625780_puppy_recovery_2One way to be a responsible pet owner is to be prepared for your pet’s expected and possible emergency vet care 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  pets 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!

  1. 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. Ask your vet which pet health insurance they recommend.
  2. Credit Card. You can open a separate regular credit card so that 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 www.carecredit.com/vetmed/ – check with your vet 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 off over time.
  3. 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 that 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.

Adorable recovering puppy photo thanks to http://www.sxc.hu/photo/625780