How to Pay for an Unexpected Vet Bill

Last post: May 11, 2017

The UK is a nation of pet lovers, but when our furry friends get sick, we don't always have the funds to help them. Here are some solutions you may want to consider.

The UK is a nation of pet lovers. In fact, an estimated 11 million British homes have at least one pet – that's 40% of households in the country. But as much as we love our animal pals, we don't always love the steep price tag which can come with them. When our pets suffer an unforeseen injury or develop an unexpected illness, we don't always have the finance on hand to pay for the treatment they need, leading to a very stressful situation for owners and an unpleasant situation for pets.

If you have been hit with an unexpectedly high vet bill, or need to pay for costly treatment, you are most likely worrying about how you're going to make ends meet this month. To help overcome the issue, you may want to consider the following options...

1. Check for charity support
If you have a low income, you may be eligible for support from an animal charity to help cover your costs. PSDA can provide treatment for some animals owned by individuals who receive certain state benefits including Housing Benefit or Council Tax support. Blue Cross operate animal hospitals and surgeries across London and Grimsby, and can support some low-income pet owners. The RSPCA provide basic services like neutering and micro-chipping for some low income and retired households with pets.

2. Talk to your vet
If you will struggle to pay your bill in one lump sum, talk to your vet about the possibility of spreading the cost across several monthly instalments to help make the expense more budgetable. If your vet agrees, ensure there will not be a surcharge for using an instalment option. If interest will be applied you may want to consider the next option.

3. Use a short term loan
If your vet will charge extra for spreading the cost across several instalments, you may want to investigate how much extra this will cost compared to the cost of a short term loan. Relatively quick and simple to access, these short term finance products were designed to help cover emergency expenses, allowing you to repay over your chosen period of time. Although interest will be charged, it may not be as costly as you might expect.

Have you had to fund emergency veterinary care for your pet? How did you budget for the unexpected cost? Share your tips with other readers below.