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What to Do When You Need a Vet But Have No Money

Tom Hartford, Senior Editor

June 18th, 2020

Affected by COVID-19? We've pulled together a few resources to help during this unprecedented situation. Learn more about how to handle COVID-19 here.

You cannot put a price on the love you feel for your dog, cat, or other precious pet. Yet, veterinary bills can be expensive and difficult to add into a tight budget. And unfortunately, vet expenses are sudden, unplanned emergencies.

All too often, pet owners get pinched in a position where they must weigh their love for their best friend against the financial impact of emergency vet care.

Caring for your precious pets shouldn’t be a toss-up. So, we’ve rounded up a few helpful ways to afford pet care. Here’s what to do when you need a vet but have no money.

Check Into Cash Pay Vet Bill Cat Money Jar

Remember, You and Your Pet are Not Alone

Many Americans have little money saved, with not much room for extra expenses for themselves or their pets. In fact, an emergency expense of any kind can put most people in a financial crisis. Still, 67% percent of U.S. households, or nearly 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).


Common Pet Care Costs

With so many families owning pets, routine veterinary care can cost between $200 – $400 for dogs and $90 – $200 for cats each year. In the big picture, these costs seem small and well spent when compared to the joy a pet can bring.

However, the real crisis occurs when unexpected trauma sends pets to an emergency vet clinic. When your dog needs surgery, you’re faced with choosing between your pet’s wellbeing and a big bill. After all, the average emergency vet bill is $800-$1,500 and could grow due to follow-up care, ongoing therapy, and prescription medication.


Common Animal Emergencies

Aside from routine or preventative costs, here are some of the most common pet emergencies that require vet care.

  1. Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  2. Physical trauma
  3. Sudden collapse
  4. Breathing difficulties
  5. Eye trauma or problems
  6. Stings, bites, or allergic reactions
  7. Ingesting poison
  8. Whelping/kittening issues
  9. Bloat or gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV)
  10. Seizures


What to Do When You Need a Vet with No Money

So, what happens when your pet encounters one of the animal emergencies listed above? You may be thinking to yourself, “I need a vet, but I have no money.” Don’t worry. Here are a few avenues to help you afford your pet emergencies.


Look Into Pet Insurance

The ASPCA sponsors pet health insurance policies that help pet owners afford and pay most vet expenses. Like personal healthcare insurance, the policies cover illnesses and emergency vet services, allowing owners to file claims on their pet insurance coverage.

These policies are literally lifesavers for pets. However, they’re pricey. Pet insurance policies can be more than what most pet owners can afford, as costs grow higher for certain at-risk animals. There are also prohibitions and exclusions like pre-existing medical conditions. Plus, owners must pay the full expense at the time of service, then wait on reimbursement from pet insurance providers.


Pet Wellness Plans

Pet wellness plans are another method pet owners can use to afford animal health care. Wellness plans are typically routine pet care, planned out with a participating vet and then paid over specified payment terms.

These are normally much less expensive than health insurance policies, but they are limited in their coverage. While they may sometimes offer priority discounts for emergency procedures, these pet wellness plans don’t normally include coverage for pet emergency care.


Vet-Sponsored Payment Plans

Some veterinary and pet clinics offer payment plans, too, either within their offices or using third-party financial services. These payment plans are similar to small, short-term loans and can make high-cost emergency charges more affordable.

However, these may also include extremely high fees and charges for financing, as well as very short payment terms and high interest rates. Owners should ask for full cost estimates and payment plan options before agreeing to vet-sponsored payment plans.


Credit Cards for Pet Care

Most vets and pet clinics accept major credit cards and pre-paid debit cards for payment. Credit cards can be very convenient in an emergency, deferring payment and giving owners the time to make decisions based on pet care without immediate financial impact.

Unfortunately, millions of consumers carry high balances on credit accounts. Larger emergency expenses might overwhelm a credit card balance, while also incurring high-interest rates over time.


Check Into Cash Can Help Your Vet Emergencies

One of the best ways to afford pet care emergencies when you have no money is through an emergency loan from Check Into Cash. Fast, easy, and affordable, our loan options allow pet owners peace of mind, knowing their best friend gets the best care without traumatizing financial consequences.


Try an Installment Loan for Vet Care

An Installment Loan can help you pay for larger veterinary procedures like surgeries and therapy. These loans offer more funds and longer repayment plans, with smaller, more comfortable payments.


Payday Loans for Pet Emergencies

Payday Loans are quick gap loans to help pay for unexpected pet care emergencies. Applying is easy. Plus, these small-dollar loans can help bridge the gap, while allowing you to access top-notch care for your animal companion.

What Other Services Do You Offer?

Did you know Check Into Cash provides more than Payday Loans? That’s right, we also allow Check Cashing, Western Union® Money Transfer, Bill Pay, and more. Discover all we have to offer by clicking below.

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