Is the economy affecting your companion’s health care?

If pet care expenses are getting you down, you are not alone. Today there are so many more avenues of care than there were 30 years ago, and while the quality and quantity of care is amazing, health care costs for everyone are soaring.

I have too often humanely ended a pets life because the guardians could not afford the care necessary to treat them. This is a heartbreaking situation for all involved.

Here are some tips to help reduce the impact of pet health care expenses, especially unforseen ones.

Get Pet Health Insurance before you run into problems! There are several companies vith a wide variety of plans that will suit just about everyone’s needs and abilities. Most companies will not cover pre-existing conditions, so the best time to start insuring your pet is when they are young and healthy.

If you are in the unfortunate position of facing a large, unexpected bill, first of all let your veterinarian know about your financial situation. They really appreciate it when you are honest about your abilities to afford recommended care. They may be able to set up a payment plan, offer a staged treatment plan, offer you help finding charitable organizations or financial services companies that specialize in health-care loans.

Local humane societies, the SPCA and other rescue groups may be able to help. Check with these organizations to see what sorts of services they provide for pet owners. Some services will be free or reduced in price for low-income individuals and for seniors.

Are you eligible for special discounts? Veterinarians sometimes offer discounts to students, senior citizens and people with three or more pets.

You may be eligible to apply for assistance funds. If your veterinarian is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, their AAHA Helping Pets Fund may be applied to for funding. For members of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, there is the Farley Foundation , a source of funds for non-elective care to Ontario residents receiving assistance such as ODSP, CPP-disability,  or GIS.  If your pet needs medical help, you can ask your vet if they are eligible to submit an assistance request to those funds.

There are independant charities such as The Pet Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps people in need with their vet bills. IMOM (In Memory of Magic) is another organization that works to prevent pets from being euthanized because their owners are in a financial bind.

You can look into bank financing if necessary.  If you have a bank for your day-to-day financial dealings, approach the manager about your situation. Another option is PetCard, a financing company that  lets you apply for payment plans with varying rates of interest depending on how quickly the loan is paid off.

Sometimes breed-rescue organizations can help. The national clubs for some breeds of animals offer veterinary-assistance funds or will help to re-home pets with medical problems. Even if your pet is not purebred, but you at least know a certain breed is predominant, a rescue organization for that breed could save the day.

Comments are closed.