Financial Help for Pet Surgery

Pet surgery is sometimes an expensive and unavoidable part of pet ownership. If you find your pet needing urgent medical care without the resources to pay for it, know that options are available to help you cover the cost of your pet’s medical expenses.

Discuss the Situation with Your Veterinarian

Your first source for financial help may be your veterinarian’s office, especially if you’re an established customer with the practice. He may be willing to hold a post-dated check, or make arrangements to accept monthly payments over a set period of time.

If you’re handy or have some special skills, you may be able to barter your services in exchange for your pet’s medical care.

If your veterinarian is unwilling to work with you, consider getting a second opinion from another clinic. Call ahead to discuss financial options with the clinic business manager before making an appointment for your pet to ensure that the second opinion will be worth your time and the doctor’s.

Consider Care Credit

Care Credit is a nationwide organization that extends credit to qualified pet owners to cover the cost of veterinary expenses. Once you’ve been qualified, you never have to reapply as long as your account remains in good standing with Care Credit.

Ask for Help

Ask friends and family for loans or donations to help offset the cost of your pet’s treatment. Request a salary advance from your employer (if possible) or inquire if additional hours may be available at your place of employment. Also, consider taking a part-time job to help pay for your pet’s medical needs.

Do Your Research

Contact humane organizations in your area to determine whether they offer financial assistance to pet owners with animals that have medical needs.

Search online, too, as some regional and national organizations have information on their web sites. Assistance is sometimes offered to specific breeds, to service dogs, or for specific medical conditions, but general pet-owning veterinary assistance can also be obtained.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) offers assistance to animals receiving care in AAHA-accredited facilities through its Helping Pets fund. Your veterinarian can apply to the association on your pet’s behalf.

Whenever possible, research the cost of medical treatments needed for your pet to ensure you’ve obtained correct estimates. If you apply for a grant from a non-profit foundation, you’ll need to provide estimates and other documentation.

Use Social Media Sites

Use social media sites to conduct direct fundraising from your family and friends. Create a page for your pet and post photos of him, along with a description of his medical condition and a way for interested people to contribute (either electronically or by regular mail).

Have a Sale

Organize a garage or bake sale to raise money for your pet’s medical treatment. If possible, have your pet available for sale visitors to see, or at least post, pictures of your pet on the sale table.

If you take your garage sale to cyberspace, make sure to emphasize in your product descriptions that you’re selling the items to pay for your pet’s medical care.