This post was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Noah Rue
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7 Ways to Budget For a Pet’s Unexpected Medical Needs
Everyone wants to create a safe environment for their pets. At the end of the day, though, even the safest spaces and the best care can’t protect your pets from all possible dangers. Canine diseases like cancer and kidney disease can creep in, and even pests like mosquitoes can transmit heartworm disease.
If you find yourself hit with a medical emergency for your pet, you’re going to want to have a financial plan in place so that you don’t have to hesitate about getting them medical attention as soon as possible. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for different ways to budget for a pet’s unexpected medical needs.
1. Trim Your Budget
When it comes to saving cash to cover pet medical expenses, you can always start with your budget. It’s easy to look things over and assume there’s nothing left to save, but often if you look a little bit closer, opportunities to trim the budget can pop up.
For instance, if you’re paying for several different streaming services, you may want to consider canceling all but one or two subscriptions. If you have more than two that you want, cycle them through every month or two. Just don’t pay for them all at once.
Another option, if you own your own house, is to find ways to save on your energy bills. Tending to the efficiency of roofs, windows, and doors can help keep your costs down and provide some extra cash to stash away for an emergency.
2. Find a Side Hustle
If you simply can’t find extra room in the budget, you may want to consider picking up a gig or two to help bring in some extra money on the side. You can try driving for a rideshare service, look for freelance writing jobs, or even offer to mow your elderly neighbor’s lawn.
In fact, if you’re a pet lover, there are even a number of pet-related side hustles out there, too. For instance, you can start a pet-sitting or dog walking service. If you have some photography chops, open up a pet photo studio.
Whatever the case, looking for some extra money to bring in along with your normal income can pad your savings against any pet-related medical bills that come in the future.
3. Look for a Charity
Another option is to look for a charity that helps provide funds for pet bills. Charities like Paws 4 A Cure, The Pet Fund, and Brown Dog Foundation are some good examples of organizations that have a specific mission to help enable pet owners to bring their animals to the vet when there’s a need.
4. Consider Crowdfunding
Along with the idea of charities, you can also turn to family, friends, and fellow pet-lovers for help. Try setting up a GoFundMe, a Fundly, or another crowdfunding campaign in order to spread awareness of your need. Make sure to fill out the fund raising page with details about your pet’s struggle in order to encourage others to join in helping you address the issue.
5. Set Up an Installment Plan
If you simply can’t get financial help from the outside, don’t give up hope. Start by talking to your vet to see if they can lower the bill. In fact, this is a good place to start even if you do plan on going elsewhere to get the funds.
Even if they can’t lower the bill, though, you can still see if they’re open to setting up an installment plan. Many vets are willing to work with clients to make sure that they can afford their bills by splitting them up into multiple smaller payments.
6. Look into Loan Options
If your vet is unable to divide the bill into a payment plan, you can still look elsewhere for personal funds to help in the short term. Just make sure that you have a plan in place for how to repay it. Some billing options include:
- Opening a Home Equity Line of Credit.
- Taking out a Home Equity Loan.
- Going to the bank for a personal loan.
- Asking a friend or family member for a personal loan.
7. Consider Getting Pet Insurance
Finally, if you haven’t run into any medical problems yet, but you think you may in the future, consider getting pet insurance. Go over the pros and cons of getting a policy for your animal companion, such as figuring out if you can afford the monthly cost and what events each policy will cover.
While it doesn’t necessarily address every pet-related issue, insurance can often make sense as a preventative measure.
Helping Your Animal with Confidence
There are plenty of ways to deal with a steep medical bill for your pet. You can ask for help from others, set up payment plans, take out a small loan, or even head the entire situation off by getting pet insurance.
Whatever you choose to do, just remember that figuring out a plan to cover the financial end of things is going to enable you to make medical decisions with confidence when an emergency arises.
Noah Yarnol Rue is always looking where his next trip will take him . When he’s not traveling the world, he’s writing articles on the new things he learns. Noah also enjoys a good meme from time to time. You can find Noah on LinkedIn.