3 Ways to Save for Pet Care - Veterinarian's Advice


Pet owners need to plan how they are going to save for their pet's medical problems should they occur. But to be honest, as a veterinarian, most pet parents don't plan as they should.

Some pet parents spend a lot of time trying to decide what they will feed their dog but never think about how they would pay for an unexpected emergency if something critical happened to their pet? They don't ask themselves kind of vet could they realistically afford - $1,000, $5,000, $10,000?

For pet owners who want the very best for their pets - you need the ability to pay. There are several ways a pet owner can plan to pay for pet care. We will look briefly at the pros and cons of three popular methods.

  • Savings Account - one way you can plan to pay for an unexpected medical issue with your pet is to have a dedicated savings account. Those who subscribe to this method put a preset amount of money in this account every month. The advantage to this option is that you have a plan. The disadvantage is that it can take a long time to save up enough to make a difference. For example - if you start saving $25/month it would take you 8.3 years to save $2,500. It is very likely you won't have saved enough when you need the money. Another issue with this plan is the danger of a second emergency occurring before you've built back up the funds in the account. Finally, those who choose this method need to be dedicated to it. If you stop saving or start borrowing from the account, you're likely to be without the necessary funds when you and your pet really need them.
  • Credit Card - Some pet parents reserve a credit card with a large, available credit balance for unexpected emergencies. The advantage to this method is that you have some method of paying if your pet becomes sick or has an emergency. The disadvantage is that not every pet parent has the credit history to be approved for such a card. Also, once you use the card you may be subject to high interest rates if you're not able to pay off the balance immediately. Also, if a second emergency occurs you may not have additional credit available.
  • Pet Insurance - Another way pet parents pay for their pet's care should a medical problem occur is to have pet insurance. The advantages of this option are that there is no credit approval required, the coverage kicks in soon after getting a policy and, depending on your provider, it can cover a lot. The disadvantage? Pet Insurance does not cover most pre-existing conditions, so it's best to purchase a pet insurance policy before your pet has any issues.
I hope this gives you some things to consider about the pros and cons of how to save for your pet's medical care. As you can see, all methods have advantages and disadvantages. No matter what option you choose - the most important thing is that you have a plan in place to pay for your pet's care if a medical problem occurs.