Despite our best efforts at providing preventative wellness and safety for our pets, sometimes they may become sick or hurt.
If you are concerned about paying for your pets’ services, begin by speaking with your veterinarian to see if they offer payment plans or have any suggestions for keeping your costs as low as possible. (Please note that running a veterinary practice is very expensive, so veterinarians usually do not have the ability to discount or offer free services.)
If your dog or cat is sick or injured, please do not let them suffer. Reach out to resources like those provided below or talk to animal welfare or rescue groups to see if they have suggestions on finding additional assistance.
Many companies offer pet insurance and some veterinarians offer discount programs to help pet owners avoid large, unexpected bills. Be sure to research pet insurance plans or discount programs, such as PetAssure, to understand what is covered and what is not. Even with insurance or a discount plan, many pet owners find it helpful to set aside money for a “pet medical fund” to cover annual wellness costs and unexpected expenses.
While it may be convenient to get your medication at the veterinary office, if cost savings is important, you may want to see if a regular pharmacy offers the same medication for less. GoodRx provides free coupons that can result in big savings for many common pet medications. Coupons can often be used at a variety of pharmacy chains and grocery stores. (Note – review the coupon to make sure there are no pet restrictions, and try selecting another store when restrictions are listed.)
Care Credit provides credit cards for routine or emergency veterinary expenses.
ScratchPay offers payment plans for veterinary expenses. This is not a line of credit or a credit card, so it is not dependent on your credit score. The veterinary clinic must be enrolled in the program in order for the pet owner to be approved.
Wells Fargo Health Advantage offers a range of financing options to help pet owners provide routine or emergency treatments today with the flexibility to pay over time.
This fundraising method allows families, friends and the public to raise money to support various causes or issues, including care for individual pets. For the best chance of success, pet owners should set a specific goal, create a strong story to explain why the funds are needed, include a good pet photo, and share the campaign with family and friends (and ask them to share, too). Many sites suggest adding an end date to encourage donors to act more quickly.
GoFundMe allows fundraising for a variety of personal and business purposes, including pet support.
Waggle offers fundraising specifically for helping pets. The Waggle Foundation oversees funding programs for pets, such as the Riedel & Cody Fund that offers matching gifts for Waggle donations to help dogs or cats with cancer.
Many organizations support pet owners in need. As you might imagine, these organizations receive more requests for support than they can fund. Review eligibility requirements carefully first to make sure you only spend time applying for programs that fit for your situation.
Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Friends Network may be able to assist with trap-neuter-return services such as spaying and neutering.
Brown Dog Foundation may provide funding to families unable to afford treatment. Preference is given to owners whose pets regularly see a veterinarian. (Note: will not work with Blue Pearl.)
Dylan’s Heart may provide funding for pet owners already receiving some form of government aid if they are in need of urgent medical care for their pets and eligibility requirements are met. The application must be completed by a veterinarian and be submitted online. Funds are not available for diagnostic procedures or treatment already completed.
Feeding Pets of the Homeless may provide emergency veterinary support for pet owners experiencing homelessness. Applicants must speak with a case manager to determine eligibility. Call 775-841-7463 Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST.
Frankie’s Friends may provide grants to families who need help covering costs of care that will save a pet’s life through emergency or specialty veterinary care. Applicants must show financial need. Reimbursement cannot be provided for treatments that have already been paid.
Laurel’s House may provide free veterinary services to Greater Houston pets when owners do not have funds to provide care.
Oscar’s Cause may provide funds to support emergency or non-emergency medical assistance.
Onyx & Breezy Fund may provide funding to assist owners who have financial hardship. Applicants must provide a copy of their most recent tax return. The pet owner must have applied for CareCredit and submit proof of denial or acceptance and available balance.
(The) Magic Bullet Fund may provide funds to assist with cancer treatments of cats and dogs that are accepted into the program.
(The) Mosby Foundation may provide financial assistance for non-routine medical care for sick, abused, and neglected dogs as well as assistance with cancer treatment and spay/neuter services. This program is not for urgent needs. Recipients may only receive funding once.
Paws 4 A Cure may provide financial assistance for owners in the United States that cannot afford veterinary care for their pet’s illnesses or injuries such as insulin, Heartworm treatment or medical equipment. Grants are one-time only for a maximum of $500.
Pet Assistance Inc. may provide funding to longtime pet owners facing a life-threatening pet emergency they cannot afford. Funds cannot be used for veterinary “chains,” franchises or corporately owned, specialty hospitals. Owners must contribute toward costs and funds cannot be used for routine care, expensive diagnostic tests, ongoing illness or unnecessary bloodwork.
(The) Pet Fund may provide financial assistance for non-basic, non-emergency pet care such as cancer treatment, heart disease, chronic issues, eye diseases, endocrine diseases, etc.
Red Rover may provide grants to help with emergency boarding for pets of owners who are hospitalized due to the COVID-19 virus. Funding may also be available to assist with urgent pet care.
Shakespeare Animal Fund may provide small grants directly to the veterinarian to help cover the cost of emergency medical procedures for the animals of people in need of financial assistance, including the elderly, disabled or those whose income does not exceed current poverty guidelines.
Tripawds Foundation may provide one recipient per month with a $500 grant to support the cost of amputation or amputation follow up visits within six months of surgery. Applicants are selected based on most significant financial need.