How to Get Emergency Help With Vet Bills: Resources and Actions

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| 7 min read Financial Assistance

Anyone who owns a pet can agree that they’re truly like family. If your beloved pet gets in an accident, falls ill, or receives a scary diagnosis, you’ll do everything you can to make sure they get the best care possible. Then, once your furry friend is in recovery, you breathe a sigh of relief—until the bill arrives. Sound familiar?

Vet care costs can be gigantic and are oftentimes unexpected. We understand how worrying it can be not knowing if you’ll be able to cover your pet’s vet bills. Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle these costs on your own. Financial support is out there, and our team has gathered ways you can get help with vet bills.

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How to get help with veterinary bills

The average vet visit cost ranges from $45 to $55 while other vet visits like dental cleaning can cost as much as $400, according to Pet Care Rx. If you need help paying vet bills, there are actions you can take.

1. Talk to your vet about payment options

The first step in getting help for veterinary bills is talking to your vet about options for reducing your bill. Some veterinary offices can help by creating payment plans to spread out your expenses. Your vet might also offer cash discounts.

2. Use crowdfunding to get help paying vet bills

Many pet owners have started crowdfunding to raise money for their pet’s medical expenses. Keep providing love and care for your fluffier counterparts, and let pet fundraising lend financial help for vet bills so you can get them the medical attention they need. We’ve seen lots of success stories with people using a donation website for their petsneeds.

3. Look into getting pet insurance

Pet insurance covers most accidents and illnesses. While the cost of pet insurance can be pricey, having it allows you to be reimbursed for certain medical expenses. Read up on the types of pet insurance plans and what they cover to see if this is a good option for you.

Even after taking these steps, you may still need additional vet bill assistance. Here’s a list of 15 organizations that help with vet bills so your furry friend can recover quickly:

Organizations that help with vet bills

1. Varidi

If you’re interested in setting up a payment plan for vet bills, Varidi (formerly known as CareCap) can help. Once you and your vet sign up, the insurer creates a custom payment plan based on your budget.

2. United States Department of Veterans Affairs

If you’re a veteran with a service dog, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs will cover the cost of veterinary care, along with any equipment related to the service that dog provides. Veterans Affairs doesn’t cover unrelated costs such as over-the-counter medications or flea treatments.

3. CareCredit Veterinary Financing

This healthcare credit card gives you the flexibility to pay for pet medical bills ranging from routine appointments to emergency surgeries. CareCredit differs from traditional pet financing and vet payment plans in that you’re able to use your card multiple times for your pet’s care.

4. Scratchpay

You can apply for a payment plan and Scratchpay will pay your vet immediately. Unlike CareCredit which is a credit card, Scratchpay is a temporary loan. In addition to their 12-month and 24-month payment plans, they also have a new Take 5 plan which allows you to split your vet bill up into five payments.

5. GoFundMe

Consider turning to crowdfunding when you need financial assistance for vet bills. Every day we see people successfully raise money on our platform to adopt an emotional support animal, offset their pet’s surgery costs, cover dog expenses and cat costs, and more. We provide online fundraising so that you can use your donations on what matters most. Read honest GoFundMe reviews to see what others say about online fundraising for help with these bills.

In addition to crowdfunding for help paying vet bills, GoFundMe is dedicated to supporting animal rescue. There are tons of animals in need of shelter, food, and safety. Use GoFundMe to pay it forward and give back to rescue animals and animal shelters. Your donation will make a big difference in a furry friend’s life and help the organizations that protect them.

Along with these organizations that help pay vet bills, you can also turn to charities for help with vet bills.

Charities that help pay vet bills

6. Paws 4 A Cure

This organization helps cats and dogs regardless of breed, age, or diagnosis. Pet parents with a limited ability to pay for care may qualify for assistance with vet bills.

7. The Pet Fund

This nonprofit organization aims to help pet owners pay for non-basic, non-urgent care for chronic conditions, heart disease, and cancer. If your pet needs such care, you can receive vet bill assistance.

8. Brown Dog Foundation

If your pet is diagnosed with an illness and likely to respond well to treatment, but you don’t have the funds available to cover the vet bill, turn to the Brown Dog Foundation. It was created to help pets whose families aren’t able to do so themselves.

9. Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Foundation

This nonprofit organization focuses on raising awareness and funds for animals with cancer. When pet owners are unable to cover treatment themselves, the foundation can help with financial support.

10. Diabetic Cats in Need

This organization offers financial aid for insulin, helps find new homes for unwanted cats with diabetes, and starts local rescue programs to help diabetic cats get adopted.

11. Magic Bullet Fund

For those financially unprepared to pay for their dog’s cancer treatment, this nonprofit aims to close the gap. It is important to note that Magic Bullet Fund doesn’t offer grants, but raises donations to cover medical care. Since this is an ongoing process over the course of several weeks, this fund is not ideal for help with immediate treatments.

12. The Mosby Foundation

Since 2003, this organization has been working to help neglected, sick, and abused dogs. Dog owners can apply to have procedures and treatments covered. However, the foundation cannot help with vet bills you’ve already incurred.

13. Handicapped Pets Foundation

This organization’s mission is simple: to provide disabled, injured, and elderly pets with wheelchairs. Its gift of mobility helps these pets stay active.

14. The Onyx & Breezy Foundation

This nonprofit organization was born out of the memory of two beloved dogs, Onyx and Breezy. Their memory lives on, helping other dogs live happy lives through funding for spay and neuter programs, rescuing animals from kill shelters, support for cancer research, and much more.

15. RedRover Relief Grants

In the event of an emergency, this organization offers immediate financial assistance for veterinary care, with grants usually between $150 to $200. RedRover responds to applications within two business days.

Financial help for vet bills is within reach

Don’t wait another day to get help with veterinary bills. No matter what your financial situation is, your pet is deserving of medical care to get back to their happy and healthy self. Beyond turning to these generous organizations that help pay vet bills, we encourage you to consider using our online fundraising site. Read our pet fundraising guide for tips and inspiration to get started. Easily launch a fundraiser and let those who love your pet lend a hand.

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Written by GoFundMe Team