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Financing Your Dog’s Surgery

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Your dog’s surgery bills can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars, figures that cause many dog lovers to look at finance options. Here’s a look at several different options for paying those veterinary bills:

Ask about vet payment plans.

If you are hit with unexpected vet bills, it doesn’t hurt to ask about payment plans. Many offer affordable plans so you can split the cost of treatment over a period of months.

Ask for a written estimate.

You can  ask for a written estimate for your dog’s surgical costs and talk with other area vets to compare prices.

Visit a teaching hospital.

This isn’t an option for everyone but, depending on your location, you may have a veterinary teaching hospital in the region that can help with major health problems and treatments at a lower cost than through a veterinary clinic.

Check the American Veterinary Medical Association to see if there are veterinary colleges in your area.

Look into CareCredit.

CareCredit ( is a credit card specifically for health care costs including veterinary care. This card has low monthly payment option and it offers a no interest payment plan if you pay in full within 6, 12, 18 or 24 months on purchases with your CareCredit card.

There are no up-front charges to pay your vet before treatment can commence; the treatments are charged to your credit card. The length of time you have to pay off your balance depends on which promotional payment plan you choose when you use the card.

Look into regional assistance programs.

The Humane Society of the United States has an extensive list of assistance programs in the US and Canada available to residents of the area. Check (search for “trouble affording pet”) for a list of programs that offer a variety of services including pet food, spaying and neutering services, vaccination assistance, veterinary care, temporary foster care, and more for dog lovers in financial stress.

Check out crowdfunding sources.

Sites like GoFundMe, GiveForward, PetChance, and PlumFund can help raise money through your friends and family. You’ll create a page about your pet’s veterinary needs and expected costs, and then ask friends to donate and to share on their own social networks.

Also see: Applying for financial assistance from pet-related nonprofits

Paris Permenter
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