Yes, you have to be financially prepared when you adopt a pet, but what if a time comes you’re your money isn’t enough to cover expenses especially vet care emergencies? When your fur babies get sick or have expensive annual checkups, owning a pet can be damaging to your finances not to mention everyday expenses like food. Veterinary care should be a priority, but there will surely be times when we can’t afford the cost of treatment or surgery which can cost hundreds of dollars. We juggle too many bills already!
When a pet becomes sick or injured but the pet owner can’t afford vet care, some pet owners even consider abandoning their pets especially senior ones. This is a sad reality we hate to see and a problem that’s needed to be solved! The good news is, there are creative and effective ways to save money and reduce costs while providing vet care for your fur babies. Here’s a list of some short-term and long-term tips to help you find a way to afford vet care in Singapore:
1. Ask your veterinarian about generic prescriptions
Your vet might be prescribing your pet a higher-cost, name-brand prescription medication. Before they prescribe the medication, ask your vet if there are more affordable alternatives. There are cases where you may not even need antibiotics to cure them. For example, if your pet has a small infection caused by germs, antibiotics might do more harm than good for your pet. This is because taking unnecessary antibiotics can cause antimicrobial resistance.
Some repeat infections can be treated by medications available online. If your vet has prescribed allergy pills or ear drops in the past, and you have the approval for a specific online medication. You don’t always have to buy your medications from the vet. But you could always ask your veterinarians if they offer discounts if you really need them. Be sure to consult with a licensed veterinarian to make sure your fur babies receive the best care possible.
2. Pet Insurance
If you can’t afford the constant check-ups, surgeries, and after-surgery care, you can consider buying a pet insurance plan. Basic plans cost around $74.90-$325 per annum and partially cover illness, injury, and death. On the other hand, premium plans cost S$450-S$750 and may cover additional costs like animal theft and cremation/burial. Some pet insurance plans offer special discounts on pet medications too. This could save you hundreds of bucks if your pet gets sick or passes away and knowing your pet insurances will cover the cost of surgery and one-day recovery in the hospital could surely put your mind at ease plus you won’t need to worry about those large costs anymore.
But know that this doesn’t help if the surgery or treatment is already in motion, but insurance plans for pets can cover the cost of emergencies or other major medical treatments. It is important to really research each in advance for emergency situations.
You can check A Guide to Pet Insurance in Singapore to learn more!
3. Ask for payment options
Some independent veterinarians or small hospitals you have established a great relationship with will consider alternative payments, depending on the procedure. They may give you advice on how to manage the cost with some payment methods you can choose like line of credit, installment, pet insurance, or refer you to charitable organizations. In most cases, it’s hard for clinics to accommodate this, but it never hurts to ask right? Many clinics have annual wellness plans which are affordable and allow you to pay monthly for basic care needs like vaccinations and checkups.
4. Raise a fund
This one is surely popular nowadays and this tip can be really helpful for the pet lovers community are growing! With the popularity of social media, many people raise funds to help with veterinary bills, upcoming surgeries, and other necessary procedures. Sharing your pet’s story and situation with others might urge some kind-hearted pet lovers to help your pet.
5. Get help from animal welfare organizations
There are several animal charities that you could turn to if you are unable to pay for your fur baby’s treatment like surgery or their spay/neutering. For example, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) runs a free clinic to help low-income households support their fur babies in need. To apply for this option, however, you need to submit documentary proof that you are receiving financial aid from the government. This is to limit these charitable services to those in need, as charities already face a financial strain taking care of stray and unwanted animals. Be sure to just use this option when needed to avoid minimizing the funds that are supposed to be allotted for stray cats and dogs.
Many veterinarians may also have funds that were set aside to help pet owners in a financial crisis or they may know some local organizations. We have a list of animal welfare organizations in Singapore that may help you in this article of ours: Adopting a Dog in Singapore - Part II
6. Healthy lifestyle is key to prevention
Practice a good hygiene habits and a healthy lifestyle for your pet as early as possible to avoid large vet bills in the future. For example, brushing your pet's teeth and grooming them yourself could save you between $274- $312, which is the average cost of a grooming package. To groom your pet, you could buy pet grooming supplies online like our Pet Shaver, Pet Nail Trimmer, & Pet Paw washer.You can also check these articles to learn more:
- 3 Tools to Make Pet Grooming Much Easier
- 5 Cleaning Tips that Pet Owner Wish They Knew Earlier
- 6 Easy Ways to Clean Your Dog's Paws After a Walk
- How to Groom your Pet at Home
Maintain the right weight and vitals of your pet by feeding them nutritious meals. Studies have found that dogs who eat non-processed food versus grain-based food have lower cases of heart problems, increased energy, healthier vision, and shinier coats. In Singapore, you can order pet food straight to your home for as little as $2.30 for supplemental food for your fur babies. When you're in a financially difficult situation, watching your bills rise can cause added stress. Even if you love your pet, you shouldn't have to put yourself into debt to take care of them. This may be more expensive than regular cat and dog foods but they have a higher chance of preventing pet emergency vet care which helps you avoid hefty vet bills!
Check A Complete Guide: 13 Ways to Keep Your Pet Happy & Healthy to learn more!
7. Start a pet savings account
Just as how you can save up for essentials, you can also create a savings account for your beloved fur babies! If you have the opportunity, set aside some cash little by little each month exclusively for your pet especially if emergency care is needed. Given the fact that almost every pet experiences an emergency in its lifetime, saving up can increase the chances of your pet’s emergency care be met by having enough money to pay for the expensive vet bills that may come up in the future.
Every pet owner should be able to get their fur babies the care they need! By using creativity and researching alternatives, your pet can be saved at critical times! No need to abandon your pets and please do not even consider this. There’s a lot of help available if you would just look for it eagerly! No pet should suffer from untreated pain or illness due to lack of money. By using creativity and enlisting the help of compassionate individuals, it can work out. Even in cases of ongoing treatment, like pet cancer, we’ve seen and read about ways that fundraising-for-a-good-cause methods have worked.
Please also do remember that these are just tips if you’re really having a financial crisis! As pet owners, we need to be responsible. Don’t even consider adopting another pet if you can’t handle it or if you’ll just neglect them! Also, consider if you’re financially ready to adopt a pet before bringing one at home instead. Don’t base your decision because the dog or cat is cute and cuddly without researching or thinking through the possible costs and responsibilities.
Feel free to share this with your fellow pet owner friends who might need this information right now! You can also leave a comment down below about your experiences to help other pet owners who might face the same situation as yours, we would also love to read them!