(The following information is courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States)
It could happen to anyone with a pet: You’ve always managed to give your pet the medical care she deserves, but because of unexpected circumstances, you’re faced with vet expenses that are far beyond your ability to afford them.
No owner wants a pet to suffer because medical care is out of reach. Financial aid is out there, and there are steps you can take to cover an emergency vet bill.
Please remember that, depending on the severity of your pet’s illness or injury, you may still lose your pet even after great expense. Discuss the prognosis and treatment options with your veterinarian, including whether surgery or treatment would just cause your companion discomfort without preserving a life of good quality.
Pet health insurance
It may not help in the current crisis, but you should consider purchasing pet health insurance for future medical needs.
Explore ways to bring in some extra cash.
- Have a yard sale. One’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
- If your birthday or a holiday is near, ask for cash in lieu of a present.
- Sell things on an online auction site such as eBay.
- Consider getting a second or part-time job or working for a temp agency.
- Ask your employer for a salary advance.
Raise your own funds or get temporary credit
If you have a credit card, ask for a limit increase or talk with your bank about loan options. Many veterinarians accept Care Credit, which is a credit card specifically for health care expenses, including your pet’s. Care Credit offers multiple payment options that may help you through your pet’s crisis. You can find out more information about Care Credit and fill out an application on their website. Consumers should take care to understand the terms of any credit they accept.
Or, raise your own funds! Fundraising platforms like GiveForward enable you to create a personal fundraising page to raise funds for pet medical care. They charge a small percentage of funds raised.
There are many animal welfare organizations that can help out with vet bills, either with low-cost care, loans, or grants. Here are a few:
Dog breed-specific veterinary care assistance programs
Veterinary care assistance for working/service dogs
Still looking for help?
- Contact your local animal shelter. Some shelters have onsite low-cost veterinary clinics or work with local vets who are willing to reduce their charges. Some also have veterinary loan or grant programs.
- There are some organizations that may offer assistance locally (by state or community). See state-by-state listings »
- If you purchased your dog from a responsible breeder, check your contract to see if there is a health guarantee that covers your pet’s ailment.