For so many pet owners our animals are our family. We make sure they are fed, healthy, and even let them on the couch on occasion (or always). Responsible pet owners take in an animal and vow to be its home forever, do whatever they can to keep them safe, and live to see their tails wag. Unfortunately, sometimes life doesn’t always happen like it’s supposed to. Jobs are lost, serious medical problems arise, or money becomes tight. When things like this happen it can be stressful and hard on the entire family. When life happens and your pet is in need there are things you can do to find help instead of letting your fur-family suffer or allowing yourself to drown in debt.
The number one thing to consider when getting a pet is to get pet insurance. The cost for pet insurance is relatively low compared to other types of insurance and you’ll thank yourself for it later. Not only will this help with costs for major medical issues your pet may have, but it’ll also help with check-ups, vaccinations, and tests. Especially for breeds that are prone to medical issues it’s best to be safe and get health insurance when they are young in order to pay a lower monthly cost. Ask your vet or do your research online to get price quotes for pet insurance. If you are unable to afford pet insurance costs then the best thing might be to rethink pet ownership as any serious medical bill will be a great deal more expensive than your monthly insurance cost.
Taking all preventative measures is a great way to lower any vet costs you may have in the future. Keep your animals up to date on their vaccinations, use preventative flea and tick treatment, and take them in for check-ups on time. Do your research and keep your animal away from hazards that commonly cause issues like teaching your dog not to chase cars, keep your cat away from poisonous plants, know the proper heating and handling for exotic pets, and prepare any livestock for winter conditions. Preventative measures will always be the best defense for many medical issues that pets commonly face.
If you already have your pet and are unable to get insurance or are dealing with a financial hardship and are unable to pay for the help your pet needs, there are resources that may be able to help. Many areas have low-cost spay and neuter programs that also offer cheaper flea and tick treatment and many veterinary schools run low-cost clinics for limited income clients. Contacting your vet or local animal shelter and asking about these programs is the best bet for finding organizations that have programs to help pet owners with monetary need.
There are also some resources out there that can provide financial assistance. Researching animal welfare organizations that can help out with vet bills, low-cost care, loans, or grants is a great first step in helping with your medical costs. There are some breed-specific vet care assistance programs like Special Needs Dobermans, Labrador Lifeline, or Pyramedic Trust that can help raise money or give you information on how to help your pup. Do your research and you might be able to find programs that offer grants for your animal’s medical expenses.
In order to come up with some money on your own to help pay for your animal’s medical expenses, you have a few options for obtaining the amount needed to keep them healthy. First off, speak directly to your vet about payment options. Explain to them if you are having financial difficulties and many clinics have payment option or low-income programs set up for situations to these issues. Also, many clinics offer payment by use of a credit card used specifically for veterinary care. Your vet should have information on different options for credit cards to pay your animal’s bills and may be able to check your eligibility while you’re there.
As for other means for coming up with cash, think creative. Start a bake sale or fundraiser and contact your local animal shelter to get the word out. Have a garage sale, sell plasma, or request cash for Christmas or birthday presents. Set up collection cans at your local grocery store, vet clinic, or pet store. Sell electronics on eBay, rake leaves for money in your neighborhood, or start budgeting a little tighter in order to save more money. House sit, pet sit, babysit, recycle, or sell some old furniture on craigslist. It’s amazing how many options you have to make a little bit of money, you just have to think outside of the box.
When you’re out of options and need to ask others for help to fund your animal’s medical expenses, there are options to get donations from others. Sites like gofundme.com offer solutions to crowdfunding to make accepting and giving donations easier. You are able to set your goal amount, have donations sent directly online, and an area to leave your story to help people understand your situation. You can then share the page on your social media so that family and friends can help with the effort. You can share it to your favorite site administrators and they might be able to share it for their readers even if they aren’t able to donate. The idea is to get as many eyes on your cause as you can. Send the link to your vet, your local animal shelter, and on all of your social media accounts.
Some other resources for financial assistance for veterinary bills are:
When our fur-family members are experiencing medical hardships far beyond our financial means or our financial status plummets while our pets need medical care it can be an extremely difficult and trying time for all family members involved. For dedicated pet parents it can feel very helpless to see our animals hurt while our hands are financially tied behind our backs. Fortunately there are other options to help fund the necessary care that our pets need. Just be sure to take preventative measures, research resources, scrounge up some money, and ask for help to keep your pet healthy and happy if the worst happens.
Author Bio: Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in beautiful Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about animal welfare, enjoys nights at home drinking fruity wine, and is the proud GSD mom.
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