, the less chances you will rack up hefty vet bills.