Pet Surgery Financial Assistance: How Do I Fund My Dog for Surgery?

Are you trying to figure out how to pay for pet surgery? Whether it’s a routine procedure or an emergency, pet surgery is expensive.

Veterinary financial assistance for pet surgery

My pet needs surgery and I have no money

If you cannot afford your pet’s surgery, there are options available to you.

1. Payment Plans

Some veterinarians may offer payment plans, so you can pay for your vet bill over a period of time. This option is usually only available for large vet bills and you may need to provide proof of income or employment to qualify.

2. Brown Dog Foundation

The Brown Dog Foundation provides funding to people who cannot afford life-saving veterinary care for their pets. They provide financial aid as a last resort to families who have exhausted all other options.

3. FACE Foundation for Animals

The FACE Foundation provides assistance to pet owners who cannot afford medical care for their pets. To qualify for assistance, applicants must submit proof of income and expenses along with receipts from surgeries or other medical treatments. The organization does not offer assistance for routine medical care or vaccinations and requires that applicants have no other options for financial aid before applying for a grant.

4. Magic Bullet Fund

The Magic Bullet Fund provides financial aid to pet owners who have been diagnosed with canine cancer. To qualify, applicants must have no other options for financial aid and submit all necessary paperwork within 48 hours of receiving an estimate from their veterinarian.

5. Rescue Groups

Many rescue groups have funds set up to help cover the cost of medical expenses for animals in their care or pets they have adopted out. Contact local animal shelters, breed-specific groups or even national organizations like the ASPCA and Red Rover to find out if they have funds available that could help your pet get the treatment it needs.

6. The Pet Fund

The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need veterinary care. They do not provide financial assistance for routine preventative care, cosmetic surgeries, or breed-specific problems.

7. Humane Society

The Humane Society of the United States offers free veterinarian care to animals of people who meet certain income requirements and other criteria. They also offer information about other organizations that provide free veterinary services or veterinary financial assistance.

8. RedRover

RedRover Relief is another organization that provides grants to help people cover the cost of emergency veterinary care, spay/neuter procedures, and other types of routine veterinary care they might not otherwise be able to afford. They also provide referrals to other organizations that can help if they can’t provide immediate assistance.


The ASPCA offers financial assistance to pet owners across the country, with a focus on low-income families and senior citizens. The organization has a number of programs that provide grants to help pay for veterinary treatment in specific cases, such as cancer or behavioral issues. It also works with a number of organizations that assist individuals in specific areas of the country. Pet owners can contact their local shelter to see if it participates in any of these programs.

10. Veterinary Care Charitable Fund (VCCF)

The VCCF provides grants that offer financial assistance to families facing hardship that need help paying for their pet’s veterinary care. This fund is currently open only to residents of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California.

11. American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

The AAHA Helping Pets Fund provides financial assistance to owners of domestic companion animals who need urgent veterinary care. The fund is not intended to cover routine care, elective procedures, or non-urgent treatment.

12. Care Credit

Care Credit is not a grant program but rather a credit card that can be used at participating veterinarians nationwide and online at certain retailers. Care Credit offers special financing options if the balance is paid in full within 6, 12, 18 or 24 months.

13. VetBilling

VetBilling provides veterinary payment plans for pet owners who have difficulty paying for the cost of pet surgery. They offer an alternative to traditional veterinary financing, which may be difficult to obtain from banks or other financial institutions. With VetBilling you can get flexible payment terms and affordable monthly payments so that you can afford the costs of pet surgery without going into debt. You can apply online in minutes without putting up any collateral or going through a credit check.

14. Crowdfunding Sites

There are several crowdfunding sites that can help you raise money for your pet’s surgery or medical costs. Be sure to include lots of pictures and a compelling story in your post, as well as details about the costs involved and how much has already been paid. You should also offer incentives or rewards in return for donations and share your post across all social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Can you negotiate vet bills?

If the costs are over your budget, it’s tempting to negotiate to get them lowered. But whether you can negotiate depends on the policy of the veterinarian.

Some practices are willing to work with clients who are having financial difficulties. If you can show that you’re in a tough spot financially and need help paying your vet bill, some veterinarians may be willing to let you make payments.

However, many veterinarians do not negotiate their bills. They believe that their prices are already competitive and that they’ve done enough by offering payment plans or accepting credit cards and CareCredit, which is a medical credit card like a CareCredit card that allows people to finance large bills with monthly payments.

What happens if I can’t afford the vet bill?

If your dog or cat is sick or injured, you don’t have the luxury of sitting around and pondering how to pay the vet bill. And if you’ve been procrastinating on getting health insurance for your pet, it’s too late to start a policy now. You’re going to have to dig deep into your own pockets.

When that happens, here are some options:

An important first step is to call your veterinarian’s office and explain your situation. The veterinarian may be willing to work with you to establish a payment plan or modify the treatment plan to reduce costs. Some veterinary practices have pre-negotiated professional courtesy discounts with other veterinary practices, so ask if you can take your pet to another clinic (or even an animal hospital) to get reduced-cost care.

Use a credit card. The challenge here is that you’ll be racking up interest charges. If you don’t repay the balance promptly, you could end up paying far more than the bill itself. That said, this is likely to be your best option if you need money quickly and have decent credit. You can apply for a new card or use an existing one. The latter may require that you make a cash advance or get help from someone who can transfer money into your account for free.

You can also try calling some local animal shelters or rescue groups in your area and ask if they know of any programs that offer financial assistance.

Look at other funding options. Some organizations help financially challenged owners pay for veterinary care, while others help support more routine costs like spaying and neutering pets that are difficult to adopt otherwise.

Can a vet send you to collections?

Veterinary care is expensive — it’s not unusual to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a pet emergency. Unfortunately, many pet owners don’t have the cash on hand to pay the bill in full, so they’re stuck with the debt.

Pet owners are increasingly turning to personal loans to pay for veterinary care. But when you get a loan, you’re still on the hook for paying off that debt. What happens if you fall behind?

Can your veterinarian send your bill to collections? The answer is yes. There are rules about how long a vet must wait before sending an unpaid bill to collections, but those vary from state to state.

Veterinarians typically don’t send you to collections unless you have not paid the bill and made no arrangements for doing so. If you haven’t paid the bill, it’s best to contact your veterinarian and make some payment arrangements that are agreeable to both parties. This way, you will avoid having a black mark on your credit report.

Conclusion of veterinary financial assistance for pet surgery

Pet insurance is a great way to protect your furry friend, but it will not cover pre-existing conditions. If you do not have insurance and your pet needs emergency or surgical treatment, an option to finance it is a personal loan.

Personal loans are unsecured loans that can be used for anything. You can borrow between $1,000 and $35,000, and the interest rate will depend on your credit score and the lender you choose.

You can use a loan from a bank or credit union, or you can apply with an online lender. Online loans are usually faster to get than loans from banks or credit unions because there are fewer steps involved. When you apply online, you can start receiving offers immediately and often get the money in as little as one business day after approval. Online lenders also offer all types of borrowers — even those with bad credit — a chance to qualify.

As you can see, there are many options for financial assistance for pet surgery. The various choices can be overwhelming for pet parents. Your best bet is to start with the CareCredit since it is universally accepted by veterinary practices and has no annual fee.

If your family cannot qualify for CareCredit, you may also want to ask your veterinarian if they accept payment plans that don’t require financing from a third party.

There are also many programs that help provide veterinary care for pets in need. Check with your local animal shelters and rescue organizations to see if they offer any financial aid programs for pet owners who are going through a hard time.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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