How to Pay for Vet Bills

If you’re wondering how to pay for vet bills, we’re sharing some essential tips to help you cover the costs.

Our furry friends are an important part of the family, and that means that we want to do whatever it takes to keep them safe and healthy. Veterinary care, however, is not always affordable. Unexpected costs can arise if a pet becomes sick or injured, leaving many pet owners struggling to afford the cost of care.

According to The Spruce, annual vet care costs for a dog can run as high as $2,000, and that’s just for routine care. Throw in a medical emergency and you could be looking at needing to spend thousands to keep your pet healthy. That’s no small chunk of change for most of us!

So what can you do if you need to pay a vet bill but don’t have the cash? Read on for ways to cover the costs.

How to Pay for Emergency Vet Bills

One day your pet is totally fine, and the next a medical issue presents itself that has you rushing them into a local veterinary office. Your pet can be treated, but you’ve got to figure out how you can possibly afford the medication/surgery/treatment that is needed.

It’s a scary and overwhelming situation to be in, and you may also feel guilty if you’re not able to afford expensive treatment for your animal.

Can’t afford a vet bill that was completely unexpected? It’s a worrisome scenario that many pet owners have found themselves in, especially when living on a tight budget.

Figuring out how to pay for emergency vet bills can be daunting because you want your pet to get the care that they need. However, you have to be able to pay the bill.

Try to negotiate with your veterinarian

They may be able to adjust the cost or to set up a payment program that allows you to spread the payments out over time. This can get your pet the emergency care that they need without you having to pay the total cost right away.

It really pays to have a vet that you go to regularly for your animal’s care. A vet that you know and trust and who knows your animal may be more likely to provide some leeway when it comes to expensive care.

When visiting a new vet for the first time and receiving a diagnosis that requires expensive treatment, consider getting a second opinion. This may depend on the severity of the situation, of course. If you’re faced with a medical emergency for your pet, getting a second opinion simply may not be possible.

If you’re new to pet ownership or just haven’t found a veterinary hospital that you like and trust, ask for recommendations in community Facebook groups. You may find that many of your neighbors highly recommend a local vet.

Financing for Vet Bills

Many veterinarians may also accept financing options. This is something you should consider discussing with your vet before an emergency comes up, just so that you’re aware of your options.

Keep in mind that if you have a credit card that offers cash back or other rewards and you’re confident that you’ll be able to pay it off in a timely manner, that may be a good option. However, if you’re already in credit card debt, it may be best to consider other ways to cover the cost of vet bills.

Care Credit

One option for financing vet bills is Care Credit. This is useful for both routine care and for surgery and emergency care. If you qualify, you receive a credit card that allows you to pay for procedures. This option is subject to credit approval, so if you have decent credit, it may be well worth considering.


Scratchpay partners with thousands of veterinary offices. They offer APR as low as 0% and you can get instant approval. if your credit is good.

Find Out How to Afford Dental Care Without Insurance

Help With Paying for Vet Bills When You’re Broke – Crowdfunding

If you can’t afford a vet bill and your credit isn’t good, there are still ways to get help. You don’t have to give up your animal or let them suffer.

Crowdfunding is one way to try and raise the money you need to cover the cost of a vet bill. You may be uncomfortable asking, but it’s worth a try if you have a social network that you can turn to.

Reach out to your social network, friends, and family. Create a GoFundMe that explains your situation and share photos of your pet.

This allows people who want to help you to make donations to your cause. If you find out that your pet will need an expensive procedure or surgery but you’ll struggle to afford it, set up a crowdfunding effort right away to get the word out.

Many people have been in a similar situation and they may be inclined to help. You might not raise the full amount to cover the cost of care, but even a portion could help ease the financial burden.

Budget for Future Pet Care Costs

Budgeting for emergency pet care costs is a great way to save up in advance. By budgeting for the unexpected, you’ll have some or all of the money needed, should an urgent situation arise.

Obviously, once you find yourself in the position of needing to pay for treatment right away, this won’t help. However, you can reduce the chances of facing a similar situation in the future by being proactive about budgeting and saving for your pet.

You can add to your emergency fund or create a new budget category specifically for veterinary care.

If your pet has health issues or is getting older, it’s a good idea to start setting aside some money in your savings for this purpose.

Figuring out how to pay for vet bills can be stressful, especially when emergency care is needed. Our pets are members of our family, so we certainly don’t want to cheap out when it comes to their health and safety. Luckily there are some good options to help you afford to care for your animals.

Reach out to your community, consider financing options, and work with your veterinarian to find a solution.