What Do Vets Do If You Can’t Pay

Having a pet is more than simply having a pal with a fur coat. 95 percent of pet owners in the United States consider their animals to be members of the family, and for good reason. When we get home from work, our dogs are ready to meet us with a wagging tail. They also give us a host of health advantages, including decreasing our blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and stress levels.

However, pet ownership comes with a high cost. In the course of the dog’s lifespan, the average cost of dog ownership is $23,410, according to research conducted by veterinary students Kelly Giffear and Brittany Scott. This might include the price of pet food, the expense of spaying or neutering, and even the cost of immunizations. An emergency visit to the vet may cost anywhere from $800 to $1500, making it much more expensive.

When money is an issue, no pet owner should be forced to give up their beloved pet because of it. The good news is that there are several funding resources available to assist you in covering the costs of an unexpected emergency veterinarian visit.

How much are emergency veterinarians charged?

It’s important to know that the cost of emergency medical care varies widely based on your pet’s illness, the treatment method you pick, where you live, and the qualifications of your veterinarian. An Angie’s List study found that 34 percent of respondents paid between $251 and $500 for an emergency veterinary visit, while 16 percent paid $1,000 or more for the same procedure.

Veterinary expenditures for dogs with cancer might soar much higher. According to CareCredit, the average cost of surgery is $2,500, while the cost of a bone marrow transplant is $15,000.It’s important to know that the cost of emergency medical care varies widely based on your pet’s illness, the treatment method you pick, where you live, and the qualifications of your veterinarian. An Angie’s List study found that 34 percent of respondents paid between $251 and $500 for an emergency veterinary visit, while 16 percent paid $1,000 or more for the same procedure.

Veterinary expenditures for dogs with cancer might soar much higher. According to CareCredit, the average cost of surgery is $2,500, while the cost of a bone marrow transplant is $15,000.

9 ways to get help with vet bills

Don’t freak out if you’re short on money and you’re faced with a pet emergency. There are a variety of ways to deal with unexpected medical costs when you’re short on funds.

1. Discuss payment options with your vet

You may be able to spread the cost of an emergency charge out over time at some vet facilities. They may also be able to assist you with financing alternatives. A vet who knows you and your pet may be able to work out a monthly payment plan, even if they aren’t usual at your practice. Once your pet has been discharged from the hospital, you may have the option of putting down a deposit on his or her care and not having to pay the remaining sum until that time.

2. Check into financial assistance programs

There are a number of non-profit organizations committed to assisting pet owners in need of medical treatment when they are unable to afford it themselves. Some focus on certain breeds, while others help people with unique medical or financial requirements.

The following are some examples of programs tailored to certain breeds:

  • CorgiAid
  • Labmed
  • Labrador Life Line
  • Pyramedic Trust
  • Special Needs Dobermans
  • WestieMed

Among the most common ones are:

  • RedRover
  • Best Friends Animal Society
  • The Pet Fund
  • The Banfield Foundation

RedRover Relief may be able to help people in need obtain urgent care funding. The Humane Society has a state-by-state directory where you may look up local groups.

3. Utilize CareCredit

The CareCredit credit card, which is meant for medical expenses not covered by insurance, is accepted by many veterinary clinics. There are a few financing alternatives available with this card that you won’t find with a standard credit card. You won’t be charged interest for up to two years if you make the minimum monthly payments on a purchase of $200 or more.

4. Use a credit card with 0% APR

So long as you have a strategy in place to pay it off in the future, getting a new credit card might be a sensible method to handle an unexpected expenditure. The APR (annual percentage rate) on many no-annual-fee credit cards is also 0% (zero percent) for a defined duration. For the first 15 months, the APR on the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card is 0% (after 14.99% to 23.74 percent (variable)). Spending $500 in the first three months earns you a $200 bonus, and you’ll get 5% cash back at the grocery store, which can help you pay down your credit card debt faster. That’s up to $12,000 in the first year.

If you spend $500 in the first three months after opening a Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, you’ll get an additional 20,000 extra miles. The 0% initial APR for 15 months on purchases and debt transfers (then 14.99 percent to 24.99 percent) makes this a decent alternative for pricey veterinary care.

5. Ask about Scratchpay

Your pet friend’s emergency vet care may be covered by Scratchpay, a new pay-over-time program. You may apply from the comfort of your own home or office using a mobile phone or computer. If you qualify for and pick the terms that are best for you, you may have to pay interest charges throughout the period of your repayment plan as well. Scratchpay simply does a soft credit check, so your credit score is not damaged. Term durations range from 5 months to 2 years.

6. Take out a personal loan

Consider getting a personal loan if you’re not ready to acquire a new credit card or need more time to catch up on your payments than an introductory APR period gives. This makes personal loans a good option for people who need money quickly but don’t want to deal with the high interest rates of a typical credit card. Check out our lending guide for more information.

6. Use your emergency fund

If you’ve been saving for a rainy day, a trip to the vet might not be out of the question. Even though it may seem counterintuitive, it is necessary to dig into a savings account for veterinary care to avoid interest on a credit card or loan. Be prepared for everything that life throws at you by having a plan in place to build up your emergency fund again.

7. Ask family or friends for financial help

Making the decision to ask for aid from loved ones might be a tough one. Think about it this way: If you can’t keep up with the interest on a loan, you may end up needing even more assistance in the future. Loaning money from a family member or close friend is likely to be the cheapest and fastest approach to get out of debt. It is amazing how ready people are to contribute if they know it would help to keep your pet healthy.

8. Fundraise

There are several advantages to crowdfunding, including the fact that you don’t have to put undue pressure on anybody. Create a GoFundMe or Waggle page to raise money for your pet, and then use your social media to spread the news. However, it’s important to share your page with friends and family as well as strangers to help you meet your fundraising goal.

9. Consider pet insurance for future expenses

This unexpected vet cost should serve as a wake-up call to purchase pet insurance if you don’t already have it. Paying a monthly fee is necessary, but the savings you’ll get if something unexpected happens are well worth it. There is a good chance that the Humane Society will endorse Petplan.

Bottom line

Although veterinary treatment might be prohibitively expensive, it’s essential to take all necessary steps to protect your pet. Preventative treatment for your pet is an investment that will help you avoid unexpected health issues. Consider getting pet insurance, storing money in an emergency fund or high-yield savings account, and making a budget for your pet’s care in the event of a financial disaster.

If you’re still struggling to pay your emergency vet charge, you might want to look into getting a personal loan to assist you out. Here’s hoping for many more years of good health and happiness with your closest buddy.

About the author: David Krug is the CEO & President of bankovia. He’s a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he’s not reading about cryptocurrencies, he’s researching the latest personal finance software.