If you have been following my posts / tweets this week you will have read about my #poodle mix Duffy and his veterinary situation this week. What originally was a recheck visit for a urinary infection turned into a bladder stone emergency with surgery 2 days later, including X-rays, blood tests and a liver biopsy. In total ~ $1100 in unexpected costs this week.
In an ideal world we would all have an “emergency fund” for these unexpected costs. Pet and dog care can be very expensive depending on where you live, and can vary locally from city to city or county to county. Unfortunately, where I live in upstate NY the veterinary fees are pretty high all across our area, with not many places even giving a “rescue discount” for foster dogs. Spays are ~ $500, dentals ~ $600, and “wellness check” visit fees of ~$60 – $70. And as I have been technically “unemployed” this year while I build my online shopping dog supplies business, my emergency funds were used up months ago. (So purchase some great pet supplies from one of my Michelle's Dog Stuff stores, hint hint.. Our Website Our eBay Store )
Here are some options to consider for routine or emergency pet / dog veterinary care:
1. Set aside money each month into a special account just for pet care. Even routine pet care costs of yearly wellness visits, vaccinations, heartworm tests, and heartworm preventative can add up to ~ $300 per year per dog.
2. Have a credit card with no balance for “emergencies” or unexpected bills (of any kind). Make sure this card has a low interest rate or that you pay it off within 2 – 3 months.
3. Consider Pet Insurance. Pet Insurance Policies vary widely on what they cover so you will have to do some research to see if the premiums v out of pocket costs work for your situation.
4. Try CareCredit If you make minimum monthly payments and pay off your balance within the promotional period (anywhere from 6 months to 24 months), then the loan is interest-free. However, if you don’t pay it off within the specified period, there is a hefty penalty in deferred interest charges that are substantial, so you must read the fine print. CareCredit approval depends on a person’s credit score, so you might not be approved if you have bad credit, or you may not qualify for enough to cover the entire bill.
5. Be wealthy enough so that you can afford anything for you or your pet. Perhaps you can win the lottery or inherit from a wealthy relative? (this is a joke … lol )
Here is a good article from PetMd by Dr. Sarah Wooten on how to cover your dog’s veterinary expenses.