Every pet owner knows that the costs of keeping your four-legged friend happy and healthy can be a burden on your checking account. Even if you were able to adopt your pet for free, the price tag that comes with initial veterinary care, annual exams, food, toys, medications, and other one-time expenses quickly add up. An emergency surgery may cost thousands of dollars, and we know that can really do a toll on your finances. Here are a few ways to help keep the cost down for your pet!
1) Get Pet Insurance: We recommend Embrace Pet Insurance. Embrace has helped many of our patients and their families with everything from routine vaccines to emergency surgeries. Their friendly representatives, quick reimbursements, and genuine love of animals have left us with quite a pawsitive impression! Though we recommend looking into all the pet insurance options available, Embrace offers full comparisons of their plans to their leading competitors’. They offer tips to help you choose the best plan for you and your pet and even full details of claims made by real pet parents!
2) Open a savings account for your pet: Setting aside a bit of every paycheck can help you stack up a savings account, which can help you pay for both annual exams as well as emergency care. Even if you’re only setting aside $5 per paycheck, that amount will add up and be there when you need it. Some banks offer pet-specific savings account where the perks go towards pet stores, but a savings account with your current bank would be just as great.
3) Apply for CareCredit: CareCredit is a credit card specifically for health care. While many use this card to pay for their out-of-pocket medical care, it can also be used for veterinary care! CareCredit offers shorter term financing options and lower interest rates. Be sure to ask that your both your veterinarian and the emergency animal hospital take CareCredit prior to depending on it to use in an emergency.
4) Ask about iCare Financial: Some veterinarians offer iCare Financial, a payment plan that allows you to pay off your veterinary bill on a monthly basis, rather than all at once. This process requires only a debit card and a valid ID; there’s no credit check involved! They also do not charge based on interest, but a flat fee that you are presented to prior to making the commitment.
5) Keep an eye out for coupons, rebates, and discounts: There are lots of ways to do this, including (but not limited to)
- Sign up for coupons or a loyalty card at your favorite pet store
- Check to see if your pet food’s manufacturer is has a coupon
- See if your pet’s medication (including flea treatments, heartworm prevention, allergy medications, and more) has any promotions, rebates, or discounts
- Ask your veterinarian if they’re running any promotions (discounted blood work this month, savings on a dental procedure next week, etc.)
6) When it’s worth it to spend the money: While it may seem optimal to buy medications or food products cheaper online, this poses a much greater risk. If you don’t purchase your medications through your veterinarian, they may be expired or knock-offs that don’t work. Food purchased online may also be expired or contaminated. We highly recommend sticking to your veterinarian’s recommendations regarding where to purchase medications, food products, etc.
While these tips won’t make your pet free to have, it might help your budget and making having a pet easier for you!
Here at Emerald Animal Hospital, your pet’s health is our primary concern. We understand that veterinary care can get expensive pretty quickly, so we want to make sure that we can make it as accessible as possible to those with animal companions. Give us a call at 216-749-7161 if you have any questions about our promotions, rebates, CareCredit, or iCare Financial. We’d love to meet you and your pet before an emergency happens.