The cost of pet ownership comes with a high price tag, a price many Americans are willing to pay with over 63 million dog owners in the US alone. Americans spend $1 billion on pet insurance each year, and while this can be a great option for many dog owner’s, it is not the only way to finance your dog’s knee surgery. (1)
Tears, strains, and sprains to the cruciate ligament in dogs is the most common injury, and at times surgery is the only option to ensure a full recovery for your dog. There are a variety of options for surgery, the cost of which ranges anywhere from $900- $6000 in 2021.
If you and your veterinarian have decided that surgery is the best option, and you do not have the liquid cash available to afford the operation and all of its associated costs then what might be some financing options you can look for?
There is, of course, the option of using a credit card, acquiring a loan specifically for pet costs, financing through the veterinary clinic, and maybe even crowdfunding. This article will outline the financing options available to you as the pet owner, as well as some preventative measures you can take to help reduce overall cost of dog ownership.
Standard Personal Credit Cards To Pay For Your Dog’s Surgery
If money is an issue then most likely you will choose to go with the most affordable dog knee surgeries: Extrascapular repair or Tightrope. Both of these options, depending on where you live, will set you back anywhere from $900 – $1200 USD. If you choose either of these options, then most likely the high interest rates of a standard personal credit card can be managed.
On the other hand, if your dog requires a more complex and therefore more expensive type of surgery that costs you over $4,000, then perhaps you will need to look into different options outside of the standard personal credit card.
Interest rates add up quickly, and this option simply may be untenable to you and your bank account, particularly if the surgery your dog needs is expensive. This means looking into lines of credit specifically designed for pet care.
Pet Owner Loan, Credit Cards Or Lines Of Credit
Specific banking institutions do offer credit or loans for pet owners, these tend to come at a high interest rate, but can often be acquired in an emergency even if your credit score is not great. Here is a list of financial institutions that will provide you with a pet owner’s line of credit or credit card:
- Wells Fargo
- Care Credit
- H3 Wellness Plus
- First Look
- Medical Financing
- Wags Lending
This option is available if you require an emergency loan of up to around $6000 for a more in depth type of dog knee surgery. The interest rates on these loans can be as high as 29%, so you may be better off using a personal credit card if you have the balance available.
Some clinics will provide financing for your dog’s knee surgery directly through their office and this may be a better option.
Financing Through Veterinarian Clinic Payment Assistance
Typically, if your clinic does offer financing, they will allow you to spread your payments out over time, rather than paying one large sum.
Not all clinics offer financing plans, but if they do, you are in luck because while the payments are broken up into smaller payments, sometimes there is no interest charged, or if there is it is much less than what you would pay on a credit card.
The majority of clinics do not advertise financing options, so it may be a matter of simply overcoming your nerves and asking directly if they offer payment breakdown options.
In an ideal world and you have planned ahead, having a pet insurance plan is an excellent option. Pet insurance is an annual $1 billion industry, so you would be in good company as many American pet owners choose this option.
Unfortunately, if your dog experiences a severe rupture to the knee ligament, and you have not set yourself up with pet insurance prior to the injury, this will not help much in a pinch.
Here is a list of Affordable Pet Insurance:
- Pet Assure.
If you are without pet insurance, and no means to acquire a line of credit, perhaps consider crowd funding.
CrowdFunding: A Go-Fund Me Page For Your Dog
If you are in a desperate situation and need money to save your dog, or pay for dog surgery, it may be time to swallow your pride and create a go-fund me page.
Crowdfunding has become very popular over the last five years and sometimes is highly successful. It requires a huge swallowing of pride to ask a group of people for money, but for those who are able to, the results can be excellent.
It is simple and free to set up a go fund me page. Typically you will need a Facebook account to do this, and as long as you are comfortable with asking for money, this could be an option as a means of paying for your dog knee surgery.
Preventative Measures To Reduce The Cost Of Surgery
While it is true that many dog knee injuries cannot be prevented, there are some things each owner can do to prepare for the possibility of dog knee injury.
Be sure to help your dog maintain a healthy diet, exercise program, and maintain a healthy weight for their size. Find a pet insurance policy that works for you and your financial circumstances in case you ever need an emergency pet fund for injury.
Develop a positive relationship with your veterinarian clinic and find out what financial resources they offer, or if they can recommend a pet insurance policy that will cover all of your veterinarian needs.