Nothing says “I’m truly horse broke!” like receiving a vet bill after some freak accident involving your precious equine snowflake. As horse owners, there is no doubt that your horse will get hurt in some fashion that requires the loads of money for a veterinary professional to fix. I have loads of respect for those in the profession (heck I wanted to be a vet!) but it still hurts when that bill comes in the mail. I’ve compiled a few ideas on how to handle vet bills but PLEASE let me know if you have any suggestions…or a pot of gold you’re willing to part with.
Suggestion #1: Set a limit BEFORE anything goes wrong.
—-> BEFORE anything happens, have an honest conversation about your options and how much you can afford to pay in cash and/or borrow in credit. Having that limit in mind will put your vet and yourself on the same page when it comes to treatment options. Talk with your spouse, partner, or family and make them aware that you need to set limits and need their help to have that honest conversation.
Suggestion #2: Look into Care Credit.
When Poe came into our lives it was a wonderful but expensive day. Hearing the amount of money that it would cost to care for him initially was a shocker, but to hear the amount of money it would take for surgery was almost enough for me to say “no”. I had heard about Care Credit but had never needed it. Until now. Yes, I’m still paying on Poe’s leg (he is reminded daily of this when he acts like a moron on the go) but it’s manageable. One big side note, I did ask for help from family and friends with a Go Fund Me campaign (before everyone and their brother was asking for help) and it did take a significant chunk out of my Care Credit loan.
Suggestion #3: Make sure you understand the policies of your vet.
Our vet is great and because we have established a reputation as on-time paying customers, when the bills become larger, they are more willing to accept payments. Be sure to talk with your vet about their payment policies and establish an understanding on where they stand with payments.
Suggestion #4: Look into pet insurance.
I am knocking on every piece of wood available as I type this next sentence. Pet insurance is a great option that I have never needed nor could I afford with the number of animals that I have. With pet insurance, you pay a monthly premium for health insurance for your animal – this can range from full coverage to partial coverage with deductibles. Some companies require a vet exam before insuring your pet so be sure to investigate the ins and outs before purchasing.
Suggestion #5: Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion, more options, or shop around.
Just like any other purchase, it’s wise to look into the options available before making your decision. For instance, if your vet is telling you that Sparkle McHooves needs to have surgery, ask about the options for treatment – don’t just assume that one treatment fits all. The same with medication – shop around (particularly online). And when it comes to preventive care, look into the vet services around your area for the most financially feasible option. Note – I am NOT saying that cheapest is best (or that the most expensive vet is the best) but look into the money aspect of a practice while you’re searching for the best quality vet.
Vet services are necessary, we all know this little factoid, but they are also one big pretty penny. Are they any other suggestions that aren’t on my list? Let me know in the comments below!