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Life is not fair (and sometimes it is downright ugly).

Boys and their dog 1935

As humans we give our hearts and our love to animals, freely and without thought. But we are also responsible to and for the animals that we take into our lives. In all living creatures there are horrible illnesses, events and diseases that occur without warning. Unless you have unlimited financial means, this will cause hardship. If you could prevent some of the illnesses and accidents for a modest investment, why wouldn’t you? Examples of things that a pet owner can prevent include parvovirus, distemper, heartworms, other internal and external parasites, and some traumas resulting from fighting or being hit by a car. Treating any of these conditions, should they occur, may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars; preventing these conditions costs far less and is an investment spread out over time, being easier on the budget. Having responsibility for an animal means caring for its health in the best way possible, so that you are never in the position of having your heart broken by your inability to care for your pet in a responsible manner. Vaccinate and maintain vaccinations in a timely manner, give preventative medications as recommended, and put up a fence, buy a leash and protect your pet from other animals. You cannot prevent all health emergencies or disasters, but you sure can act in a way that will reduce the chances of occurrence.

If you have a healthcare emergency for your animal, there are several ways to manage your financial burden. One is to have a credit card or savings account set aside to be used only for your pet’s expenses. Another method is to take advantage of short-term lending options like Scratchpay or Carecredit which can be applied for online. A last method is to ask family, friends or an employer to co-sign or make a personal loan to you or, if you have a negotiable promissory note of funds coming to you, take that instrument to a bank and use it for collateral for a short-term loan. Please remember, your veterinary staff also loves animals, but in the United States these facilities are stand-alone small businesses with no outside funding from taxpayers or grants. The majority of veterinary services are not able to act as banks or lending agents. Promises don’t write paychecks. We do our best to communicate your care and payment options to you. Please let us know if you do not fully understand them. We want you to be in a position to do what is best for your pet.

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