Financial Resources

Financial Assistance Resources for Veterinary Care

CareCredit provides a set period of 0% APR interest financing for medical expenses if the balance is paid within the set time period.

Scratch Pay
Scratch Pay provides financing options for pet owners.

Brown Dog Foundation
A public charity that helps with pending vet bills, not ones already paid.

The Pet Fund
The Pet Fund covers non-basic, non-urgent care (cancer treatment, heart disease, chronic conditions, endocrine diseases, eye diseases, etc). It does not cover primary, urgent, or emergency care.

The Magic Bullet Fund
This fund helps people who have dogs or cats with cancer that cannot afford treatment.

Red Rover
This fund offers urgent care grants for pet owners. Grants are usually around $200 and require owners to fill out an application. An application must be submitted before treatment expenses, as they will not pay existing veterinary bills. They also offer safe escape grants for domestic violence assistance.

Paws 4 A Cure
This non-profit helps with veterinary bills for all illnesses and injuries (but not routine care). Owners must apply online for assistance using their veterinarian’s diagnosis and estimated invoice for consideration. Grants tend to be small and do not exceed $500.

Bow Wow Buddies Foundation
This organization offers funding for veterinary expenses for pets with serious ailments (e.g., broken limb repair, amputation, intestinal blockage, cancer treatment, etc.).

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a financial safety net that provides coverage for veterinary expenses related to the healthcare of pets. Just like health insurance for humans, pet insurance helps offset the costs of unexpected medical treatments, surgeries, and medications for animals. Typically, pet owners pay a monthly premium in exchange for coverage that can include accidents, illnesses, and in some cases, routine care. Some policies also cover additional services such as dental care, vaccinations, and behavioral therapy. The level of coverage and cost can vary depending on the insurance provider, the pet’s breed, age, and pre-existing conditions. Having pet insurance can offer peace of mind to pet owners, allowing them to provide the best possible care for their furry companions without the burden of hefty veterinary bills. It is essential for pet owners to thoroughly research and choose a policy that aligns with their pet’s needs and their budget.

Do you own a new puppy/kitten, a newly adopted adult, or a young healthy pet? These are perfect candidates for insurance with few or no pre-existing conditions!

Pet Insurance Pros:

  1. Financial Protection: Pet insurance can help cover unexpected veterinary expenses, providing financial assistance during emergencies or illnesses.
  2. Comprehensive Coverage: Many policies cover a wide range of treatments, including surgeries, medications, and diagnostic tests.
  3. Peace of Mind: Having insurance can give pet owners peace of mind, knowing that they can afford necessary medical care for their pets.
  4. Customizable Plans: Some providers offer customizable plans, allowing you to tailor coverage to your pet’s specific needs.
  5. Routine Care Options: Some policies offer coverage for routine care, such as vaccinations and preventive medications.

Pet Insurance Cons:

  1. Cost: Pet insurance premiums can be expensive, and there may be additional costs such as deductibles and co-pays.
  2. Exclusions and Limitations: Certain conditions or breeds may be excluded, and there may be limitations on coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  3. Waiting Periods: Most policies have waiting periods before certain coverages become active, which may limit immediate coverage for new pets.
  4. Claim Process: The claims process can sometimes be cumbersome, requiring paperwork and documentation.
  5. Not All Expenses Covered: Some policies may not cover certain treatments or may have limitations on coverage for specific conditions.

It’s important to carefully review policy details, compare plans, and consider your pet’s health, breed, and potential risks before choosing pet insurance.

10 Questions to ask when comparing companies:

  1. What is their definition of a pre-existing condition, and how far back do they look?
  2. Can you appeal to remove pre-existing conditions? How long until a cured condition is not pre-existing anymore?
  3. Do they cover orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament injuries? Does covering one knee/hip exclude the other side as pre-existing?
  4. What is the waiting period for orthopedic conditions? Is there a way to shorten the waiting period for orthopedic conditions?
  5. Are hereditary and congenital problems covered? Are there exclusions?
  6. What dental care is covered (injury only or periodontal disease)? Preventative dentistry (dental cleanings)?
  7. Is there any optional wellness coverage (vaccines, spay/neuter, flea/tick/heartworm medication, etc)?
  8. Is there coverage of alternative treatments like rehabilitation, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy (complementary care)? Is this included or optional?
  9. Are prescription diets covered if it is for a covered illness/condition?
  10. What is the claims process, and what documents/forms are needed? Is there a sample policy you can look at?

Important Note: No insurance plan covers pre-existing conditions!

Pet Insurance Comparison Chart

For more information and a list of insurance companies, please see American Veterinary Medical Association