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Dog having an injection at the vet.

Pet Loans: How to Get Help with Veterinary Bills

Throughout America alone, almost 70% of us own some sort of pet, whether it's a dog or cat, reptiles, birds, or other small critters. And there are so many wonderful benefits to pet ownership.

Pets provide an unbreakable companionship for us as humans. They reduce stress, and it is said that your blood pressure can be lowered just by patting an animal. There is no doubt about it; our pets are there with us through thick and thin.

However, along with the perks of owning a pet come the costs. Pets are expensive. More expensive than most of us realize at times. It's essential to try to balance the financial costs of having a pet with the costs of everyday life.

Key Takeaways

  • Pet loans can help cover the cost of emergency veterinary bills.
  • A pet loan offers immediate access to funds for various needs, including surgeries and essential medications.
  • Different pets incur varying costs; for instance, the average cost of dog ownership over a 12-year lifespan ranges from $5,000 to $20,000, including initial and annual expenses.
    Exotic pets, like rabbits and reptiles, also have substantial costs, and emergency vet visits can lead to unexpected financial burdens.

What Is a Pet Loan?

A pet loan is a specialized form of financing crafted to address the diverse expenses inherent in responsible pet ownership. Beyond being companions, pets become integral members of our families, and a pet loan is tailored to alleviate the financial strain associated with their care.

From routine veterinary care to unforeseen medical emergencies, pet-related expenses can vary widely and sometimes catch us off guard. This is where a pet loan steps in as a strategic financial ally, providing a means to manage the often unpredictable costs associated with keeping our beloved animals healthy and happy.

Reasons to Take Out a Pet Loan

Here are some common reasons why people take out a pet loan:

  • Surgery or major treatments. In cases of unexpected medical issues or surgical interventions, a pet loan can provide the necessary funds to ensure your pet receives the required care promptly.
  • Service, therapy, and emotional support animal financing. For individuals relying on service, therapy, or emotional support animals, a pet loan can help cover associated costs, ensuring ongoing support and companionship.

Can You Get a Pet Loan with Bad Credit?

Yes, you can get a pet loan with bad credit, but it may take more shopping around. While having a good credit score can increase your chances of approval, some lenders may offer pet loans to individuals with bad credit. Exploring various financing options is crucial for those with less-than-perfect credit.

How You Can You Use a Pet Loan

A pet loan isn't confined to specific expenses; rather, it serves as a versatile financial resource designed to cater to the comprehensive needs of pet ownership. Beyond routine veterinary visits and grooming, pet loans can be instrumental in covering a spectrum of costs, including the acquisition of pet insurance.

Moreover, these loans can extend support to cover more substantial financial commitments, such as surgeries, essential medications, or even the procurement of specialized equipment crucial for your pet's overall well-being.

In essence, a pet loan is not merely a financial product; it's a compassionate solution crafted to ease the financial burden often associated with providing optimal care for your furry companions. By offering flexibility in managing a range of expenses, from the routine to the unexpected, pet loans empower pet owners to prioritize their pets' health and happiness without compromising their own financial stability.

Pros of Pet Loans

One of the primary benefits of pet loans lies in their immediate access to funds when your furry friend needs an emergency trip to the vet. 

Whether faced with routine veterinary visits or unexpected medical emergencies, pet loans ensure that financial constraints do not impede the prompt care your beloved animal deserves. The ability to swiftly address your pet's needs contributes to their overall health and happiness, fostering a sense of security for both pet and owner.

Cons of Pet Loans

Despite their evident advantages, it is imperative to approach pet loans with a discerning eye, considering the potential drawbacks that accompany this form of financing. Notably, the interest rates on pet loans can be higher compared to alternative financing options.

This aspect warrants careful consideration, as the cost of borrowing for pet-related expenses may contribute to financial strain over time. Thus, before embarking on this financial journey, pet owners must weigh the immediate benefits against the long-term financial implications to ensure a well-informed decision.4

Average Cost of Dog Ownership

Dogs live an average of 12 years, with the smaller breeds usually having longevity. The MSPCA estimates that the lifetime cost of dog ownership can range anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, a price that most of us vastly underestimate.

If you choose to go through a breeder, the cost of the dog alone can reach as high as $5,000. If you decide to adopt, most shelters charge hefty fees that can be upwards of $300 when all is said and done.

A beagle laying down.

Initial Expenses of Dog Ownership

Some of your dog's most significant expenses will be in the first year of their life as they will visit the veterinarian often to ensure they are staying healthy. They will also need to be spayed or neutered if you aren't breeding them. Food, leashes, toys, and a doggie bed all cost money upfront.

  • First vet visit. Your dog's initial vet visit will run you anywhere between $100 and $300.
  • Spaying and neutering. The cost of having your pet fixed greatly depends on their age and whether they are male or female. It can range between $150 and $400
  • Food dishes. These can cost anywhere from $20 to $50, depending on how fancy you want to get.
  • Leashes and collar. Will your dog be in a harness or a simple collar? Will you provide special identification tags? All of these can cost upwards of $50 to $100
  • Bed or crate. If you plan to crate your dog, depending on size, crates can cost anywhere from $50 to $250. And that doesn't include soft bedding.

A new puppy is usually going to be more expensive than an adult dog. They need to see the veterinarian more often, they will likely need more vaccines, and they will need obedience training and a vast array of toys to entertain them.

Annual Expenses of Dog Ownership

The estimated cost of owning a dog per year can be close to $1,000. Things can get overwhelming once you consider food, annual checkups, including vaccines and heartworm prevention, toys, grooming, and possible pet insurance.

Average Cost of Cat Ownership

You may often hear that cats aren't as expensive as dogs, and while that is debatable, it still doesn't mean they aren't also pricey. Cats tend to live a lot longer than dogs, with a lifespan of 15 years or more.

Because some cats go outdoors, it also puts them at a greater risk of disease and injury, bringing the annual cost of cat ownership anywhere from $5,000 to $23,000!

Cats can be purebred as well, and if you go through a breeder, you are looking at several thousand dollars. However, as with dogs, adopting from a shelter can have costly fees into the hundreds.

A man cuddling a cat.

Initial Expenses of Cat Ownership

Like a dog, your cat's most expensive year will be its first. Aside from vaccines and spaying and neutering, cats need to be checked for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or FIV, and feline leukemia. Both of these diseases are very contagious in cats and can cause deadly results.

Add in the cost of toys, food, litter, and other accessories, and the price only goes up.

  • First Vet Visit. Your cat's initial visit with the vet will cost you between $100 and $300
  • Spaying and Neutering. Having your cat fixed can vary in price from $150 to $300
  • Food and Water Dishes. These can cost you between $10 to $30
  • Carrying Crate. Your cat should travel in a carrying crate, which can cost anywhere from $20 to $75
  • Litter Box. Even if your cat goes outdoors, a little box should be provided. Depending on how fancy you want to get, those can cost as little as $10 or as much as $200.

Annual Cost of Cat Ownership

Cats aren't much cheaper than dogs when it comes to the annual cost of ownership. Between food, routine vet care, flea and tick prevention, and litter, prices can skyrocket up to $1,500 a year.

Other Types of Pet Ownership

It's not just cats and dogs that can be pricey, but rabbits, birds, and other exotics can quickly run up the vet bill. Our pets are our babies, and no matter what, your pet has your heart. It's only natural that you want to do what is best for them.

Rabbits can cost us up to $800 a year, while parakeets or other small birds can cost around $200 a year. Reptiles, depending on what kind, can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 a year.

Average Cost of Owning a Fish

Fishkeeping can incur costs for tanks, filters, and water treatments. While initial setup costs can be significant, ongoing expenses may be lower.

Average Cost of Owning a Reptile

Reptile care includes habitat setup, heating, and lighting. Veterinary care may be specialized, contributing to overall expenses.

Costs of Exotic Pet Ownership

It's not just cats and dogs that can be pricey, but rabbits, birds, and other exotics like snakes can quickly run up the vet bill. Our pets are our babies, and no matter what, your pet has your heart. It's only natural that you want to do what is best for them.

Rabbits can cost us up to $800 a year, while parakeets or other small birds can cost around $200 a year. 

Emergencies and Sick Visits

Aside from the annual cost of ownership, one must account for sick visits and emergencies. Unfortunately, they will happen no matter how well we care for our animals. And the cost of treating them can be staggering.

Let's look at the most common reasons why pet owners have to visit the vet:

Traumatic Injury

A car hit or a bite from another animal are both examples of traumatic injuries to pets. Trauma in pets is often difficult to access without an array of tests, such as X-rays, blood work, and even emergency surgery.

Some injuries, such as internal bleeding, aren't always discovered right away, and some wounds can be very deep, leading to infection if not treated. You will also want to understand that pain medications will almost always be in order.

Difficulty Breathing

Any kind of raspy breathing, wheezing, or choking needs to be addressed immediately. Breathing issues can arise from many different things, such as an allergic reaction, asthma, lung disease, or from a foreign body being lodged in your pet's throat.

Assessment and treatment to determine and treat the problem can also include x-rays, blood work, possible endoscopy, or more.


Especially in larger breed dogs, bloating is an emergency. It can be lethal if the dog's stomach gets twisted after eating and isn't treated. Aside from tests alone, bloating in a dog often means surgery.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

These are two of the most common things veterinarians see in animals, and while it may be something perfectly harmless, it can also be a sign of a severe illness that needs to be addressed. To determine whether your pet has an illness or has ingested something poisonous, several medical tests are in order, along with a treatment plan.


Seizures are a scary thing to witness, whether it's a human or an animal. Watching the shaking and loss of consciousness can make one feel helpless.

While a seizure in an animal isn't always a cause for alarm, the cost of determining what caused it and what treatment may be. Diagnostic tests such as blood work or overnight monitoring at the hospital can quickly add to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

What Options Do I Have?

Routine or not, veterinary care is not cheap. Aside from annual checkups, the cost of procedures, emergency surgery, and cancer treatment can make us feel like we are over our heads.

We are often left feeling desperate as we want to help our pets, but what if it's not in the budget? Then what do you do?

Veterinary Insurance

Veterinary insurance is certainly an option, but a policy would need to be in place before any payout could be considered. And it's usually when we least expect it that problems arise, and we aren't prepared for them.

Veterinary insurance often has a lot of red tape to get through as well, and you may find that you are spending money at the vet on top of your monthly premium.

Credit Card

Putting the bill on your credit card is also an option but probably not the wisest one. Credit cards often carry high-interest rates, and sometimes the cost of veterinary care exceeds one's credit limit.

Pet Financing Plans

Several lenders offer loans and lines of credit specifically for pet care. However, they are usually targeted to those with fair or bad credit. While they may help, the cost will be high as some of these plans come with APRs as high as 27%!

How To Apply for a Pet Loan

An installment loan through Simple Fast Loans may be your best bet when it comes to unexpected veterinary costs. The last thing you want to do while the veterinarian treats your animal is deal with cumbersome loan processes.

But Simple Fast Loans offer an easy and quick decision that won't leave you waiting.

An installment loan can be as small as $200 or as big as $3,000 with flexible repayment periods, and the application process is easy and fast.

About Simple Fast Loans

Simple Fast Loans is a fully licensed financial service, recognized nationwide that offers online loans.

The company has the utmost respect for its customers and strives for satisfaction. Simple Fast Loans understands that you need to get your money quickly, especially in the case of a health crisis with your beloved pet.

How Does It Work?

By applying online, the amount of your loan is conditional upon your income as well as your ability to repay. The amount you can borrow does vary by state.

All you need to do is fill out our online application with your basic information, and we can get you a loan decision in minutes. Your driver's license, state ID, or other valid Government-issued ID and banking information will be needed.

How Quickly Can I Get My Money?

Simple Fast Loans understands the importance of having funds when you need them. Your pet is like a family member, and knowing you will have the funds to care for them is crucial.

Any loans signed before 2 pm Eastern Standard Time on a banking day are usually funded that day. Loans signed after 2 pm Eastern Standard Time are typically funded by the end of the next banking day.

Depending on your bank's eligibility, you can also choose to get your money instantly using your Visa or Mastercard bank debit card.

Making a Decision

Because our pets are family, we can find ourselves in challenging situations when faced with high vet bills.

You want what is best for your pet at all costs, but those costs can be a bitter pill to swallow. Especially when faced with several thousand dollars, you may be at a standstill trying to decide how to pay for emergency care or get a loan for pet surgery.

Installment loans offer a great, if not the best, solution to pay for your pet's care. They are generally a lot more cost-effective than a standard credit card.

You can get a loan in different amounts and even receive money on the same day. You will be able to pay it off with monthly payments. Your interest rate will likely be a lot lower than other credit companies.

With Simple Fast Loans, you will have peace of mind knowing that you can provide your pet with the emergency care they need. The most essential thing in this situation is your pet's health, and not having the stress of how you are going to pay for it will lift a huge weight off your shoulders.

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