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How to Make Vet Visits Affordable in 2022

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Feb 22, 2022 11:44 AM EST

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Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

(Photo: Mikhail Nilov from Pexels)

Many pet owners find themselves in situations where, one day, their pets start acting out of character. Upon closer examination, it might appear that they are experiencing a physical challenge. Worried for their health, as a pet owner, you make every effort to rush your furry friend to the vet. 

Whether the problem is small or far more serious, as a pet owner, you also know what's coming next - the bill for the vet's services. If the situation is minor, you might be lucky and get away with a small bill for a short visit. However, if the problem is far more serious, this visit might mean that you are in for more medical care expenses - and this is a situation that can get quite expensive.

As you move into 2022, we've got some suggestions on how to find less expensive -- or even free - care for your pet.

Shop around

During your process of comparing prices and shopping around, don't forget to start with Pumpkin pet insurance. Prices for vet care can vary. These variables depend on factors such as the clinic's location, the student loan debt of the doctor's staff, and the equipment that their office uses to service pets. 

Ask your vet for help

Now while care can be quite expensive, this might be a conversation you can have with your vet. There are plenty of veterinarians who are willing to discuss costs if you are finding that your pet's medical treatment is far too expensive or if you are finding it incredibly difficult to cover the costs. 

In these instances, some vets may have discounts or additional options available that allow clients to set up payment plans. This is often true for clients who are long-time customers.

Look for cheaper prescriptions

Another way to make costs more affordable as a pet owner is to purchase prescription medication directly from your vet. Doing so may help you avoid overpaying. 

You might also be able to save money by using generic medications or asking your vet if they can price match. 

We will warn you, however -buying pet medications online should only be done if you are purchasing these medications from reputable sites recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Find a charity 

Now, if you are in need of additional resources - as a result of being unable to afford care - and your vet cannot help you, you might consider turning to a charity. Vet bills can be overwhelming - especially if you are already experiencing financial challenges.

Organizations such as The Humane Society provide pet owners with lists of charities that are open to providing resources to offset the costs of life-saving medical procedures. 

Some of the organizations you might consider turning to are The Pet Fund and the Brown Dog Foundation - both of which help owners pay for veterinary bills after completing an application process. Please note that this aid is income-based and, unfortunately, is not available for emergency care.

If you are unlucky with these organizations, you can always turn to your vet - many of whom have funds set aside to help pet owners who may find themselves in a financial crisis.

Keep an eye out for specials

Another benefit of vet care is that veterinarians offer discounts such as new patient specials. To take full advantage of these opportunities, be sure to research costs using veterinary websites and their social media accounts.

Compare treatments

Finding care for your pet can be time-consuming, but it's an important strategy, especially in cases where your pet has a serious medical condition and is in need of expensive treatment. According to Consumer Reports, in addition to inquiring about your pet's prognosis, it is also important to inquire about treatment options and costs. 

Be proactive to protect your pet's health

If you are looking for affordable ways to take care of your pet, it's also important to be proactive. Ways to ensure that you are taking the necessary precautions include spaying or neutering your pet, taking them for wellness checkups, and pet-proofing your home.

According to the American Humane Association, spaying female pets nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer, uterine infections, and uterine cancer. If you have a male pet, opting to neuter them can reduce the risk of perianal tumors and prevent testicular cancer.

Another important tactic is prevention through the use of annual wellness checkups. This will ensure that you are keeping up with the vaccination schedule and preventing possible heartworm.

Finally, you might consider pet-proofing your home by keeping your pets away from dangerous foods and toxic plants. By visiting the ASPCA's website, you will have a far more comprehensive list of people's foods and their toxic plants to keep your pet away from. 

Pet Insurance 

Along with these modes of care, you may also consider getting pet insurance, especially if you don't have funds to pay for a pet emergency. While pet insurance varies, you will want to do research before finalizing your purchasing plans, as different pets will be in need of different kinds of coverage. 

It is also important to note that, unlike human health insurance, pet health insurance requires that payees pay upfront and are reimbursed on the back end. If, however, you are using Trupanion Express, the company will pay your vet directly. 

Lines of Credit

If you are tight on financial resources and need funds for pet care, you can turn to CareCredit.com, a health care financing credit card. This resource is handy for people and veterinary bills alike.

How does it work? Well, if you make minimum monthly payments and pay off your balance within the 6 to 24-month promotional period, your loan is interest-free. However, if you do not pay in the allotted time period, there is a significant penalty. 

Like many lines of credit which are based on a person's credit score, keep in mind that you may not get approved if you have bad credit. 

Either way, we recommend that if you are in need of financial resources, it may be a good idea to apply for the line of credit even if you don't currently need it at the moment.

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