Woman and dog at the vet's office
Photo: Thinkstock/David De Lossy
Unexpected vet expenses can leave you torn between financial stability and doing everything you can for your animal. Adopt-a-Pet.com offers three ways you can be prepared to handle the costs of medical care beyond routine checkups.
One way to be a responsible pet owner is to be prepared for your pet's expected care and possible emergency vet costs. So far, there isn't any discussion of pet medicare or a nationalized pet heath care plan. It’s up to you to take care of your pet's medical costs. Even the healthiest, indoor-only, most "low-risk" pet can have an accident or suddenly develop an illness. With a little planning, and exploring the options below, you can be ready to provide the best vet care possible for your pets, without breaking open your piggy bank!

Pet Health Insurance
Yes, there is health insurance for your pets! Plans are often very affordable and cover everything from "maintenance" care such as yearly checkups and vaccines, to accidents and serious illnesses. Make sure to read the full policy to know what is covered by the plan you select. Two new pet health insurance plans are now offered by Purina through PurinaCare and they offer free quotes over the phone too.

Credit Card
You can open a separate regular credit card so you have a card with an available balance in case of an emergency, or if that might be too much temptation for other spending, there is a vet version of Carecredit—check with your vet's office to see if they accept CareCredit before applying. You will be responsible for paying the full cost of the vet services—it is not insurance. But you can pay it and the interest over time.

Regular Savings Account
How much would you be willing to spend if your pet got sick? If you can, set aside that amount in a regular savings account. If your bank offers a savings account you can link to your credit card or debit card account, set it up that way—so if you rush to the ER vet on a Saturday night, you'll still have access to those emergency funds if needed.

More on Pet Care
What to look for in a veterinarian
How to dog-proof your home
Dealing with the death of a cherished pet

Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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