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What are your veterinary payment options when you can’t afford pet care? Through COVID-19 layoffs and the stay-at-home order, many of us are tightening our budgets. It’s understandable to try to find ways to make ends meet, from gas and food expenses to healthcare and veterinary services. As loving pet owners, it can be challenging and sometimes heartbreaking to juggle a tight budget and still provide care to our furry loved ones.

The team at Westarbor Animal Hospital understands this dilemma and wants to address 8 veterinary payment options that may be beneficial to you and your pet.

Affordable Veterinary Payment Options

Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet or just don’t have extra funds for unexpected expenses. When a pet suffers from an emergency, injury, or illness, trying to get the financial resources to cover the cost can be hard. What do you cut? How much can you tighten your belt to provide your pet with care? Unfortunately, this may mean that a lot of pets don’t get the treatment they need, which can have a serious impact on their health, well-being, and longevity.

There are a few veterinary payment options that can help out a pet owner who doesn’t have the cash flow to cover vet costs. We hope this gives you some hopeful insight into resources you may not have considered.

  1. Have a line of credit — You may have heard of CareCredit. It is a line of credit that covers veterinary services and can be a big help in a pet emergency. This financing option requires pre-approval, but you can easily apply online and get your answer while you’re at the vet. Even better is to apply before an emergency so that you know that you have a pet care line of credit if needed. CareCredit is an available option at Westarbor. The other great news is that CareCredit has made improvements to better serve pet families.
  2. Scratchpay — This company provides payment plans for pet care expenses. Applying will not affect your credit score and they have higher rates of approval with affordable rates. Westarbor also accepts Scratchpay.
  3. Use a credit card — If you can’t afford to have money leave your checking or savings account, putting your veterinary expenses on a card even temporarily can be helpful. This is a good choice if you have low monthly interest rates and it allows you to pay off your balance over a period of time.
  4. Ask friends and family to help — This is a hard decision to make, we can understand. But in the event of a pet emergency or serious need, most loved ones will be glad to step in. Even a few friends who pitch in can help offset the cost to you. You can pay them back later when finances improve. Even if they aren’t willing to donate, they may be able to help you pay the immediate bill while you arrange financing.
  5. Create a Go Fund Me campaign — Another wonderful resource for those who have an urgent financial need is Go Fund Me, Facebook, or any other crowdfunding platform. All you need to do is write a description of what is happening with your pet and their health needs, create a campaign, and share with everyone in your social circle. Most people adore pets and understand that, in times of need, helping a fellow pet lover out is a feel-good way to support each other.
  6. Go to the Humane Society or other low-cost veterinary clinics — This is never the ideal, as many low-cost clinics don’t provide excellent care. This is a beneficial option, though, to get your pet the examination or treatment they require quickly. The Humane Society has clinics across the United States that offer affordable rates for most basic services, too.
  7. Look into nonprofit grants — Many nonprofit organizations exist to help pet owners pay for veterinary care. Check the internet for foundations that may be able to help with grants. Live Like RooThe Pet FundFrankie’s FriendsZeus Oncology FundThe Mosby FoundationThe Perseus FoundationThe Onyx & Breezy Foundation, Angels for Animals, the Face Foundation, and Help a Pet are all examples of charities devoted to covering veterinary bills for families in need. Some cover certain types of treatments so read their criteria online. Research pet financial aid options online. There are rescue groups, foundations, and nonprofits that may be able to help cover your pet’s veterinary costs.
  8. Host a group yard sale — Enlist the help of neighbors and friends, and have a yard sale or list items to sell online to offset your veterinary costs. If your pet’s need isn’t an emergency or critical, you can plan out the event and advertise on social media, community pages and sites, newspapers, and so on.

We understand that it can be tough to decide which bills to pay each month or pay a big bill that comes out of nowhere. Your pet is family though and their health and well-being are on the top of your priorities’ list.

Do what you can to prepare in advance for veterinary costs or a possible pet emergency. Worst case, the good news is that there are options for financial assistance. Have you come across any foundations or ideas that are not in the list above?

If you have any questions about veterinary payment options or would like to schedule a checkup for your best friend, please call us. We are here for you.

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