How to pay for an unexpected animal surgery bill

November 10, 2020 at 8:00 AM
black pug wearing a plastic cone after undergoing animal surgery

It’s hard not to love a pet — but it’s easy to hate the huge veterinary bills that often come with owning one.

That hasn’t stopped people from adopting a new furry member of their family. However, your pet will eventually need some level of veterinary care, and you want to make sure you’re able to cover the bill somehow.

Here’s what you can do when you’re faced with an unexpected animal surgery bill for your pet, but aren’t sure how you’ll be able to pay for it.

1. Work out a payment plan with your vet

If you’ve been going to your vet for a while now, they may be able to set you up on a payment plan to make the cost more affordable for you. Some may also have additional funds set aside for pet owners with financial issues.

However, if they aren’t able to help, don’t count yourself out yet. You may also want to consider visiting a vet in a less expensive area of town. On the other hand, you can also contact your local veterinary school to see if they have more affordable treatment options.

2. Apply for Scratchpay

Scratchpay is an online payment plan that can help you afford emergency animal surgery and other pet medical expenses. The company pays for your bill upfront, and then you make monthly payments to Scratchpay after that.

However, your veterinarian must be registered with them in order for you to take advantage of it.

Avoid Care Credit when possible, because it’s essentially just an expensive credit card — and one that can ruin your credit if you’re not careful. There are many other financial avenues, like personal loans or credit card offers, to consider before choosing Care Credit.

3. Sign up for pet insurance

With this option, you pay a monthly premium to your insurance company. When you have medical pet expenses that need to be covered, you send the company the bill and they’ll then send you a check to reimburse you for them.

However, this step must be done well in advance, as opposed to when you need the financial assistance. On top of that, many insurance companies have exceptions to their coverage, such as pet dental care, so double check on that before you sign up for a plan.

4. Contact charitable organizations for assistance

Some animal organizations may be able to lend you financial assistance when you need it as well. However, some may require an application process while others require that you meet certain criteria for your situation to be considered.

Look to national organizations like The Pet Fund, American Veterinary Medical Foundation, and the Brown Dog Foundation. Talk to your vet too — they may know of additional local charities that can help.

Additionally, you may also want to consider raising funds on crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe or Waggle to help with your expenses.

Contact Beech Lake Animal Hospital today

When your beloved pet needs emergency animal surgery, we’re here to help. Our team has gone through extensive training and are able to help your pet with any health issues during a crisis.

In fact, we’ve been a cornerstone in the Lexington, Tennessee pet community since 2000. Since then, we’ve helped hundreds of families get the help their pets need — both in times of wellness and times of sickness. Allow us to become a partner in your pet’s health as well.

If you’d like to bring in your pet for a visit, please send us a message using the contact form on our website. On the other hand, you can also call us directly at (731) 967-0090 for any questions or concerns you might have.