It is every pet owner’s nightmare. Your much loved pet is ill or injured, and you can’t get to your usual veterinary clinic. You can ask for a house call but you’ll need to be prepared to pay high vet call out charges.
If you’re going to take the best care of your pet, there’s no way to avoid vet fees but you can do a lot to reduce them or make them more manageable. Here are some suggestions to get you thinking:
1. Prevention is always better than cure. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and worm them regularly. Keep them safely locked behind a fence and when you’re out walking, always have them on a lead. This will markedly reduce the chances of them needing veterinary care, and you’re less likely to have to deal with an unexpected bill.
2. If you have been going to the same vet clinic for some time and your vet knows you and your pets reasonably well, they may be happy to offer a payment plan. Such a plan could allow you to pay your bill in weekly or monthly installments which will have less of an impact on your family budget.
3. Should your pet become unwell out of normal clinic hours, then you may want to take advantage of online vet help. There are websites where, for a fee much smaller than any vet call out charges, you can ask the advice of a qualified veterinarian. This may help you decide whether or not your pet really does need expensive emergency treatment, or whether you can treat your pet at home until your vet’s office is open.
4. Pet insurance can be a way of easing the pain of vet bills. You’ll pay a small monthly premium and should your pet need veterinary care, the insurance policy will cover most of the bill. Depending on the policy, you may need to pay an excess. You’ll still need to have access to some money because most insurance policies require you to pay up front, then they reimburse you.
5. If your pet needs veterinary care, think about approaching your local animal welfare organization for assistance. Many of these groups have veterinary clinics associated with them, and their fees are usually lower than those of a private clinic. They may also be able to provide help with vet bills in the form of grants or short term loans.
6. If you don’t drive, make a list of friends and family who could help you if you need to take your pet to the vet. Another option is to ask if your local taxi service will drive you both to the clinic. If you have a plan for such occasions, you’ll not need to pay the vet call out charges associated with a home visit.
Vet bills are a necessary part of owning an animal, and they can add up quickly. If you can follow some of these suggestions, these bills won’t have such an impact on your finances.