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Help! I Need a Vet But Have No Money!

Help! I Need a Vet But Have No Money!

I Need a Vet but Have No Money! You’re definitely not alone. Approximately 67% of American households own one or more pets. For many people, a dog, cat, or another type of animal can be like a best friend or even another member of the family. As a result, a pet’s medical needs are probably very important to you and your family.


Unfortunately, like medical bills for humans, veterinary bills can get very expensive, very quickly. This means that millions of people find themselves with ailing pets and no way to pay for treatment. So, what can you do? In today’s guide, we will look at a few of the most common questions related to vet bill costs and what you can do to pay for them!

How much does pet insurance cost?

While pet insurance may seem like an extra expense that you can’t afford, it could end up saving you thousands of dollars when your pet needs care. Like standard health insurance, pet insurance costs vary by insurer and location. Additionally, your pet will play an important role when insurance providers determine your premiums and deductibles. For example, most insurers factor in the species, gender, age, and medical history of your pet when calculating insurance costs.

The cost of insurance will also depend on the level of coverage. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of pet insurance: accident and illness coverage or accident-only coverage. On average, you can expect to pay somewhere between $30-$50 per month for accident and illness coverage. Alternatively, you can expect to pay between $10-$20 per month for accident-only coverage. Like most forms of insurance, higher premiums are associated with lower deductibles — and vice versa. 

What are pet wellness plans?

Pet owners often get confused between pet insurance policies and pet wellness plans. As previously mentioned, a pet insurance policy can help pay for vet bills in the event of accidents, injuries, or both. On the other hand, a pet wellness plan is a preventative type of coverage that provides reimbursements for standard veterinary care.


For example, pet wellness plans can help you pay for anticipated costs like vaccinations, dental cleanings, or general health exams. Though they are more limited than pet insurance, pet wellness plans are relatively inexpensive and can ensure that your pet gets the basic healthcare they need. You can usually expect to pay anywhere from $15-$30 per month for a pet wellness plan.

Where can I get free veterinary care for my pet?

Fortunately, there are dozens of free and low-cost options for veterinary care throughout the United States. Many charitable organizations offer reduced or free care for basic services and vaccinations. Additionally, it’s always worth a shot to ask your local veterinary clinic about any promotions they’re running. For example, some vets designate specific dates on which you can vaccinate or neuter your pet free of charge. 

That said, completely free vet care is not easy to come by. You may need to contact the local chapter of the Humane Society for additional resources. Even if you can’t secure free care for your pet, you may be able to greatly reduce medical bills by working with a charitable organization.

How much does emergency vet care cost?

If you’re short on cash but your furry friend is experiencing a medical emergency, you may not know what to do. You likely won’t have time to hunt around for a clinic that offers reduced costs or free care. Instead, you’ll probably need to rush your pet to the nearest veterinarian. So, how do you pay for it?

Thankfully, most clinics understand the difficulties of paying for veterinary bills. As a result, you can usually negotiate a payment plan to spread the cost of your bill out over time. You will likely need to pay a little extra in interest, but it could make all the difference in the world to your pet. 

The cost of emergency vet care will vary widely based on a lot of different factors. The type of care required will be the most important determinant. You could end up paying anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for just one visit to the vet emergency room. However, if you combine pet insurance with a long-term payment plan, you can greatly reduce the immediate costs.

I don’t qualify for a vet payment plan. What do I do?

If you don’t qualify for a vet payment plan, you still have a few options. You can pay for your pet’s care with a credit card. However, this will simply delay the cost and add interest to the total (just like a payment plan). You will still need to make the minimum payments on your credit card, and eventually pay down the full amount plus any accrued interest.


Another option is an emergency loan, sometimes referred to as a payday loan. However, you should generally use this as your last option. Payday lenders charge notoriously high interest rates, making it difficult to pay down your debt over time. We know that your pet is important to you, but you shouldn’t get into a financial situation that you can’t handle just to pay for a visit to the vet. So, be wary of payday loans and if possible try to find the funds another way.

The Bottom Line

Nobody wants their pet to be in pain or suffer needlessly. Sadly, this doesn’t take away from the reality that veterinary care is expensive. There are ways to get your pet the care he or she needs without breaking the bank. You may need to extend your line of credit or work with a charitable organization, but if it means a happy and healthy pet, it will be well worth the trouble. To learn more about getting medical care for your pet when money is tight, be sure to check out our list of 24+ Resources for Free or Low Cost Veterinary Care!

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Friday 26th of May 2023

my cat was attach by adog idont have money

Catherine Marucci

Friday 26th of May 2023

Hi. If you search for "pet care" and your state, you'll find a list of possible options for paying for vet care. Otherwise, try calling 211 or your local Humane Society to see if there are any programs or options they can suggest. I hope things work out!

Meridith Carroll

Thursday 20th of April 2023

I am in desperate need of a vet my furry one got hurt really bad and is infected his face is being deteriorated daily from the infection I have no money nor do I want to put my baby down please can someone help me

Catherine Marucci

Thursday 20th of April 2023

Hi Meridith. We have found assistance with pet care in every state. You can search for yours here:


Monday 27th of March 2023

It's b.s that my only option is to shoot my cat when all he needs is some antibiotics which apparently you can't get without taking it in to a vet. Which my local vet isn't taking on new clients. I'm new to my area , have no job at the moment and no money. I'm not a dumbass and I know that he needs the antiobiotic. He's had the injury in his foot for going on 15/20 days. Still has some infection and is still bleeding from him profusely cleaning the rear foot. What can I do, can anyone help me or do I just shoot him to put him out of his misery! Seems to be my only option and I'm tired of explaining to everyplace I call just to be told sorry!

Catherine Marucci

Tuesday 28th of March 2023

Hi Chris. Call your local Humane Society to see if they know of any additional programs or vets in your area that can help with veterinary costs. I hope you find something!

Linda Gomez

Thursday 23rd of March 2023

My puppy's name is princess I've had it for about 4 months she runs and hits the walls of the anything she hates anything I don't know what's wrong with her I need help to take her to a bed to see her eyesight or what can I do she is my frightened joy I need help for my princess can you please help me.

Catherine Marucci

Thursday 23rd of March 2023

Hi Linda. We have found help with pet care in every state. You can search for your state here: I hope you find something!

Catherine Marucci

Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

Hi Cathy. It may be worth reaching out to your local Humane Society to see if they know of any resources in your area that can help. You can also check the options we have found for pet care for each state. Just look for your state in this search: