How to Avoid Expensive Veterinary Bills for Your Dog

Proper preparation can avoid costly vet bills.

The costs of health care are increasing all the time. In fact, many bills are rapidly rising in cost for families. Veterinary bills are no exception. Unfortunately, having or not having the money to pay the veterinarian sometimes means the difference between getting your animal necessary treatment or choosing an unhappy alternative. How can you avoid this heartbreaking situation?

Acquire Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a great way to get ready for potential veterinary bills. Many pet insurance programs help cover diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, emergency visits, and even specialists for your pet. There are many different companies to choose from, and they have different deductibles and coverages. At, we recommend Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation. You can learn more about why we like this company and their coverage in our thorough article: "Pet Insurance = Peace of Mind." In order to get the most out of pet insurance, you should sign up for it as soon as you adopt your dog. Once he gets sick or injured, it will be too late because the condition will then be termed pre-existing and likely won't be covered.

Apply for Care Credit

Care Credit is a unique credit card that allows you to make purchases for veterinary services as well as some human medical and dental services. You may qualify for 0% interest on charges for a certain time period. Make sure your veterinarian accepts Care Credit. You can learn more about and apply for this great program here:

Set Money Aside for Veterinary Bills

Consider creating a dedicated savings account into which you commit to placing money from every paycheck to use toward veterinary bills. Having the money set aside will give you a bit of a cushion if something unexpected happens with your dog.

Be Prepared for Routine Bills

There are certain things that your dog is going to need every year such as vaccinations, examinations, fecal tests, and possibly lab work, dental cleanings, and preventative medications for fleas, ticks, and heartworms. Be aware of what your veterinarian recommends yearly for your pet and what the associated costs will be. Being prepared by saving up for routine bills will make it easier for you to afford treatment if your pet becomes ill or injured. You can learn more in the article: "How to Be Prepared for Your Dog's Veterinary Bills."

Find out If Your Veterinary Clinic Offers Wellness Plans

It is becoming more popular for veterinarians to offer wellness plans for adult dogs and puppies. These plans are set up differently according to each individual clinic, but they usually offer coverage for routine items, preventative care, and sometimes discounts on other services. You may pay a lump sum at the beginning of the year for these plans, or you may be able to pay monthly. Ask your veterinarian if they have any programs like this.

An Ounce of Prevention

You can avoid many costly veterinary bills simply by using good prevention methods for your dog's health. Here are just a few ways in which you can avoid canine health problems and their associated costs:

Maintain an Open Line of Communication with Your Veterinarian

The most important thing you can do when dealing with money issues surrounding your dog's veterinary care is to be open and honest with your veterinarian. Be sure that you always understand all of your options in any given circumstance. If you don't, always ask for clarification. There may be more than one way to treat a particular condition. If you are honest with your veterinarian about how much you have to spend, he or she may be able to work with you to determine the best course of action for your dog and your bank account. Always remember that veterinarians are people with budgets themselves, and most of them are very understanding about money issues.

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Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with