Caring for pets can get expensive, especially when an unexpected expense strikes. With only about 4% of pets in the United States having pet insurance, there’s a good chance that pet owners will have to pay out of pocket if their pets need emergency veterinary care.¹
Turning to a credit card might not be a practical option for pet parents, especially if the credit card is already maxed or has high interest rates. In many situations, a payment plan might be the best option. This article details how a vet payment plan can work for your clinic.
Popular Questions Pet Owners Ask Vet Clinics
It’s not uncommon for pet parents to have a list of prepared questions for their veterinarian, and the most popular include the following:
- What is the best pet food for my pet?
- Is my pet overweight or underweight?
- How much exercise should my pet get?
- Are my pet’s teeth and gums healthy?
- Do you offer payment plans for veterinary care?
People often feel awkward discussing finances, so even though questions about financing might not crop up until the end of a pet health visit, it’s a good idea to address the topic of a dog vet payment plan first. How well a pet owner receives a treatment plan with a shocking price tag might depend on whether the owner knows that veterinary payment plans are an alternative option to using a credit card.
Instead of pet parents being distracted with worry about how they’ll pay for care, if they know they can get veterinary financing (no credit check is sometimes an option), they can discuss treatment options from a place of logic rather than tormenting over the financial stress of impending credit card debt.
Do Vets Offer Payment Plans?
Payment plans are not a universal offering in veterinary medicine, but more offices are adding this option for pet owners who have significant veterinary expenses and don’t have pet insurance, mountains of cash lying around, or an infinite line of credit to pay the vet bill. While putting the balance on a credit or debit card is an option for some people, it’s not always the best (or even a good) avenue for others.
These plans can give your clients the ability to finance both routine and emergency care. Often, there are low monthly payments that can be broken down over time, like 6 monthly installments, for example.
The challenge with administering these plans is their management and collection, which is where Weave comes in. Weave Payments offers veterinary clinics a convenient way to collect balances that offers flexible options to clients.
and serve more clients?
Flexible payment options allows you to serve more patients
With Buy Now, Pay Later comes less payment worries for your practice and your clients.Schedule Demo
What Happens if I Can’t Pay the Vet?
Pet owners have been gripped by the urban legend that the vet will keep your pet if you can’t pay your bill. Fortunately, that is not the case. However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. A vet office can take a pet owner to collections or refuse to provide services the next time you’re in the office, whether you need emergency treatment or end-of-life care.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t pay your balance in full, you have alternative financing avenues to explore, including a vet surgery payment plan or an emergency vet payment plan.
Pet Owners Can Get Help from Charitable Groups
You might be surprised to find out that there are several charitable organizations that can help pet owners meet their financial obligations. In addition to providing funding for food, spay and neuter services, and routine veterinary care, there are also funds for cancer treatment, handicapped pets, and more. For a list of active charitable organizations, check out this list from the Humane Society.
Veterinary Clients Can Apply for a Loan from a Reputable Source
The prospect of getting a loan to pay for veterinary expenses can be daunting, especially if you know nothing about the organization that is providing the financing. There tends to be fine print attached to any loan terms, and unsuspecting pet owners can find themselves handcuffed by high interest rates and other unfair stipulations.
After seeing so many pet owners struggle to fund care, vet clinics are beginning to offer their own financing options. This avenue removes the uncertain middleman from the equation and allows pet owners a route to direct payment options to their veterinarian. Often, pet owners get immediate approval, 0 APR, and low minimum monthly payments.
One popular option for veterinary clinics is Weave. With Weave, offices can offer convenient financing options without adding an administrative burden to the office staff.
Pet Owners Can Google Search “Vet with Payment Plans Near Me”
Knowing that many clinics are adding payment plans to their service offering allows pet owners to find participating veterinarians in your area with a simple Google search.
Keep in mind that each vet office will have different credit score requirements for qualifying, and terms vary. Still, if you have a significant vet bill and find yourself unable to immediately pay for it without stressing your credit card, inquiring about whether a financing option is on the table can be an ideal scenario for you and your pet.
Pet Parents Can Set up Pet Insurance to Help with Vet Bills
Pet health insurance can feel like an unnecessary expense, but when your pet needs emergency care and you’re looking at a bill with a few zeros behind, you might be kicking yourself for not purchasing insurance coverage before going to the vet!
According to Pawlicy, 1 out of 3 pets will require emergency treatment.¹ Given these odds, having pet insurance is preferable to credit card debt. You can talk with your vet about this option when seeking medical advice and exploring all available solutions.
Veterinary Clients Can Raise Money on Crowd Funding Platforms
While GoFundMe is often the default for people who need to raise money quickly, other crowdfunding platforms may be more appropriate for pet owners.
The most popular include:
- CoFund My Pet³
Crowdfunding can be advantageous because it allows people who care about you (and your pet) to step in and help. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it can also take a village to pay for vet bills! With these crowdfunding platforms, you can tap into the power of social media and get financial assistance from a vast network of people who might not even know your pet personally but are generous and willing to help a pet in need.
The advantage of CoFund My Pet, in particular, is that the money can only be spent at veterinary clinics, so it gives transparency to the fundraising actions.
Pet Owners Can Research Discounts on Pet Medication
If the bulk of your expenses come from medications rather than care, there are different ways to lower the prescription bill that don’t require credit card debt. One of the easiest ways to significantly slash costs is by opting for generic, rather than brand name, prescriptions. Also, if you plan on having the prescription filled on a long-term basis, some veterinary clinics will offer discounted subscription pricing.
The Bottom Line
Pet owners who find themselves confronted with an expensive vet bill can explore financing options that break the payments down over time. By offering financing to your clients, you increase customer service satisfaction and even attract a new client that might have gone elsewhere. To see Weave Payments in action, schedule a demo.
- What Is Pet Insurance, How Does It Work & What Is Covered? A Pet Parent’s Guide
- How Waggle Works
- DO YOU NEED HELP PAYING VET BILLS?
- Next Generation Crowdfunding for Positive Impact
- Animal Crowdfunding | Free Fundraising for Pets