Pets quickly become an adored part of the family, so much so that we love them like a best friend, a sibling or even a child. When the unfortunate happens and you have to hurry to an emergency vets appointment, you often don’t think about the detrimental effects getting your pet the care it needs can have on your finances.
If you’re fretting about how you’re going to cover the cost of an unexpected vet bill, follow our advice and find an option that suits your situation.
While you can’t always prevent the unexpected, you can save for the costs. Put some money aside, either by saving a lump sum when you get your pet, or by putting monthly contributions into a separate account so that you have a fund to draw on if you need it. Try to save as much as you can for this emergency pet care fund; according to Money Advice Service, the average surgical procedure for your pet costs £1,500! By saving in advance, your finances won’t be under as much strain, even if you don’t have quite enough to cover the total cost.
If you don’t have the money to pay a vet’s bill in one lump sum, but could afford it more easily if you were able to spread the cost over a few months, This way, you can treat the expense like a routine bill and budget around it. Some veterinarian practices are wary of monthly plans, so don’t presume this is an option and ask well in advance of when payment is due.
Not everyone has enough money to save for something that hasn’t yet happened, plus these situations often pop up out of nowhere. If you don’t have the money to pay a vet’s bill and the vet is unable to help you pay in instalments, your next port of call should be to ask your loved ones for help. While money is a tricky subject at the best of times and many people are hesitant to ask for help, it’s important to remember that your friends and family wouldn’t want to see you struggle, or your pet suffer. Trust is key when borrowing from friends and family, as your relationship, as well as their money, is on the line.If it’s a large sum or they aren’t sure how they feel about lending you money, you can make them more comfortable by writing up a formal agreement, including how much you’ll pay back and by when.
If your friends and family members can’t afford to help you out, don’t panic, there are other options out there. While they should only be used as a last resort, a responsible short term loan may be the best way to pay an urgent vet’s bill. You can borrow the exact amount you need and pay it back over an agreed period of time, allowing you to spread the cost. It’s important that you understand the cost, and interest, and make sure you can afford each of the instalments before you commit to such a loan. Always read over the terms and conditions to make sure you understand what the lender’s position is on things like if you wanted to repay early, or need to make changes to your repayments. As long as you only use it in an emergency situation, these loans can be helpful and affordable.
Credit cards are another option to cover a large cost, although not everyone will be suitable for one. It can also take a long time both for your application to be approved and for your new card to be delivered to you and ready to use. Again, it’s important to remember that whatever you spend on a credit card will all need to be paid back and may well have interest payable if you’re not able to secure a 0% interest offer, so always check the terms of your chosen card provider before applying.
Once you have dealt with your unexpected vet bill, it’s very important you then look into pet insurance if you don’t have it already. This involves paying a small amount each month and then using your policy to cover future vet bills that you may incur. You can use a comparison site to find the best pet insurance provider for you and your pet’s needs.