Having a pet comes with a lot of love and enjoyment, but it can also come with plenty of expenses. Some of those are expected and easy to budget for, but if you have a pet emergency you might not be prepared. Here are seven great ways to protect your budget and be more prepared for an emergency with your pet.
1. Don’t Avoid Basic, Preventative Care
It can be easy to avoid taking your pet for routine checkups, especially if they seem healthy. But if you have them checked out on a regular basis, a problem could be caught before it develops into something much worse. Not only is that better for your pet’s health, but it’s easier on your budget to treat the problem before it becomes an emergency.
2. Create an Emergency Fund Separate From Your Savings Account
If you put some money back into a separate account, you’ll have it to spend if your pet has an emergency. Whether it’s part of your overall emergency fund, or it’s an additional account that’s only for your pet, it’s a good idea to keep it separate, so you aren’t tempted to spend it on something else.
3. Apply for Care Credit, To Have if You Need It
Care Credit is a credit card that’s designed to be used for pet medical expenses. If you have it and don’t need it, that’s much better than needing it and not having it. It’s easy to apply for, and could help your pet get emergency care when it’s needed most.
4. Choose a Good Pet Insurance Plan
Pet insurance can be one of the best ways to plan for a pet emergency. If you have insurance for your pet the amount you have to pay will be limited, no matter how much the care actually costs. It’s just like having health insurance for yourself or your family members, and can really make a difference in the cost of your pet’s emergency care.
5. Look for Veterinarians Who Work With Their Clients
Some veterinarians will take payments or work out other terms with clients whose pets need emergency care. If you can find a veterinarian in your area who does that, it can be a great way for you to start developing a relationship with medical professionals you can trust in your pet’s time of need.
6. Reach Out to Charities That Help With Vet Bills
There are a lot of charities that specifically help with vet bills, so you have some options if you end up with a pet emergency that goes beyond your budget. It’s a good idea to do some research on the charities ahead of time, so you know which ones will be most likely to help you, and how to apply for that help.
7. Plan Ahead Before Adding a Pet To Your Family
While pets are wonderful additions to many families, they definitely cost money. If you’re not in a position to pay for emergency pet care right now, it may be worthwhile to wait on getting a pet if you don’t already have one. With some planning, you can add one to your family in the future and have more financial peace of mind at the same time.