Pet Tips

Financial Help with Veterinarian Care

September 14, 2022

Visiting the vet is one of the many responsibilities that comes with owning a pet. It may not be fun, but it’s important for your pets health. Challenging economic times couple with the rising cost of quality vet care means that more people than ever are struggling to pay their pets’ expensive vet bills. Pet ownership isn’t something that should be entered into lightly, and you should always make sure you are financially able to care for an animal before bringing it into your home. However, even for the most prepared owners, sometimes things happen that are out of our control.

Help Paying Non-Emergency Vet Bills

If you need help paying for non-emergency vet bills, you can consider having a yard sale, bake sale, or selling things online to help raise money. Let people know why you are trying to raise money. Some people may be more willing to buy from you if they know that their money will be going to help your pet.

Try to keep a working relationship with your vet. If your veterinarian knows you well, and knows you are a caring owner, they may be more likely to work with you during a financial hardship.

If they aren’t, call around and talk to other vets. Some of them may be willing to set up some kind of a payment plan, so you can pay your bill over time instead of all at once. Call your local shelters and ask if they know of any low cost vets. Some shelters have their own vet clinics and may be able to treat your pet at a lower cost, or set up a payment plan.

If those options don’t work out, you can consider using credit to pay for vet bills. Either a regular credit card, or you can apply for care credit. Care credit works like a credit card, but can only be used at certain medical establishments (including some veterinary offices).

Help Paying for More Pressing/Emergency Vet Bills

help vet billsCheckups and shots are one thing.  Our pets’ yearly exams are important, but if you have to put them off for a bit while you save up funds it’s not the end of the world.  Health issues, some of which may be emergencies, are quite another issue.  There are situations when our animal friends need to receive medical treatment, and we don’t have the luxury of being able to wait.

Credit cards, including Care Credit, are payment options you can utilize in emergency situations.  Some people have good luck raising money on sites such as GoFundMe.    Again, don’t be afraid to ask your vet about the possibility of a payment plan.  These days, not many of them seem super willing to set up payment plans, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  You can see if your vet will accept Scratchpay, which is a 3rd party platform that allows you to set up payment plans.

Organizations that May Help

If you’re really in a bind, there are some organizations out there that may be able to help you.

  • The Pet Fund: The Pet Fund helps approved owners pay for non-basic, non-urgent care.  This includes things like pet cancer treatment, heart disease treatment, etc.
  • The Mosby Foundation: The Mosby Foundation helps owners in need pay for non-routine, non-emergency care.
  • Dylan’s Hearts: This organization can work with pet owners in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia, who have a pet with a life threatening injury or illness.
  • Frankie’s Friends: Frankie’s Friends helps owners in need with grants to help pay for lifesaving veterinary care.  They have specific programs for pets with cancer and eye issue.
  • Friends & Vets Helping Pets: This organization works with participating veterinarians to help owner’s in need pay vet expenses.
  • Paws 4 a Cure: Paws 4 a Cure is a volunteer run organization that helps owners pay for non-routine veterinary care.
  • Red Rover: Red Rover offers small urgent care grants for pet owners in need.
  • The Onyx & Breezy Foundation: This foundation offers grants for animals in need of medical care, including medication, spay & neuter, etc.
  • Violet’s Friends in Need Fund: This fund provides financial assistance for urgent veterinary care.
  • Magic Bullet Fund: This organization specializes in helping pets in need who have cancer.
  • Live Like Roo: The Roo fund also provides financial help for owners who have pets fighting cancer.
  • Fetch A Cure: Works with owners in Virginia, DC, or Maryland who have a pet with cancer.
  • The Riedel & Cody Fund: Assistance for owners whose pets are fighting cancer.
  • The Zeus Oncology Fund: Provides financial assistance for dogs’ cancer treatments.
  • Frosted Faces Foundation: This foundation helps owners in California in need who have senior dogs.
  • Deaf Dog Education Action Fund: This fund helps newly placed deaf dogs with who incur extraordinary medical expenses.
  • Poodle Angles: Provides help with vet bills for poodle owners.
  • The Brown Dog Foundation: Provides help paying for vet bills.

Did we miss anyone?  Are any of these organizations no longer around?  Let us know in the comments below!

Prepare for Future Vet Bills

If you’re reading this and not currently experiencing a pet medical emergency, remember that it’s never too late to start a vet fund!  Even if you can only put away a little bit of money each month, every little bit can help!  If you’re dog doesn’t already have a lot of preexisting conditions, it might be worthwhile to consider pet insurance as well.

Comment below!  Have you ever tried using any of the organizations listed above?  What are some things you do to financially prepare for vet bills?

Original article posted 11/1/2010, last updated 9/14/2022.

help vet bills

You Might Also Like


  • Reply catchatcaren January 23, 2017 at 11:53 am

    great post! I would be lost without Care Credit AND pet insurance. I have pet insurance with Trupanion and couldn’t be happier! DakotasDen

    • Reply Michelle @ Paw Print Pet Blog January 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you! I’ve thought a lot about pet insurance but so far have just been saving money for the pets on my own. I have a pretty good amount saved to use for any potential medical expenses so I’m not too worried about not having insurance.

      • Reply catchatcaren January 23, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        that is great but with more than one pet, I think pet insurance is a MUST!!! I had to have tests done for my cat, (Cody) a couple of years ago that just the tests ONLY were approx $1500. Trupanion reimbursed about 90% of it. Food for thought.

        • Reply Michelle @ Paw Print Pet Blog January 24, 2017 at 2:23 pm

          I’ve thought about it for sure, especially since I’ve paid my fair share of expensive vet bills over the years. I’m very lucky that we’re in a position to be able to pay all our pet expenses, even expensive vet bills, pretty easily. Not saying insurance isn’t something I might look into again in the future but for now I prefer to add money into our pet savings rather than paying an insurance company every month. This way we have plenty of money there when/if we need it, but if we don’t end up needing it I don’t loose it.

    Leave a Reply