Owning a pet can bring you tremendous joy. But it comes with a lot of responsibility, too, including caring for your pet’s medical needs.
It’s important to plan for your pet’s regular or maintenance medical care. You can include these costs in your monthly budget. It’s also a great idea to create a savings account for your pet so you can gradually set aside money for their expenses.
But how to pay for emergency vet bills? And how to get help paying for vet bills?
In this article, we’ll look at how to pay emergency vet bills and answer these questions:
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the following issues warrant going straight to the emergency vet:
How much is an emergency vet visit? The costs will vary from vet to vet, but an emergency vet’s rates will always be higher. Often costs will also vary between dogs, cats, and other animals.
When appropriate, call your regular vet first. If they can take care of the issue, care will cost less.
But if your emergency is after regular hours (or your regular vet tells you to go straight to the emergency vet), you’ll need to be prepared for much higher costs at the emergency vet. As with human medicine, this specialist care will be more expensive. According to Care Credit, a short-term financing option for medical expenses, an emergency vet visit averages $800 to $1500. But extended care and overnight stays could drive costs as high as $10,000 by some estimates. Thankfully this is the exception, not the norm.
In an emergency, initial costs usually go toward getting your pet stable and diagnosing the problem. This may involve hydration, x-rays and other imaging tests. After the problem is diagnosed, the clinic will often be able to estimate the total cost. Typically, 50% of the estimated amount is due up front, with the other half due when your pet is released.
Pet insurance can help significantly in emergencies and is worth considering. Some policies may reimburse up to 90% of emergency expenses. But keep in mind you’ll probably still want that savings account for your pet: many policies require owners to pay the vet’s bill up front then file for reimbursement. And keep in mind, depending on the terms of your policy you could still be responsible for quite a bit of money.
As with most unexpected expenses, there are options available when you’re paying for an emergency vet visit.
The best option for covering emergency expenses is to plan ahead. You might want to consider these options, some of which we’ve already discussed here:
Remember, having a pet is a privilege that comes with a great deal of responsibility. Make sure you're ready to provide care for your pet in the event of an accident or illness by planning for emergency veterinary fees in advance.
If you don’t yet have a pet, they can be expensive. If you’re wondering how much is a puppy, check out our blog to get a good picture of all the costs involved.
Common estimates say an emergency visit can cost $500 to $1500. But a complex situation could run up to $10,000.
If you can’t afford a vet, it’s important – though painful – to think about whether you should have a pet at this time. Pets need regular medical care just as we do. If you know you can’t provide that care, even in an emergency situation, or if your circumstances have changed, discuss your options with the local ASPCA. They may know of charity programs and other reduced-cost options, or may even be able to rehome the pet if you are no longer able to care for them.
Absolutely. With an installment loan, you can get cash or a bank deposit as soon as the next day. Then you can use the money for your pet’s care or anything else you need.
Editorial Policy: The information contained in Check `n Go’s Finance Academy Learning Center is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding any legal issues. Check `n Go does not act as a credit counseling, repair service, or debt consolidation service in providing this content. Please understand that Check `n Go policies change over time. Blog posts reflect Check `n Go policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Check `n Go policy.
The information contained in our blog posts are the author’s own opinions, not those of Check `n Go or any other company. Any pros and cons are developed by our editorial team based on independent research. Some of the products, services, and offers on this page may not be available from Check `n Go. In Texas only: Check `n Go does not act as a credit services organization in providing this content.