We almost never expect a pet emergency and often scramble to pay for the costs of care and surgeries when time is of the essence. There are several options that should be considered to pre-plan for the costs:

1. Start a savings account dedicated to the payment of routine visits, possible emergencies, non-elective surgeries and dental care. By putting some money aside each month, you can prevent the stress of trying to figure out how you are going to pay for your pets’ medical care. This can be difficult for most to do, since there often other expenses that come up that we don’t always plan for.
2. Pet insurance, like our health insurance, is a great plan to cover expenses. It ranges, on average, $30-$100/month, depending on the amount of coverage. It should be noted that the sooner you get the insurance the better because, similar to our private medical insurance, pre-existing medical conditions are exempt. Note that you will need to pay the expense to the veterinarian and then get reimbursed by the insurance company. This is due to the fact that it is very difficult for clinics to keep up with the continually changing benefits from the multiple insurance companies. Most veterinarians or staff members can fill out and send in the needed paperwork for you, as some insurance require it come directly from the clinic. Keep in mind that internet companies that offer discount cards for services are not routinely accepted by clinics without prior approval or not at all. (www.petinsurancereview.com)
3. If an expense comes up, and you haven’t planned by the previous options, Care Credit may be an option. It offers financing for all medical expenses — whether veterinary or human — and allows you to pay over time at no interest for a period of time (usually six months). However, if you don’t pay off the total by the end of the term, credit card interest rates kick in based on the original amount. You can apply at www.carecredit.com or at the clinic.

Dr. Jain spent his first year in practice as the sole full-time veterinarian in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1998, he moved to the Fox Valley area to begin practicing at Apple Valley Veterinary Clinic.

Courtesy – Dr. Sanjay Jain