Many of you ask the question… “Can I get health insurance for my pet?” Yes you can! But be aware that they will not pay your veterinary bill at the time services are rendered. Pet health plans require you to pay your bill in full when your pet receives treatment and will reimburse you a certain percentage after you send in your claim. Most of them also require you to pay a deductible. Some pet insurance companies can pay your veterinarian directly so that you may avoid out of pocket expenses, but that can be a difficult process for you the owner and the veterinary office, therefore your veterinarian may not be willing to do it. There is one plan that most veterinary hospitals will have you apply for called Care Credit. It works like a credit card and you can use it at most medical, dental and veterinary offices. It has many different payment plans to choose from. The only downside is that just like a credit card you must be credit approved.

We all love our pets but don’t think about what we would do if something were to happen to them. That is why it is very important to be financially prepared in the event of an emergency with your beloved pet. The best thing to do is start a savings account for your pet. SERIOUSLY! You can always make payments to have a credit on your account at your veterinarian too. Also if you’re not already, you should establish yourself and your pet with a veterinarian to save time and paperwork if you do have an emergency. Veterinary hospitals constantly see emergencies like poisoning, hit by car, dog fights, and unexpected illnesses that owners aren’t prepared for financially and didn’t expect to happen. Most veterinary hospitals do not accept payment plans and owners are left with very few choices on how to pay for their pet’s treatment. Veterinarians and staff have a moral obligation to stabilize a pet in the event of an emergency but do not have to go any further if the owner does not have the financed to pay for their pet’s treatment. It is very hard for us and the owners but you must understand the veterinary hospitals position. If a veterinary hospital did everything for charity or took someone’s word that they would pay and they didn’t, they could not continue operating. They would not be able to pay their employees or pay for supplies and medications.

Pets are cute, fun and will be a very rewarding addition to your family. They mean the world to us and we want to do everything we can to make them healthy and happy. Make sure to vaccinate your pets, especially puppies. They need more than just one vaccine at the start of their life. They can start being vaccinated as early as 6 weeks of age. Take your pets to your veterinarian annually for checkups to detect health risks before they get too far along. Take care of your pet’s teeth, they need dental care too! Feed your pets a good quality food. Don’t let your pet become overweight; this may cause many health problems too. Bottom line… take care of your pets like you would yourself or your children. Always remember, in the long run prevention is key. If you are not financially secure, start a savings account just for your pet for those unexpected emergencies. Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns.

By Fran Frei