12 Ways To Get Help With Vet Bills
We all know that vet bills are expensive at the best of times. And COVID-19 certainly hasn’t made it any easier with the nationwide shortage of vets. If your furry friend is in need of immediate attention, but you’re a little hesitant about its effect on your wallet, we have listed a number of ways to get help with vet bills. Read on to find out how you can get vet bill assistance in Australia and whether a small loan is worth it.
- Seek a second opinion
- Low-cost vet clinics
- Charities and not-for-profits
- National desexing month
- Events offering discount pet service
- Pet insurance
- Set up A Bank Account To Save For Pet Costs
- Crowdsource funds
- Sell your old or vintage items
- Clean out your wardrobe
- Buy now pay later
- Apply for a loan for vet bills
Why Are Vet Bills So Expensive?
Vets in Australia set the fees for each service and treatment they provide. These fees are based on the complexity of the treatment, the expertise required to perform it and the cost to the clinic to provide it, including staff salaries, business overheads and any specialist equipment needed. This is why vet bills can be pretty expensive.
Add to that the fact that veterinarians are currently in short supply and high demand. Plus, unlike human medical bills, vet bills are not subsidised by the government. So you have to front the whole cost of the bill yourself. There is also a lack of regulation surrounding vet costs and there has been an increase in big vet chains with high costs.
That’s why you should consider how much your new pet is really going to cost you before you commit to getting one.
11 ways to get help with vet bills in Australia
1. Seek a second opinion
If you’re faced with an overwhelming vet bill, consider getting a second opinion from another vet before exploring your options. While another vet may still have the same diagnosis, they may offer cheaper services or less invasive treatment options. For example, one vet may suggest expensive and invasive surgery for conditions like hip dysplasia. Whereas another vet may first suggest medication, physical therapy or alternative treatment options. Getting a second opinion could save you from an astronomical vet bill and, more importantly, may save your beloved furbaby from invasive procedures!
2. Low-cost vet clinics
Low-cost vet clinics can be tricky to find. But, they are the holy grail for families trying to juggle the cost of living and taking care of their beloved pet.
Check out these low-cost vet clinics to get help with pet bills:
- Brisbane Pet Surgery (Brisbane, Queensland)
- Paws and More Vet Centre (Perth, Western Australia)
- Lort Smith Animal Hospital (Melbourne, Victoria)
- SASH – The Small Animal Specialist Hospital (Adelaide, South Australia)
- Darwin My Vet Service (Darwin, Northern Territory)
- Inner North Veterinary Clinic (Canberra, Australian Capital Territory)
- Fletcher Vet (Sydney, New South Wales)
- Hobart Community Veterinary Hospital (Hobart, Tasmania)
3. Charity and not-for-profit
Going to charities for help with vet bills can be daunting when there are so many programs and organisations to choose from. To simplify things, we’ve curated a list of charities you can go to for help with vet bills.
Getting help with vet bills for low-income families in Australia
Here are a list of charities that can offer some help with your vet bills:
- The Sunset Benevolence Fund—designed for families with financial difficulties
- Vet Crisis Fund—no-interest loan
- Perth Vet Bill Assistance—available to people in Western Australia in financial difficulty
- ACT Pet Crisis Support—for low-income pet owners in the Australian Capital Territory
- Pet Rescue Crisis Support—for pet owners in need
Can RSPCA help with vet bills?
The RSPCA does not offer financial assistance for vet bills, but they do offer competitive pricing. So, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you might want to check out your local RSPCA veterinary hospital.
Help with vet bills for seniors and pensioners
- Pet Medical Crisis: At Pet Medical Crisis, they provide no-interest loans to Australian pensioners who need one-off vet bill assistance. You can also donate to help out others.
- Pet Guardians: You could also visit Pet Guardians, which is an initiative by Pet Doctors of Australia to help subsidise and assist aged pensioner pet owners.
- Animal Welfare League Queensland: Animal Welfare League Queensland offers pet support to people aged 65 years and over. They offer a variety of services, including subsidised vet care. It’s free to join, and you can also save 50% on annual vaccinations if you use one of their Community Vet Clinics. They have clinics in Ipswich, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast. Not only do they offer low-cost vet care at their clinics, but they also offer charitable support to those who lack the funds. They assess on a case-by-case basis, so if you’re low on cash or have none at all, they are a good option to seek help from.
4. National desexing month
National desexing month is in July. It’s the best time to get low cost desexing for your pet. Discounts are offered over this month, and it makes for one less bill to stress over when it comes to your pets.
5. Events offering discount pet services
Browse sites such as Eventbrite for pet fairs or events near you that offer discounts on pet services.
This option for getting help with vet bills is all about timing. For example, the City of Bunbury Libraries & RSPCA hosted a Community Action Day on November 16. At this event, you could get a free vet check, which included free microchipping, health checks, flea & worming treatments, and dog & cat food.
6. Pet insurance
Pet insurance can help you prepare for the costs associated with the injury or illness of a pet. Instead of having to cover the complete cost yourself, you will get assistance from your pet cover.
Is pet insurance worth it?
Other sources often recommend getting pet insurance to help pay vet bills. But unless you’re willing to fork out the cash every month, it may not be a realistic option while your financial situation is tough. That being said, if you have a lot of medical veterinary expenses, it may be worthwhile looking into a vet insurance plan to help with the costs.
7. Set up a bank account to save for pet costs
With the increasing rate for vet bills, many veterinarians recommend taking out a bank account as a more financially savvy option, compared to investing in something like pet insurance. In other words, saving up a little over time instead of having to pay insurance fees could end up being the cheaper option.
8. Crowdsource funds
It might seem strange at first to crowdfund your vet bills but many people have had a lot of success raising the funds for their vet bill this way. And, there are actually a variety of websites dedicated to just that. Websites such as mycause, FundRazr, chuffed, and gofundme make it easy to reach a wide audience.
9. Sell your old or vintage items
There’s someone out there to collect everything. If you have any old or vintage items lying around it might be time to let go of the nostalgia and list them on eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. Some totally ordinary objects can fetch huge prices, making your belongings one of the best places to turn to for help with vet bills.
Here are some ideas for things lying around the house that may be worth a lot of money:
- Comic books: There are a lot of comic book fans in the world, and classic comics can be priced in the thousands. Or if you have any more recent ones from around the early 2000s, they might bring in a couple of hundred dollars.
- Error Coins: Here’s a reminder to check out your coins for any manufacturing faults. It may be one of the few instances where it’s good to find a mistake. There’s a whole section of eBay dedicated to Australian error coins. Prices range from a few dollars to $10,000.
- Old VHS tapes: If you’ve got any old VHS tapes lying (especially any Disney ones) around, try listing these on an online market. You may be surprised how much people are willing to spend.
- Old toys and games: Don’t throw out your old Barbie dolls just yet. Many Barbie dolls are listed for high prices on eBay.
- Signed merchandise: Got any old band or footy club merchandise? People are willing to pay up to $500 for all types of old merchandise pieces.
10. Clean out your wardrobe
Charity shops have continued to see an upsurge in donations over the past few years. Almost to the point of not being able to handle the amount coming in. Unfortunately, quite a lot of donations end up being contaminated goods. Charities then have to front the cost of moving the items to a waste or landfill site.
Instead of adding to an already full pile, you might consider joining in the thrifting game yourself. Just snap a pic of your out-of-season or unwanted clothes and put up a listing on thrifting shops like Depop or Etsy. Getting set up is super simple, and it’s an easy way to make some quick cash. Depop, in particular, is targeted towards the second-hand fashion game. Not only could the second-hand fashion market help with paying your vet bills, but it helps clean out your closet at the same time.
11. Buy now pay later
If you’re wondering whether you can buy now and pay later you can! Companies such as Afterpay or Zip allow you to split your bills into monthly instalments. This means you don’t have to front all of the cash at once and can pay it off over time instead. But not every vet clinic will offer these payment options, so check the websites listed above for places to go that offer buy now pay later plans.
12. Apply for a loan for vet bills
Sometimes emergencies happen, and there’s no time to save up cash or find alternative ways of paying for the bill. That’s when an emergency loan comes in handy. You can pay your vet bill instantly and pay off your loan in instalments. That way you’re not overwhelmed by the high cost of pet care all at once.
How much is a vet consultation?
In Australia, vet consultation fees are usually between $70 and $140. But that doesn’t take into account any prescribed medications or specialist treatments, like surgery, which would be added on top.
Unfortunately, emergency vet care tends to be quite expensive. So, when you’re short on time and cash, a small loan for vet bills can be a lifesaver.
It only takes minutes to apply for a vet bills loan with Swoosh, and you get the money in your bank account the very same day. Emergency cash loans up to $5000 – they’re even available to those with bad credit history.
What to do if you can’t afford the vet
If you can’t afford the vet, there are a few things you can do:
- If you’ve got time on your hands, see if there are any events coming up where vets are offering discount services, e.g. desexing.
- If it’s an emergency situation, you could try a low-cost vet clinic or a charity that helps with vet bills.
- Finally, there’s always the option to apply for a quick loan online. This is probably the least stressful way to tackle the problem, as the money could be with you the same day and you can spread the repayments over a longer period.
Pay your vet bills in no time with Swoosh
If you’re struggling to find ways to pay for that last minute vet bill, consider getting a small personal loan with Swoosh. We offer a variety of secured loans, up to $5000. We even offer emergency and same day loans if you need instant cash. If you have any questions about this blog or our loans against cars, don’t hesitate to contact us today.