Resources for Responsible Pet Ownership: Financial Options & Assistance

A pet is an incredible source of joy and companionship. Along with these joys come the responsibilities of pet ownership, including: food, shelter, grooming, licensing, training, and regular examinations with a veterinarian. Those who wish to bring a pet into their families are encouraged to consider their ability to provide for the pet's care in these areas.

Additionally, pet owners should plan for the costs of unexpected illness or injury.

Potential Avenues for Meeting the Cost of Medical Expenses

  • Existing savings
  • Credit cards
  • Pet health insurance policies
  • Medical payment cards or payment plans, such as Care Credit or Citi Card
  • Proactive savings earmarked specifically for pet health care expenses
  • Ask your veterinarian if you can be put on a payment plan
  • Personal loan from family or friends
  • Garage sales, eBay sales, a temporary second job
  • Your veterinarian may have a fund to assist clients with unexpected expenses
  • Check with your veterinarian about whether they offer short-term promotions and discounts (for example, many veterinarians offer a discount on dental care during February, which is National Pet Dental Health month)
  • Other sources of financial assistance (may have income requirements)

Tips for Saving Money on Pet Care Expenses

  • Shop for pet beds, toys and accessories at discount or chain stores. Some outlet-type stores have a pet section.
  • Rotate existing toys so that every few weeks "new" toys appear.
  • Shop at thrift stores. Buy used kids' toys that are suitable for pets.
  • Shop the clearance racks at the end of a season for pet toys and other supplies.
  • Save on pet food by reducing quantity, not quality. Many pets are overweight. A high-quality food fed in the appropriate portions for your pet's age and activity level will be better for your pet's waistline and you will save money by needing to buy less.
  • Schedule procedures such as vaccinations, dental cleanings or senior health exams during "discount" days or months; these discount periods are offered by most veterinarians.

Other Sources of Assistance

Oregon

National

Breed specific

Medical diagnosis

Published: March 6, 2009;    Updated: March 1, 2013

Filed Under: Animal Care Health Basics, Companion Animals, Cats, Dogs

Note: The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association is neither responsible for, nor specifically endorses the content of, these Web sites. We offer these links as a courtesy. If you have specific questions or concerns about any of these sites, please contact the owner of the site. Pet owners are encouraged to contact these programs directly about their qualifications for assistance. Some of these sources of financial assistance may not be offering grants at this time.

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