Our pets are our confidants, counselors, emotional supporters, entertainers, and best friends, showing us unconditional love, and making our lives better. In addition, our pets are family, and we go to great lengths to ensure they receive the care they need to live long, happy, healthy lives. Veterinary services—spay and neuter procedures, vaccinations, routine wellness exams—can add up, but emergency veterinary care can easily cost thousands of dollars. Some pet owners face financial hardship when unexpected emergency veterinary expenses arise, forcing them to make difficult decisions about their pet’s medical care. Our Creature Comforts Veterinary Service team believes every animal deserves medical care access, and we want you to become familiar with your financial options to help cover your beloved pet’s emergency veterinary expenses.
#1: Talk with your veterinarian
Have an honest conversation with your veterinarian about your financial situation. They care deeply about your pet’s care, and want to help you find an agreeable payment option. Find out whether the veterinary clinic will allow you to cover your bill over time. Some clinics allow you to put down a deposit when your pet’s treatment begins, paying the balance when your pet is discharged. Every veterinary clinic has different payment policies, so if you are unsure whether you can cover your pet’s necessary medical care expenses, always begin with a respectful and collaborative conversation with your veterinarian.
#2: Research veterinary care financial assistance programs
If you are experiencing financial hardship, many not-for-profit organizations can help pay your pet’s veterinary bills. Most organizations offer income-based aid, and will require you to submit an application. To determine whether you qualify, reach out to your area’s charitable organizations.
#3: Use CareCredit for your pet’s medical expenses
Many veterinary clinics accept CareCredit, a card that allows you to charge health care costs your insurance company does not cover. This card includes some financing options a regular credit card does not offer, such as shorter-term financing—charging no interest for 6, 12, 18, or 24 months on purchases of $200 or more when you pay the monthly minimum, completing payment of the full amount due by the promotional period’s end. If you do not pay the full amount by the period end, the card charges interest from the original purchase date. You can use your CareCredit card to help pay for all your pet’s veterinary care, including routine checkups, emergency care, and life-saving treatments.
#4: Get Scratchpay for your pet’s medical expenses
Scratchpay offers pet owners veterinary financing options. After you complete the short application process, which does not affect your credit score, Scratchpay runs a soft credit check to offer you Scratch Plans that include the following rates and terms:
- Terms of 6, 12, 18, and 24 months
- Loan amounts from $150 to $10,000
- Annual percentage rates (APR) ranging from 0% to 36%, with the lowest rates for borrowers who have exceptional credit scores
A Scratchpay monthly payment amount depends on the term length, amount financed, and APR. Biweekly Scratch Plans require a 20% downpayment of the total financed, with the remaining amount financed split equally among the four payments due every two weeks. Loan amounts range from $35 to $1,000 and 0% APR. Late payments or payments of less than the full amount may result in late fees.
#5: Use a card with a 0% APR for veterinary expenses
Opening a credit card with a 0% purchase APR promotion can be a smart way to finance an emergency veterinary bill. To avoid paying the card’s regular purchase APR, ensure you repay the balance before the promotional period expires—usually between 12 and 15 months. Credit cards offering a 0% APR on purchases include:
- Citi custom Cash Card
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Citi Rewards+ Card
- Chase Freedom Flex
- Citi Diamond Preferred Card
- Discover it Cash Back
Our Creature Comforts Veterinary Service team knows you want the best for your pet, and we hope you find these tips helpful when choosing your best option to finance your pet’s unexpected veterinary needs. We want the best for your pet, too, so feel free to contact us to discuss financing your pet’s health care needs.