5 Ways to Pay for Emergency Pet Care

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

emergency vet care when you don't have money

My dog Anya is precious to me, so when she got sick last year, I was terrified. She was lethargic and couldn’t stop vomiting. I rushed her to the emergency clinic, and after hours of treatment, she recovered.

Although I was relieved, my trouble wasn’t over. I was left with a $1,500 veterinary bill. Getting emergency vet care when you don’t have money can be a tremendous strain.

my dog after going through emergency veterinary care

Anya is now healthy and happy

It was a big drain on my finances, and I’m lucky it wasn’t worse. According to Petplan, a pet parent is faced with a $3,000 vet bill every six seconds, which is more than many people can afford. But there are ways to get your pet the care it needs without going broke.

5 ways to pay for emergency vet care when you don’t have money

Enrolling in a pet insurance policy can be a huge help when you’re facing an unexpected emergency. If you haven’t signed up by the time your pet needs urgent care, however, it’s probably too late to get a policy. But before you refuse care, skip treatments, or empty your retirement fund, explore the following options to get your pet the help it needs.

1. Nonprofit aid

Not being able to afford veterinary care is a common problem. But there are nonprofit organizations all over the country that provide pet owners with financial assistance, and some clinics offer low-cost care.

The Humane Society of the United States maintains a database of national and regional nonprofit organizations that provide pet owners with financial assistance.

2. Vet payment plans

Although you might feel shy or embarrassed, consider talking to your vet to see if you can work out a payment plan for your pet’s treatment.

Not all veterinarians offer payment plans, but some do. And some vets are willing to negotiate payment plans on a case-by-case basis, depending on the client’s need. If you’re eligible, you might be able to spread out your payments over several months.

If your vet doesn’t offer payment plans, ask if they accept CareCredit. CareCredit is a financing program for medical expenses for people and pets. It often offers a no-interest period, during which you can make payments without owing interest, helping make payments more manageable.

3. Credit cards

You also could use a credit card, which is what I did. For Anya’s care, I relied on a low-interest credit card to pay her veterinarian.

It wasn’t ideal, as I did have to pay some interest charges, but I was able to pay off the balance within three months. It was a necessary tool to get her the care she needed because her vet didn’t offer payment plans or other financing options.

If you’re thinking of using a credit card to pay your veterinarian, make sure you compare credit card offers beforehand. Depending on your credit history and income, you could qualify for a low-interest card or a card with a 0% interest promotional offer. Those deals can help reduce how much you’ll owe over time.

4. Personal loans

If you don’t have access to a low-interest credit card, applying for a personal loan might be a better way to pay for veterinary care. With a personal loan, you work with a lender to borrow money for your needs.

Loan periods typically range from two to five years, and your payments stay the same each month. Since a personal loan spreads out the payments over several years, rather than a few months, it might be the most affordable option. The longer the loan term, the more you’ll pay in interest, but it can be worthwhile to reduce your monthly bill.

If you have good credit, you could qualify for a low-interest personal loan. Some lenders offer rates as low as 4.99%. With such a low rate, you won’t pay much in interest charges. For example, if you took out a $1,500 personal loan at 4.99% interest and repaid it over three years, you’d pay back a total of just $1,618. Having the luxury of paying your vet bill over the course of three years would cost you only $118 in interest fees.

5. Crowdfunding

If you’ve exhausted all your other options and still need money to pay for your pet’s treatment, crowdfunding could be a solution. With crowdfunding, you post your pet’s story on a site like GoFundMe and share it on social media and with friends and family. Hopefully, people will be moved by the story and donate money toward your pet’s care.

There’s no guarantee you’ll meet your funding goal, so it’s a good idea to use crowdfunding only as a last resort.

Preparing for an emergency

Trying to figure out how to pay for emergency vet care when you don’t have money can be overwhelming, exhausting, and devastating. However, it’s important that you don’t give up hope. By talking to your vet and reaching out for help, you can find a way to pay for your pet’s care.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.950% APR to 14.740% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.825% APR to 14.365% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of May 18, 2018, and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.825% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.90% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.99% – 16.24% (4.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank


Upgrade Bank Disclosures


  • Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.
  • Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.83% - 14.74%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.96% - 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% - 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
4.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% - 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% - 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% - 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.