Getting Help to Pay Vet Bills

August 16, 2008

A bill from the veterinarian.My 5 month old puppy was recently diagnosed with Parvo. She has been in the vet for 3 days now and she has started to show signs of improvement. Is there any way to help with the bills, they are now at $1200.00 and she will still have to stay for another 3 days. Is there anybody that knows any way to help with these bills. My family and I just can't let her go. Please send responses. God Bless!


Cathy from Louisville, KY


Talk to Your Vet

You can also talk to the doctor and explain the situation. Sometimes they can let the dog go home a bit earlier if they know you'll follow directions to the letter and if they know money is a problem.

By Judi


Here is an idea you might want to try. Try volunteering your time at the vet's office to trade for hours for payment. I had a couple of local bills and suggested that I could volunteer as a trade to pay off my bills. Some disagreed, but several companies loved the idea. I set a plan based on the going hourly rate and signed a contract to work a certain amount of hours until the bill is paid off or at least lowered.

By By Georgette Ruth


If you or someone in your family has a skill you might be able to barter with your vet. I was lucky enough to barter with my dentist on 2 occasions. Of course I had to pay for the cost of my crown, but I bartered for the labor. Maybe you could do the same. Your vet does have to pay his or her employees and for the cost of their overhead. My Dentist told me strictly "Do not tell anybody we are bartering, I don't want others to think I'll do this for everyone!". So I've kept my mouth shut (until now because he's retired).

Type out the list of things you'd be willing to do for labor costs (tell him you'll naturally pay the cost of medication and tests). Then show him your list and tell him you'd be willing to sign a written contract for your bartering services. That way he'll know you are truly serious about really doing your part to "pay" for services rendered.

I've been living well below the poverty line for many years now (because I love being an artist) so I've had to come up with ways to do things like this. But I must say, that 2 weeks ago my cat Smokey swallowed the end of a sausage wrapper (from someone's garbage) and he almost died because it got caught in his intestines. I would have never been able to pay for the operation to keep him alive if my mother hadn't loaned me $800! I am now looking into animal insurance because I never want to have to ask her again to help me pay for vet bills.


One thing I found out when Smokey almost died was that each vet charges different prices. In WA we have several places called "Vets for Less" (which is where I took Smokey) and that operation would have cost me 3 times what I paid at any other Vet. I called around and you should too. It can literally save you hundreds of dollars, just by making 5 or 6 phone calls.

I also found out that when pets stay overnight, unless it's a 24 hour Vet Hospital, the animals are left all by themselves. Smokey was left alone (with other animals) in a cage. He'd have been in better hands with me at home where I could have kept an eye on him!

I didn't know this until the following day when my daughter suggested I ask if anyone stayed with the animals during the night.

By Cyinda

Call Around

This may not be an option for you, but if there are any other vets in your area, call them and find out what they would charge for similar treatment. If it's a lot lower, you may be able to discuss this with your vet because they know they are in danger of losing your business if they do not lower the charge.

We have a vet in our area that wanted to charge our friend more than $800 to pull her cat's tooth, saying the cat could die of infection. She was heartbroken (and broke). I had heard that the vet was very expensive overall. She brought the cat to my vet for a second opinion. They charged her $35 for the visit, determined that the cat was healing very nicely on its own, sent them home, and the cat has been healthy ever since. Now all my friends go to our vet.

Also, see if your vet has a payment plan. Surely they must run across this situation all the time. Also try some local no-kill centers, not to give up your pet, but to see if they have any suggestions for you. Everyone will want to help if they can.

By Natasha

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8 Solutions

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February 21, 2011

Anyone who needs help paying for their veterinary bills should contact There is a list of places to contact on that site. Hope this helps the animals.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 18, 2013

I need ideas on how to pay my vet bill. My kitty is sick and I don't have the money right now to pay for the vet. Any ideas how to pay them?

By DESSIID from Santa Ana


January 20, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Make a deal with the vet for either reduced fees or a payment plan. I did this for my cat when she was ill.

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January 20, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

There is a credit card called Care Credit. I had to apply at the vet's office when I had to put my cat down. Yes, it's a credit card but I only used it twice, both times on one of my cats.


It gave me piece of mind knowing my cat would get the help he needed and I was able to pay it off in payments. It gives you a few months of interest free to pay it off which helped.

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February 23, 2018

I am a senior citizen living in an assisted living community, so funds are very limited. I have no family, so I really need a dog, I had to put my other one down. I cannot afford vet bills any longer and don't qualify for the care credit plan. Where I live, for some reason, there are no low cost vets, and they don't give discounts. Pretty snooty town, but I can't help that!

Organizations That Help With Vet Bills for Companion Dogs - small tri-colored dog

I am becoming depressed without a dog, always had one, they are companion animals. I need help locating some sort of funding or organization that helps elderly people pay some of the vet bills for companion animals. Anybody know of anything? I live in Colorado, and have already checked with the county animal control.


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February 24, 20180 found this helpful
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Pets are as many times as essential as medications so I hope you can find services to help you with maintaining a dog.

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September 17, 2019

My 3 year old dog has an infected tooth. I cannot afford $500.00 to have the tooth extracted. Does anyone know of a lower cost solution?

Thank you.

Treating a Dog with an Infected Tooth - tan and black terrier


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September 29, 20190 found this helpful
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Where I live we have a vet and we have a clinic. I always take my dogs to a clinic because they charge me by the weight of the dog. I know this doesn't help you much where you live. But you can try to go to an animal shelter and ask if they have vet services and explain your situation and ask for their help. They might be able to give you the names of a few vets in your area that are a lot cheaper than the vet you took the dog too.

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More Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 21, 2011

Does anyone know where or how I can get help with veterinarian bills? I'm living on Social Security. My kitty has an eye infection, and I can't afford to take her to the vet.

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January 5, 2011

My neighbors brought me a sickly kitten two weeks ago who I nursed back to life but it still has a bad upper respiratory problem. It has now spread to my other babies.

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June 24, 2010
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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