They say pets are part of the family and if you have ever brought a pet into your home, you know what that means. We spoil dogs, cats, and even rabbits like we spoil our children. The same devotion to ensuring optimal health also is important for pet owners and when one of our pets comes down with a serious illness, no expense is too great to make Fido or Felix feel healthy again.
Ideally, you’d have enough money for any rainy day. However, most of us do not plan for a pet health crisis, which means the funds are not always readily available.
In this article, we list a few of the costliest pet emergencies, as well as several ways to acquire emergency cash to take care of our furry friends. The article concludes with a few tips for buying pet insurance.
Most pet lovers put plenty of love into raising their furry friends. You create a secure environment that fosters an active and healthy lifestyle. Even with your caring diligence, there is the chance that your dog, cat, or another type of pet will become suddenly ill or incur a serious injury. The unexpected trip to the vet can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Here are several examples of expensive care for your dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets:
Heatstroke - $3,200
Pancreatitis - $4,200
Struck by car - $5,600
Swallowed foreign object - $3,400
Toxic poison ingestion - $6,500
Bitten by an animal - $1,400
Diabetic shock - $4,600
Back surgery for a ruptured disc - $5,800
As you can see, each of these issues requires a substantial investment. It’s important to plan for the inevitable pet healthcare expenses, but many pet owners simply cross their fingers and hope for the best.
Lack of financial planning can force pet owners to make drastic decisions, such as opt for less than professional care or worse – euthanizing their beloved dogs, cats, or rabbits. Pet owners must treat caring for pets with the same focused attention they have when planning for other fiscally significant crises. The preferred alternative to borrowing money involves socking away a little cash each month to prepare for a significant financial hit.
High-quality veterinary care does not come cheap. The most accomplished vets spend years learning their trades by taking college courses and working hands-on as interns for reputable professionals. Moreover, emergency pet care costs more than the annual check-up visit you schedule for your pet. Murphy’s Law has special relevance for emergency pet care, as what can go wrong will go wrong at three in the morning or on Christmas afternoon. Sometimes, all the thorough planning in the world is not enough to pay for emergency veterinary services.
This means you need to know how to obtain emergency cash for pet car.
The first place to look for emergency cash is friends and family members, especially those who also take care of at least one pet. Friends and family members that have pets will empathize with your plight, which makes them more open to lending you money. You might enjoy friendlier loan terms as well.
Some of the following ways to generate emergency cash for pet care do not require you to jump through hoops for financial institutions.
Have you recently upgraded the lawnmower, but the old one still does the job? Do you have clothes you no longer wear, yet still possess enough value to warrant selling the apparel? An old-fashioned garage sale can help you raise hundreds of dollars to go toward emergency pet care. You do not need much time to promote the event. Think about the benefits of decluttering the closet and basement in addition to raising money.
Let’s say you’re locked in a short-term certificate of deposit or money market fund. Both short-term investments offer nearly instant sources for emergency cash. The same principle applies to the liquidation of stocks and bonds. These types of financial investments offer you affordable ways to access money. You might not walk out of the bank or brokerage firm the same day, but the money should be available within a few days of a request. Just remember liquidating short-term investments can trigger taxes and or tax penalties.
A whole life insurance policy allows you to borrow money from the equity that has grown over the course of several years. Because the IRS considers borrowing from a whole life insurance policy like taking out a loan, you do not have to pay federal taxes. However, by borrowing on the policy equity, you reduce the amount of cash available when it comes time for the policy to pay out. You can also cash out the policy, but the IRS considers cashing out a whole life insurance policy to be a capital gain subject to federal taxation.
When you were a kid, you may have performed side jobs for neighbors and relatives to earn a little extra cash. By cutting grass, shoveling snow, or walking neighbor pets, you can quickly raise money. The amount you acquire may not cover the entire cost of an expensive medical procedure, but it at least defrays the cost of taking care of your furry friend.
If you have a couple of weeks to prepare for your pet medical procedure, taking out a home equity loan represents one of the best options for raising fast cash. Home equity loans have diminished in popularity since the housing market crash of 2007 and 2008, but the fertile source for fast money remains a viable option when you need it within a short period. You must repay a home equity loan or risk losing ownership of the home.
Maybe you do not own one or more short-term financial investments or do not have the time to hold a yard sale. Another option involves getting a cash advance on one or more credit cards. This option is strictly a short-term financial band-aid. High-interest rates on credit cards make advances expensive, so if you can repay the advance before the closing date, you may save a bit of money.
Your checking account probably includes overdraft protection to prevent checks from bouncing, as well as to ensure automatic monthly debit card payments. Overdraft protection allows you to write a check for pet care, without worrying about the check coming back voided. However, you must repay an overdraft loan within the same billing cycle, which makes it a measure of next to last resort for desperate pet lovers needing emergency cash.
Fast cash at a time you need it the most makes an installment loan one of the more popular options for quick funds. Banks and other lenders provide installment loans to help customers address short-term financial crises. Installment loans offer the flexibility for borrowers to define the repayment terms, including how much to pay back each month. Without restrictions and contract formalities such as collateral, you should consider taking out this type of funding.
Payday loans come with interest rates that are sometimes higher than expected, so if you decide to take out a payday loan, make sure you can pay back the loan to eliminate needing to take on another loan to pay off the first one. Moreover, your next paycheck represents the collateral to secure a payday loan.
Enhanced nutrition and advancements in veterinary care have significantly increased the lifespan of pets. Longer pet lives translate into higher medical bills for pet owners, even if the increased costs stem from scheduling annual physical examinations. Purchasing a pet insurance policy can help you decrease the financial burden of paying for regularly scheduled pet health care, as well as the staggering bills for treating serious injuries and illnesses.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right pet insurance policy.
Buying pet insurance involves more than comparing prices. You also have to consider several other factors before signing a pet insurance policy contract.
Online reviews give you an idea about a pet insurer’s track record of providing affordable pet insurance. Policies developed by veterinarians employed by an insurance company is the first sign a pet insurer offers the level of stability and experience required to deliver a comprehensive selection of services in a timely manner.
We already mentioned policy exclusions as a factor to consider before signing up for pet insurance. Exclusions to pet insurance policies can include breeding, congenital, and hereditary restrictions. Some pet insurers tuck exclusions into the fine print located at the end of policies. If you have any questions about the exclusions written into a pet insurance policy, call the provider and ask that a customer service representative explain all the exclusions.
Pet insurance providers offer two methods for calculating policy reimbursements. A percentage of invoice reimbursement means you receive a percentage of what a health care procedure costs. If a policy reimburses you 90 percent of an invoice, you receive 90 percent of the total bill minus the deductible. An annual benefit schedule of allowance lists everything covered under a pet insurance policy and a predetermined amount allowed for reimbursement. Percentage of an invoice typically represents the best option for pet owners.
Enrolling young and healthy pets eliminates language that excludes conditions caused by pre-existing health issues. You enjoy lower monthly premiums and the contractual assurance your pet receives full insurance coverage. As with human health insurance coverage, insurance costs more for older beings.
Many pet insurers offer discounts, especially to those selecting vets that are part of the insurance network of providers. For example, Nationwide Insurance offers a five percent discount to customers that have up to three pets, with a more generous 10 percent discount given to customers that enroll more than four pets. Insurers also bundle services to create bulk discounts for pet owners that enroll in other types of policies offered by the insurance company.