Emergency vet care can be a lifesaver for pet owners facing unexpected medical emergencies with their furry friends. However, the cost of emergency veterinary care can be steep, leaving some pet owners struggling to afford the necessary care for their pets. In this article, we will discuss the options available for free emergency vet care and the limitations and challenges that come with these options.
Emergency vets near me that take payment plans
If your pet needs emergency veterinary care, you may be able to find clinics that will accept payment plans or offer discounts for people who cannot pay upfront. Check out this list of emergency vets that take payment plans.
1. BluePearl Pet Hospital
BluePearl is a nationwide chain of emergency and specialty pet hospitals with locations in over 20 states. They offer payment plans through CareCredit, which allows pet owners to finance their pet’s medical care with low monthly payments. BluePearl also offers a Pet Health Insurance program that can help cover unexpected medical expenses.
BluePearl Pet Hospital has multiple locations across the United States, so there is likely one near you.
They have a team of highly trained and experienced veterinarians and technicians who can provide excellent care for your pet in an emergency situation.
BluePearl Pet Hospital offers payment plans to help you afford the cost of emergency care for your pet.
They have state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to provide the best possible care for your pet.
Emergency vet care can be expensive, and while payment plans can help, they may still be a financial burden.
Some reviewers have reported that the staff at BluePearl Pet Hospital can be rushed or impersonal, especially during busy times.
Some people have reported that the cost of care at BluePearl Pet Hospital is higher than at other vet clinics.
2. VCA Animal Hospitals
VCA is a nationwide chain of animal hospitals with over 900 locations in the U.S. They offer a variety of payment options, including CareCredit and VCA’s own payment plan called “VCA EasyCare.” VCA EasyCare allows pet owners to make monthly payments on their pet’s medical care without any upfront fees or interest.
VCA Animal Hospitals offer payment plans for their services, which can be a lifesaver if you’re unable to pay upfront for your pet’s emergency care.
They have a network of hospitals across the country, so you may be able to find one near you.
VCA Animal Hospitals have a team of experienced veterinarians and technicians who are trained to handle a variety of emergency situations.
They offer a wide range of services, including diagnostic testing, surgery, and critical care.
VCA Animal Hospitals may be more expensive than other options for emergency care.
Some people have reported long wait times at their hospitals, which can be stressful if your pet is in need of urgent care.
Some customers have reported that the staff at VCA Animal Hospitals can be pushy or aggressive when it comes to selling additional services or products.
Some people have had negative experiences with the quality of care at VCA Animal Hospitals, with some pets not improving or even worsening after treatment.
3. MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets
MedVet is a nationwide chain of specialty and emergency pet hospitals with locations in over a dozen states. They offer payment plans through CareCredit and also have their own payment program called “MedVet Care Payment.” MedVet Care Payment allows pet owners to make monthly payments on their pet’s medical care with no upfront fees or interest.
Wide range of services: MedVet offers a wide range of services, including emergency care, surgery, chemotherapy, and rehabilitation. This means that you can get all of your pet’s medical needs taken care of in one place.
Highly trained staff: The veterinarians and other staff at MedVet are highly trained and experienced in treating a variety of medical conditions in pets.
Payment plans: MedVet offers payment plans for those who may not be able to pay for all of their pet’s medical care upfront. This can be a huge relief for pet owners who are struggling financially.
Expensive: MedVet’s services can be expensive, especially if your pet requires multiple treatments or surgeries.
Long wait times: Some reviewers have reported long wait times at MedVet, which can be frustrating if you are in a hurry or your pet is in severe distress.
Limited locations: MedVet has locations in several states, but they may not be easily accessible to everyone.
4. Banfield Pet Hospital
Banfield is a nationwide chain of pet hospitals with over 1,000 locations in the U.S. They offer payment plans through CareCredit and also have their own payment program called “Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan.” The Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan is a monthly payment program that covers a variety of preventive care services for pets.
Banfield Pet Hospital has a nationwide network of locations, making it easier to find an emergency vet near you.
They offer payment plans through CareCredit, which allows you to pay for your pet’s emergency care over time with low monthly payments.
Banfield is open 7 days a week and is open later on weekdays, making it convenient for those who work during the day.
They offer a wide range of services, including emergency and critical care, surgery, dental care, and preventive care.
Some reviewers have reported long wait times at Banfield Pet Hospital, especially during peak hours.
Some people have reported that their care can be expensive compared to other emergency vet clinics.
Some reviewers have reported poor communication with staff or feeling rushed during their visits.
There have been complaints about the quality of care, with some people feeling that their pets were not adequately treated or given adequate follow-up care.
5. Pet Emergency Treatment Services (PETS)
PETS is a nationwide chain of emergency pet hospitals with locations in over a dozen states. They offer payment plans through CareCredit and also have their own payment program called “PETS CarePay.” PETS CarePay allows pet owners to make monthly payments on their pet’s medical care with no upfront fees or interest.
Payment plans available: If you are unable to pay for the entire bill upfront, PETS offers payment plan options to help make it more manageable for you.
Highly trained staff: The veterinarians and technicians at PETS are all highly trained and experienced in emergency care, ensuring that your pet receives the best possible treatment.
Advanced equipment: PETS is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to provide the highest level of care for your pet.
Convenient location: PETS is conveniently located in many areas, making it easy to get to in case of an emergency.
Cost: Emergency vet care can be expensive, and PETS may not be the most affordable option.
Limited hours: PETS is only open for emergency care, so if you need non-emergency services or regular check-ups, you may need to go elsewhere.
Crowded: As an emergency care facility, PETS may get crowded and you may have to wait longer to be seen.
Stressful environment: The emergency care setting can be stressful for both pets and owners, and may not be the best option for pets with anxiety or other sensitivities.
6. PetSmart Banfield Vet Clinic
Convenient location: PetSmart stores are found in many locations, so finding a Banfield Vet Clinic nearby shouldn’t be too difficult.
Payment plans available: Banfield offers various payment options, including payment plans, to help make veterinary care more affordable for pet owners.
Well-trained staff: Banfield clinics are staffed by veterinarians, technicians, and other professionals who have undergone extensive training and are dedicated to providing the best care possible for your pet.
Wide range of services: Banfield clinics offer a variety of services, including routine check-ups, vaccinations, dental care, and more.
Higher prices: Some reviewers have noted that Banfield clinics can be more expensive than other veterinary options in the area.
Limited hours: Some Banfield clinics may not have extended hours, which can be inconvenient for pet owners who work long hours or have busy schedules.
Crowded waiting room: Some reviewers have complained about long wait times and crowded waiting rooms at Banfield clinics.
Limited availability of emergency care: While Banfield clinics do offer emergency services, they may not be available at all locations or at all times. It’s important to research your options for emergency care in your area.
7. Vetco Total Care at Petco
Convenient location: Many people shop at Petco, so having an emergency vet clinic inside the store makes it easy to access if your pet needs immediate care.
Payment plans available: If you can’t afford the full cost of emergency care upfront, Vetco Total Care at Petco offers payment plans to help you spread the cost out over time.
Experienced veterinarians: The veterinarians at Vetco Total Care are highly trained and experienced in handling emergency situations, so you can trust that your pet is in good hands.
Wide range of services: From surgeries and diagnostic testing to treatments for injuries and illnesses, Vetco Total Care at Petco offers a wide range of services to meet your pet’s needs.
Long wait times: Some reviewers have complained about long wait times at Vetco Total Care at Petco, which can be frustrating when your pet is in need of urgent care.
Limited hours: The emergency clinic is only open during certain hours, so if your pet needs care outside of these hours, you may need to go to another emergency vet clinic.
High prices: Some reviewers have reported that the prices at Vetco Total Care at Petco are higher than at other emergency vet clinics, which can be a financial burden for some pet owners.
Limited availability: Depending on your location, Vetco Total Care at Petco may not be available, so you may need to look for other emergency vet options in your area.
8. VIP Petcare at Pet Supplies Plus
VIP Petcare at Pet Supplies Plus is conveniently located inside a popular pet supply store, making it easy to access for pet owners.
They offer payment plans for emergency veterinary care, which can be a lifesaver for pet owners who may not have the funds upfront to pay for unexpected medical expenses.
They offer a wide range of services, including vaccinations, microchipping, and dental care, in addition to emergency care.
They have a team of experienced veterinarians and staff who are dedicated to providing the best care for your furry friend.
Some reviewers have reported long wait times at VIP Petcare at Pet Supplies Plus, which can be frustrating for pet owners in an emergency situation.
Some reviewers have also noted that the cost of care at VIP Petcare can be on the higher side compared to other emergency vets.
Some reviewers have mentioned that the staff at VIP Petcare can be overbearing and pushy when it comes to selling additional services or products.
I need an emergency vet but have no money
Research low-cost or free clinics or services in your area
Many cities and towns offer affordable or even free veterinary care options for those in financial need. Look into these options and see if you qualify for assistance.
Seek out financial assistance programs
Some animal hospitals and rescue organizations offer financial assistance programs for pet owners in need. Research and apply to any programs that may be available in your area.
There are various crowdfunding platforms that allow individuals to raise money for emergency veterinary care. Consider setting up a campaign to help cover the cost of your pet’s care.
Consider a payment plan
Some veterinarians may be willing to work with you on a payment plan to help make the cost of care more manageable. Don’t be afraid to ask about this option.
Reach out to friends and family
It may seem like a last resort, but sometimes the support of loved ones can be crucial in a time of need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family to cover the cost of your pet’s care.
Look into pet insurance
While it may not be helpful in the immediate emergency situation, investing in pet insurance can help cover the costs of unexpected veterinary care in the future.
Consider posting about your emergency on social media platforms and asking for assistance. This could potentially lead to donations or assistance from strangers who are willing to help out.
Sell items or services
If you are in a financial bind, consider selling items or offering services in exchange for veterinary care. This could include things like clothing, jewelry, or even offering to do odd jobs or chores for others.
Seek out free resources
Many pet stores, animal shelters, and other organizations offer free resources such as low-cost vaccination clinics or other services that can help reduce the cost of care. Look into these options and see if they can help alleviate some of the financial burdens.
Negotiate with the veterinarian
If you are unable to pay for care upfront, consider negotiating with the veterinarian to see if they are willing to work with you on a payment plan or offer a discount. It never hurts to ask, and they may be more understanding than you think.
Emergency vet bill assistance
Here are organizations that offer financial assistance for emergency vet bills.
1. The Pet Fund
The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. The organization can help with cases of chronic conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, and acute conditions requiring surgery or hospitalization. Those who contribute to the fund receive monthly updates on the pets they’ve helped.
2. The Mosby Foundation
The Mosby Foundation is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance for emergency veterinary care for dogs. The foundation also operates a hospice program for terminally ill dogs and funds research into diseases affecting dogs.
3. Red Rover
The two largest organizations offering this kind of help are Red Rover and the Pet Fund. Each has its own application process and criteria for who gets the money. In general, you need to demonstrate that you’ve explored other options and can’t afford what your vet is charging — or that you’re on a fixed income or otherwise unable to pay for unexpected expenses like this. You will also need to be able to show proof of ownership (registration papers or vet records).
4. FACE Foundation for Animals
The FACE Foundation provides financial assistance to pet owners and good Samaritans who need help paying for emergency or critical veterinary care. The organization accepts donations via PayPal and has distributed more than $4 million in grants since 2003.
5. Brown Dog Foundation
The Brown Dog Foundation was created to help families pay for emergency or critical care veterinary services in cases where the family is unable to afford the full amount of treatment necessary to save their pet’s life. Funds are available on a case-by-case basis. Applications must be made prior to treatment and the foundation requires an application fee and proof of financial hardship.
6. Magic Bullet Fund
The Magic Bullet Fund was established by the boxer owner community to help other dogs with cancer. It is a great place to start if your dog has cancer. It doesn’t pay the whole bill, but it will pay up to $3,000, which is usually enough to get the treatment started and then you can take time to raise more money for future treatments or end-of-life care.
7. Rescue Groups and Shelters
Many local rescue groups also have their own programs dedicated to helping animals in need of medical care. Some may even have full-time veterinarians on staff who volunteer their services to help injured pets get back on their feet! Check with your local organization to see what types of services they offer and how you can apply for them.
8. Veterinary Care Charitable Fund (VCCF)
The VCCF offers grants to pet owners who need financial assistance for their animals’ veterinary care. The grant amount varies depending on the case. The application process requires a detailed letter explaining why you need help, as well as supporting documents such as medical records and estimates from your veterinarian. You’ll also have to submit proof of ownership and a letter from your veterinarian regarding the condition of your animal.
9. American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)
AAHA maintains a list of organizations that provide financial aid to pet owners who need help paying their vet bills. You’ll find organizations that support specific diseases or conditions (cancer or heartworm disease, for example) or those that offer services in certain areas or cater to specific types of pets (senior dogs, for example).
This organization offers a payment plan for veterinary bills with interest rates ranging from 0% to 24%. The site does not require credit checks, and payments can be spread out over six months to five years. To apply, visit VetBilling.com and complete the online application form. Once approved, you will receive an email with a link to complete the process.
11. Crowdfunding Sites
If you’re looking for more immediate assistance, a crowdfunding site like GoFundMe may be able to help. You can create an account and tell your story about why you need help with veterinary costs. Friends, family or even strangers may be able to help by donating funds directly to your account.
CareCredit is a credit card for medical expenses. It offers no-interest financing if you pay the balance in full within six to 12 months (depending on the amount), and longer-term financing plans with interest. A CareCredit card can be used at any veterinary hospital that accepts credit cards, including Banfield Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl Vet Specialists, and VCA Animal Hospitals.
In addition to vets, CareCredit can also be used for cosmetic surgery and dental work, so it’s also worth considering if you’re planning a larger procedure like breast augmentation or dental implants.
You can apply online at carecredit.com or over the phone at (800) 677-0718.
How much does emergency vet care cost?
Pet owners don’t always know what to expect when it comes to emergency veterinary care. It’s important to be prepared for the cost of a vet visit in case your pet needs immediate treatment.
Some people think that emergency veterinary care costs thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, but this isn’t always the case. The average cost of an emergency vet visit is between $800 and $1500, according to CareCredit. However, this amount can vary depending on where you live and where you take your pet for treatment. In some areas, it might even be more expensive than the average price tag because of high demand and limited supply in certain areas.
Some factors that affect the price:
Quality of care: A low-quality clinic may charge less than a high-quality one, but you’ll get what you pay for. Treatment from a good clinic is more likely to be successful and less likely to result in complications, which could lead to additional treatment or surgery.
Size of the clinic: Smaller clinics often have lower overhead costs and pass those savings on to their clients by charging lower rates than larger clinics do.
Geographic location: A large city will have many veterinary facilities, some offering high-quality care at lower prices than others do. If you live somewhere where there aren’t many options for emergency care, then you may have no choice but to pay whatever price your veterinarian charges — even if it seems high compared with what you would pay at another facility in another state or city.
Insurance coverage: If your pet has an insurance plan through an employer or through a private company like Petplan or Trupanion, then any out-of-pocket expenses may be covered by the policy. However, many policies don’t cover everything, so be sure to read through it carefully before signing up so that you know what services are covered and by how much they’re reimbursed.
FAQs about emergency vet care
Here’s a list of FAQs you might find helpful.
What is Emergency Vet Care?
When your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, it’s essential to seek immediate help. Emergency vet care refers to the urgent medical attention your pet receives in a crisis. This care is available 24/7 and is designed to address life-threatening situations.
What Qualifies as a Pet Emergency?
A pet emergency is any situation that requires immediate medical attention to save your pet’s life or prevent further harm. Some common pet emergencies include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Unconsciousness or collapse
- Bleeding that won’t stop
- Suspected broken bones
- Ingestion of toxic substances
- Difficulty giving birth
- Profound lethargy or weakness
- Any other issue that is causing severe distress or pain to your pet
What Should I Do If My Pet Needs Emergency Care?
If you suspect your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact your emergency vet clinic immediately. They will advise you on the next steps, which may include bringing your pet to their facility for treatment.
What Should I Expect During an Emergency Vet Visit?
When you arrive at the emergency vet clinic, the staff will assess your pet’s condition and determine the appropriate course of action. This may include administering medication, performing diagnostic tests, or providing emergency surgery. The staff will keep you informed of your pet’s condition and treatment throughout the process.
How Much Does Emergency Vet Care Cost?
The cost of emergency vet care varies depending on the nature of your pet’s condition and the treatment required. Some emergencies may require extensive testing and hospitalization, which can be expensive. However, many emergency vet clinics offer payment plans and accept pet insurance to help offset the costs.
How Can I Prepare for a Pet Emergency?
No one can predict when a pet emergency will occur, but you can take steps to prepare for the unexpected. Consider the following:
- Keep your emergency vet clinic’s phone number and address readily available
- Have a first aid kit and pet medication on hand
- Consider pet insurance to help cover the cost of emergency care
- Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date
- Keep a list of your pet’s medical history and medications
What Should I Bring With Me to the Emergency Vet Clinic?
When bringing your pet to the emergency vet clinic, it’s essential to bring any medical records you have, including vaccination records and information on any ongoing health issues. You may also want to bring a list of your pet’s medications, as well as any special dietary requirements. Additionally, if your pet requires emergency surgery or hospitalization, you may want to bring items that will make them feel more comfortable, such as a favorite blanket or toy.
How Long Will My Pet Need to Stay at the Emergency Vet Clinic?
The length of your pet’s stay at the emergency vet clinic will depend on the nature of their condition and the treatment required. In some cases, your pet may need to stay overnight or for several days, while in others, they may be able to return home the same day. The staff at the emergency vet clinic will keep you informed of your pet’s progress and let you know when they can be discharged.
Can I Visit My Pet While They’re at the Emergency Vet Clinic?
Many emergency vet clinics allow pet owners to visit their pets during their stay. However, the frequency and duration of visits may be limited, depending on your pet’s condition and the clinic’s policies. It’s best to check with the clinic ahead of time to find out their visitation policies.
What Should I Do After My Pet Receives Emergency Care?
After your pet receives emergency care, it’s essential to follow the veterinarian’s instructions for ongoing care. This may include administering medications, keeping your pet on a special diet, or scheduling follow-up appointments. It’s also a good idea to monitor your pet’s condition closely and contact the emergency vet clinic if you notice any changes or if your pet’s condition worsens.
How Can I Prevent Pet Emergencies?
While it’s impossible to prevent all pet emergencies, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. These include:
- Keeping your pet on a healthy diet and exercise regimen
- Keeping toxic substances out of reach
- Supervising your pet when they’re outside
- Making sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations
- Regularly taking your pet to the vet for check-ups
What Happens If My Pet Needs Surgery?
If your pet needs emergency surgery, the veterinary team will discuss the procedure with you and answer any questions you may have. They will also explain the risks and potential complications of the surgery. In some cases, the surgery may be performed immediately, while in others, it may be scheduled for a later time. After the surgery, your pet will need to stay at the clinic for monitoring and recovery.
Can I Afford Emergency Vet Care?
Emergency vet care can be expensive, but many clinics offer payment plans or financing options to help make it more affordable. You can also look into pet insurance, which can help cover the costs of unexpected emergencies. It’s important to remember that delaying treatment can lead to more severe health issues and higher costs in the long run.
What Happens If I Can’t Reach My Regular Vet?
If you can’t reach your regular vet during an emergency, you should seek out an emergency vet clinic or animal hospital in your area. These clinics are staffed with experienced veterinarians and equipped to handle a wide range of urgent medical issues.
What Should I Do If My Pet Has an After-Hours Emergency?
If your pet has an after-hours emergency, you should contact your local emergency vet clinic or animal hospital immediately. They will provide guidance on how to proceed and may ask you to bring your pet in for urgent care.
What Are Some Common Pet Emergencies?
Some common pet emergencies include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
If you notice any of these symptoms or suspect your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, seek veterinary care immediately.
Can I Call My Regular Vet During an Emergency?
In many cases, your regular vet may not be available during an emergency, as they may be closed or unavailable. However, it’s always a good idea to try calling your regular vet first, as they may be able to provide guidance or refer you to an emergency vet clinic.
What Happens During an Emergency Vet Visit?
During an emergency vet visit, the veterinary team will perform a thorough examination of your pet and may order diagnostic tests, such as blood work or imaging, to determine the cause of the medical issue. Depending on the severity of the condition, they may administer medications or recommend immediate surgery or hospitalization.
How Do I Know When My Pet Needs Emergency Vet Care?
Some signs that your pet may need emergency vet care include:
- Difficulty breathing or extreme panting
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Loss of consciousness
- Extreme lethargy or inability to stand
- Seizures or convulsions
- Ingestion of a toxic substance
If you notice any of these symptoms or suspect your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, seek veterinary care immediately.
Can I Call Ahead Before Bringing My Pet to the Emergency Vet Clinic?
Yes, you can and should call ahead before bringing your pet to the emergency vet clinic, especially if the clinic is far away or you have a particularly urgent issue. This can help the clinic prepare for your pet’s arrival and ensure they have the necessary staff and equipment available.
What Happens If My Pet Needs to Be Hospitalized?
If your pet needs to be hospitalized, the veterinary team will discuss the treatment plan with you and provide regular updates on your pet’s condition. Your pet will receive round-the-clock care and monitoring, and the staff will make every effort to keep them comfortable and calm.
What Should I Do If I Can’t Transport My Pet to the Emergency Vet Clinic?
If you can’t transport your pet to the emergency vet clinic, you may be able to arrange for a pet ambulance or ask a friend or family member for help. Some clinics also offer telemedicine consultations, which can provide guidance on how to proceed until your pet can receive in-person veterinary care.