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7 Ways to Get Help With Vet Bills

Veterinary care can be expensive, often surprising pet parents with high costs, especially for dental work or long-term medications for chronic conditions. If you're struggling with vet bills, there are several ways to get financial assistance to ensure your pet receives the care they need.

Health-Specific Credit Cards

One option is to use a health-specific credit card like CareCredit. CareCredit is a healthcare financing card that can be used for veterinary expenses. They offer interest-free promotions if you qualify and pay off your balance within the promotional period, usually between 6 to 24 months. However, if the balance is not paid off in time, deferred interest charges can be substantial, so read the fine print carefully.

Approval for CareCredit depends on your credit score. If you have bad credit or need more coverage, consider combining CareCredit lines with multiple people to cover the bill. Wells Fargo also offers a healthcare financing card that works for vet costs.

Scratchpay: Vet Bills

Scratchpay is an online payment plan for veterinary costs, not a credit card, so it doesn’t impact your credit score. It has a higher approval rating with no hidden fees or deferred interest. The vet clinic must be registered with Scratchpay, which pays the veterinarian upfront, and you make payments to Scratchpay.

Payment options include paying 20% upfront and the balance within 60 days interest-free or monthly payments over 12 or 24 months with interest included.

Loans: Vet Bills

Personal loans can sometimes be a more affordable option than credit cards. You can apply online and may be approved the same day, which is useful for emergencies. Personal loans can cover vet bills and other pet-related expenses.

Local credit unions often offer personal loans with competitive rates, so check their criteria for getting a loan.

Crowdfunding: Vet Bills

Crowdfunding through platforms like GoFundMe is an option, though they deduct a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per donation. is a pet-specific alternative that works with veterinarians, sponsors, donors, and pet parents to provide donations directly to the veterinarian for the pet’s medical bill, ensuring 100% of the funds go to the pet's care.

Pharmacies and GoodRx

For pets needing expensive medications, shopping around at different pharmacies can save money. Chewy offers an extensive pharmacy with reduced prices. GoodRx provides a free discount card that includes pet medications, allowing you to compare prices online before heading to the pharmacy.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can help manage unexpected veterinary costs. The most common types are accident-only and accident-and-illness policies. Pet insurance typically requires you to pay vet bills upfront and then submit a claim for reimbursement. Trupanion is an exception, offering direct payment to veterinarians using Trupanion Express.

Pet wellness plans cover routine vaccines and annual exams but are usually separate from main insurance policies. Research different pet insurance plans to find the best fit for your needs.

Charitable Organizations

Several charitable organizations offer financial assistance for vet bills. Examples include The Pet Fund, the Brown Dog Foundation, and Frankie’s Friends Charitable Pet Foundation. These organizations often require an application and are income-based, not covering emergency care.

The GoFundMe website has a list of organizations that help with veterinary bills. The Humane Society of America also provides information on finding assistance with pet food, paying bills, and housing, as well as options for veterinary care assistance.

Additional Resources

Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinary office for additional resources. Many veterinarians have funds set aside to help people in financial crises or may know of local organizations that can assist.

For more information and resources on caring for your pets, visit

Vet bills
Vet bills


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