Our pets enrich our lives in so many ways, but owning a pet also involves some responsibilities. In addition to these responsibilities, you must also provide health care for your pet, which has its own cost. It’s not uncommon for accidents, injuries, and illnesses to happen at any time, and their costs can be high.
A vet visit typically costs approximately $50. Additionally, other visits, such as a geriatric examination, may cost around $100 while a dental cleaning can cost anywhere from $70 to almost $400. Besides, every year approximately one in three pets require emergency veterinary care in addition to routine veterinary care. Three out of ten Americans have enough money to cover a $1,000 emergency. But over half of American households (53%) don’t have an emergency savings account. So most of us will have to ask for help paying vet bills. Here’s what you need to know if you find yourself among these statistics and need help paying for your pet’s emergency vet bills.
Way To Get Help With Veterinary Bills
The cost of veterinary care can be high if your pet is in a severe condition. For example, long-term medications for chronic conditions like Cushing’s disease or arthritis can be expensive. There is a common reaction among pet parents when presented with an estimate of vet costs. There’s nothing wrong with a lack of funds since we’ve all had hard times or unexpected stuff happen. In this situation, making a decision based on your budget is difficult when you want to give your pet the best care.
But, luckily there are options for pet parents to obtain grants to cover vet bills. But you will have to be creative in this regard. However, if your pet needs vet care and you are running into a financial crisis then here are a few ways to get help with the bills.
20 Best Charities For Help With Vet Bills
There are several organizations that may be able to assist you if you need immediate veterinary expenses that you cannot afford, such as X-rays or ACL surgery. There are a variety of ways in which they assist, such as offering reduced-cost services or covering actual expenses for critical services, such as cancer treatment. The following are several ways in which you can obtain vet bills to cover the costs of your pet’s medical and other care.
1. Frankie’s Friends
The Frankie’s Friends foundation provides financial assistance of up to $2,000 to low-income families for emergency and life-threatening veterinary care. There’s a part of the treatment cost that families pay, and Frankie’s Friends negotiates a discounted rate with the vet.
2. Harley’s Hope Foundation
Colorado residents with pets who require substantial veterinary treatment can benefit from Harley’s Hope Foundation’s financial assistance program. A written diagnosis, an estimated treatment cost, a good survival prognosis, and proof of financial need are the requirements to prove.
3. The Pet Fund
Pet Fund specializes in non-essential, non-emergency care, according to their website. There are numerous conditions that require treatment and the Pet Fund provides aid. A few of these conditions include cancer, heart disease, endocrine disorders, kidney disease, cataract surgery, and chronic illnesses. Since the Pet Fund receives thousands of requests each year, you might find yourself on the waiting list. So, don’t panic. You can apply for a one-time grant if you think you are an eligible pet owner.
4. Red Rover
Pets with life-threatening conditions can get help from the Red Rover Urgent Care program. In general, they provide grants of $250 per pet as urgent care grants. “redrover.org/relief/urgent-care-grants”.
This nonprofit provides financial aid, resources, and support to low-income families, survivors of domestic violence, and their pets so they can get out of harm’s way together.
5. Bow Wow Buddies Foundation
In addition to providing funding for family pets that are sick or injured, the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation also helps homeless dogs. You could get a grant of up to $2,500 for necessary medical treatments for your dog. If you fill out an application properly, you can receive Vet bill assistance anywhere in North America. The list of qualifying conditions includes broken bones, accidents, cancer, abdominal obstructions, and eye removals.
6. Brown Dog Foundation
This charity provides funding for sick pet owners through its 501(c)(3) status. You can get funding if the pet responds to treatment but owners don’t have the money right now.
7. Dylan’s Hearts
It is the goal of Dylan’s Hearts to assist with veterinary bills for urgent medical treatment that offers good prognoses for pets. Application requirements include a diagnosis and treatment plan from a veterinarian. Here’s how to apply and learn more about the eligibility requirements: “dylanshearts.com/Animal-Medical-Bills-Eligibility.html”.
8. For the Love Of Alex
Pet owners with low incomes can get help with vet bills as emergency funding for urgent and lifesaving care from this organization. The service is only available for illnesses, not for general health care. If you would like to apply, please go to “fortheloveofalex.org/help-my-pet”.
9. Hearts United for Animals
Several services are available through Hearts United for pet owners in need. It includes everything from temporary housing for people who have lost their homes or are fleeing domestic abuse to medical assistance for sick animals. Learn more about Hearts United For Animals at “hua.org”.
Animal owners who can’t afford veterinary services, medicine, or medical supplies can get financial help from Help-A-Pet. A single person’s income must be under $20,000, or a family’s income must be under $40,000 to qualify for the vet bill. The amount depends on how many dependents you have.
11. Kobi’s Fund
In association with Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance, Kobi’s Fund provides financial assistance to cats diagnosed with Vaccine Associated Sarcoma (VAS).
12. Mosby Foundation
There are a lot of things that the Mosby Foundation can help with when it comes to veterinary financial aid. But there are a few things they don’t cover. For more information about their financial aid opportunities, please visit “themosbyfoundation.org/apply-for-aid”.
13. The Onyx & Breezy Foundation
As part of its mission to honor beloved pets, the Onyx & Breezy Foundation has been giving back ever since it was founded! By applying for a grant, pet owners can receive grants for their pets’ care. Applying for a grant takes some paperwork, and if you’re approved from “onyxandbreezy.org/grant-application-faqs.html”, you’ll get your payment straight from the vet.
14. Paws 4 A Cure
This organization is here to help people who can’t afford bills for their dogs or cats but need non-routine care. The maximum assistance is $500 per pet. “paws4acure.org/askforhelp.php” is where you can ask them for veterinary assistance.
15. The Pet Fund
Animal lovers can get financial help from The Pet Fund. If your loved cat or dog has cancer or another long-term care need they can help. But if it’s urgent, they can’t help. For more information and the application process, check out their website at “thepetfund.com/for-pet-owners”. There are a lot of applications, so if you want to apply, check out the other options on this page!
16. Shakespeare Animal Fund – Elderly & Disabled
The Shakespeare Animal Fund gives grants for veterinary care to elderly and disabled pet owners with incomes below the poverty line. You can get funding for all types of emergencies for your pet and your vet will get the fund directly. It’s only available in Northern Nevada. You can find more info about their vet grants here: “shakespeareanimalfund.org”.
17. STARelief and Pet Assistance
Pet owners can get financial help from STARelief with several different programs. Their services include helping the homeless, families, and vets. Visit “starelief.org/our-programs” to learn more about whom they help.
18. Friends & Vets Helping Pets
Pet owners in need of help with vet bills can get help from this organization. It has partners across the country with local veterinarians so you can apply for a grant online.
19. Veterinary Care Charitable Fund
Pet owners who can’t afford vet costs can donate to the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund. Your veterinarian must be a member of the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund. Your vet must apply through the group’s website “vccfund.org” on your behalf.
20. Tipper & Squirt Cushing’s Fund
Pet parents with pets suffering from Cushing’s disease are eligible to receive assistance through this fund. This fund offers a maximum grant of $250 per household per year. For more information, please visit “tipper-squirtcushingfund.org/apply.html”.
Eligibility Requirements To Get Help With Vet Bills
As I mentioned above the list of organizations and charities through which you can apply for veterinary bills. Most of these organizations directly work with vets and you can contact the nearby vet to get grants from these names. Your veterinarian can suggest for a proper charity to get the vet bills. But you should first check if your vet works with such charities. Then get your paperwork ready to qualify. There are a few things you’ll need to submit to qualify for assistance:
- You’ll need proof of your financial need
- The diagnosis of your pet
- The treatment plan or the cost estimate
- Veterinary records, including spays and neuters
- The expected outcome of the treatment for your pet
A Guide to Finding Charitable Funds at Animal Hospitals
Veterinary teaching hospitals and nonprofit animal hospitals are the most likely places to find these funds. The largest nonprofit animal hospital in the world is Animal Medical Center in New York City. There were more than 600 pets who got care from AMC last year with $1.7 million in funding.
Many of the funds are established by individuals and families who have suffered the loss of a pet. A fund’s donor usually outlines the purpose for which the money will be used. It might be necessary for recipients to complete volunteer work or a specific fund might be designated for a particular medical condition.
Often, you will have to prove financial need and have a good prognosis for your dog to qualify for the fund, though some funds don’t take that into account. In many cases, funds require treatment to be life-saving or based on emergency circumstances and to be carried out in the hospital. Most grant funds cap grants at $1,000 per pet, but some offer higher. Unfortunately, it’s challenging to find funding to cover the whole bill.
The Good Samaritan Fund of Washington State University is one of several funds around the country. This fund usually grants up to $1,000 for treatment performed at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. There have been cases in which the fund has granted grants of up to $1,300 and $1,500. There were 713 applications last year, and 168 of them were funded. There’s also a hardship fund at Midwestern University’s Animal Health Institute in Glendale, Arizona. If you are looking for funds for your vet bills in your area, contact your local veterinary teaching college.
Affordable Alternatives to Care for Your Pet When You Can’t Afford a Vet
Cat and dog owners often face unexpected expensive vet bills from time to time. So it’s not uncommon for them to need vet bill help. Getting a pet is a serious business, and you should be fully prepared for the various financial responsibilities that come with it. Although I have mentioned a list of charities that help with vet bills, you can’t fully rely on them. Its because These organizations receive too many applications that exceed their limit of grants. Fortunately, there are other ways you can be hopeful. So here I am mentioning some of the other ways you can go through to get help with your vet bills.
Crowdfunding platforms for help with vet bills
You can get money from friends and strangers by using crowdfunding sites if you’re comfortable going public with your pet’s needs. Here are a few sites you can check out:
It’s easy to fund anything with GoFundMe. Creating a campaign for your pet’s condition, telling the story, and uploading pictures will help you get funds. You can then share your post with anyone once GoFundMe approves it. Since you receive the funds, the policy considers it as your income. As a result, programs such as Medicaid may not be available to you every month.
GoFundMe is now stronger after merging with YouCaring and comes with much stronger service and networks.
2. CoFund My Pet
With CoFund My Pet, you can raise money for all your pets. You need a story, a fundraising goal, and a picture, just like GoFundMe. After you raise $25, you can get a CoFund My Pet Veterinary Debit Card and keep raising money. It usually takes 7-10 business days to get your card. It’s okay to delay your payment until you get your debit card as long as you have proof that you’ve raised money.
You can run effective fundraising campaigns with FundRazr, a free online fundraising tool for animal shelters, wildlife nonprofits, and pet rescues. You just have to create a campaign and share it on social media and with your PetFundr friends and family.
Getting recurring donations will help you build a strong base of supporters. With powerful promotion tools, these pages are beautiful and responsive. It’s fast and easy and you can run as many campaigns as you want. It doesn’t charge any fees. You can collect donations with WePay or PayPal and access the money right away.
Credit card options for help with vet bills
These are the loan options you can consider for your vet bills.
It’s an exclusive healthcare credit card you can use for your pet’s care. If you want the CareCredit card, you’ll have to apply for approval. With CareCredit, you can pay it off in a set period without incurring interest. I can say this is a wise choice, even if you have to pay more in interest than pet care costs! But make sure your vet accepts CareCredit first!
It’s easier to use Scratchpay, as it’s got no hidden fees and no deferred interest. But the vet clinic has to be registered with Scratchpay. In the same way as CareCredit, ScratchPay pays the vet up-front. There’s no credit check or credit line, so it doesn’t affect your credit and more pet parents get approved.
There are several ways to pay. They won’t charge you interest if you pay 20% now and the balance within 60 days. If you prefer, you can pay monthly for 12 or 24 months with interest already included.
Other Options For Help With Vet Bills
Finally, if you remain zero after trying all the options listed above you can try these last chances.
1. Asking for payment plans or discounts from the vet
If you have a healthy relationship with your vet and are a responsible pet parent, they may have surprising options for you.
So start by talking to your vet about a payment plan. They might be happy to work out a weekly or monthly payment plan as long as you’re a reliable client. You might not get a good deal from a vet you’ve never met before. There might be a consultation fee, but another vet might have a better way to treat your pet. Make sure you go to a vet who charges less. There may be a lower fee at a vet in a smaller town.
2. Insurance for pets
If your pet requires an expensive operation, pet insurance might be worth it. The average cost of treating a puppy for swallowing an object is over $3,000, according to CareCredit.com. You might have to pay $9,400 or more for cancer treatment later in life.
There might be a discount if you have several pets, or if you have a home or auto policy with a company that also offers pet insurance. You should also consider the insurance options and ask yourself if you really need them. Make sure you know what’s excluded before you sign. Lastly, examine your pet’s health and find insurance that covers its breed and conditions.
What Happens If I Can’t Pay For My Pet’s Vet Bills?
There is a possibility that you can pay your vet bills in installments. Check with your veterinarian to determine whether payment options are available.
Eventually, your vet bill will go to a collection agency if it’s overdue. If you don’t pay your bill, it may not go to collections right away, but you may face some consequences. The longer you fall behind on your payments, the worse your credit score may be.
Are There any Other Options For Help With Vet Bills?
Local organizations to help with vet bills:
- You can find programs or resources available to help cover veterinary care costs at local animal shelters and rescue organizations.
- A lot of veterinary clinics have reduced-cost services or are in touch with organizations that help with financial help.
- Community organizations, like churches or service groups, have programs that assist pet parents.
Government programs help with vet bills:
- In some states, low-income individuals can receive assistance with veterinary care.
- As part of its Animal Health and Disease Programs, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides financial assistance to pet owners.
Online resources for vet bills:
- Pet owners can get custom payment plans through websites like Helping Udders and VetBilling.com. The company services over 1,000 veterinary offices nationwide. You can ask for a payment plan from your vet. VetBilling.com can enroll them if they don’t already have one.
- The Humane Society of the United States is a non-profit organization that supports animals through its website “humanesociety.org”. They help thousands of animals every year through rescue, response, and sanctuary work. So, you can expect emergency help from this organization.
Finally, charity grants can help with the major expenses of caring for your pet. You must consider which option will be most beneficial to your wallet and your beloved animal. Vet bills can indeed add up, but there are several options available to you that can help you reduce costs. If you are concerned about high medical bills, you may wish to consider pet insurance. If the policy has a lot of exclusions or rising premiums, it might not be worth it. You may also find discounts at local veterinary school clinics. Getting financial help from others might be easier with crowdfunding.