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As dogs grow older many end-up suffering from heart disease, kidney failure, cancer or other life threatening illnesses.
Thanks to recent advancements in veterinary care, more treatment options are available than ever before. But the high cost can be prohibitive. So what’s an owner to do?
Before your dog becomes ill, start a special savings account, depositing $25 or more each month. Overtime it’ll provide you with a financial cushion to fall back on when emergencies strike your older dog.
If you’re hit with an unexpected veterinary bill, and find yourself in a financial pinch, don’t panic. Try these suggestions:
- Ask your veterinarian about a weekly or monthly payment plan. A few doctors have even allowed clients to work off their debt by sweeping floors or cleaning kennels.
- Borrow money from family and friends, or ask your boss for a salary advance.
- Use your credit card, or apply for a special one that covers animal health care expenses. The company, Care Credit, says there are no up-front costs, pre-payment penalties or annual fees. To learn more visit www.carecredit.com/vetmed Contact your breed’s National Club or local humane society. These organizations often set aside funds to help struggling owners with veterinary bills.
- Get a part-time job or temp to earn extra money.
- Have a garage sale. It’s amazing how much unused stuff accumulates in closets. And just how many people love a bargain!
- Ask your bank about a home equity loan or personal line of credit.
Of course, the old saying prevention is the best medicine rings true. Routine care can stave off larger, more costly bills.
If faced with a medical crisis, educate yourself about all treatment options available and possible outcomes. Weigh your options carefully, keeping your dog’s quality of life a top priority.
You may even want to consider hospice care, where the goal isn’t to aggressively treat the disease or find a cure. Instead, veterinarians show owners how to provide their pets with the best end-of-life care possible, which includes pain control, good hygiene, and proper nutrition and hydration.
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