Pets are cherished members of our families, providing unconditional love and companionship. However, caring for their health can be a significant financial burden, especially when unexpected medical emergencies or chronic conditions arise. Many pet owners may find themselves in a situation where they cannot afford veterinary care for their pets, leading to difficult decisions about their beloved companions' health.
Fortunately, there are various resources available for those who are struggling to afford veterinary care. These resources include non-profit organizations, financial assistance programs, low-cost veterinary clinics, and more. If you are facing expensive veterinary bills or cannot afford the level of care your pet needs, below are some options for you to explore to get the help you need.
We recommend connecting with multiple assistance partners, as you may need more than one grant to cover your pet's veterinary expenses.
This Pet Finder resource is excellent. Search by city, state/province, and zipcode. You'll see a list of lower-cost veterinary services and financial assistance programs in your area.
There are many national non-profit organizations and funds created to support pet owners struggling to pay for veterinary care. Below is a list to get you started in your search.
There are breed-specific rescues all over the United States that may be able to offer you financial support. If you have a purebred dog, it's worthwhile to contact the national breed club to find out if they have a grant program. Visit the AKC Rescue Network List here.
Many veterinary schools offer low-cost or free medical services to pet owners in need. These services not only support the veterinary school's local community but also provide opportunities for veterinary students to gain hands-on experience and learn from experienced professionals. Check with any veterinary schools in your state to learn more about their community services.
There are local organizations and non-profits that can provide assistance in helping with the costs of veterinary care. They alleviate the financial strain of veterinary care by offering low-cost or free medical services or by providing financial assistance to cover the cost of veterinary care at other providers.
We've compiled some state and regional organizations below to help you get started in your search for assistance.
Please reach out and let us know about your program.
While telemedicine and telehealth services may not be less expensive than an in-person visit, they may be, and they also offer the convenience of not having to leave home.
In most states, you can get some advice in a virtual consultation, it just may be limited, and you may not be able to get any medications prescribed.
This Ask a Vet service offers access to chat with a veterinarian for $1 for seven days.
Many states require that an in-person veterinary-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) be established before a virtual visit can occur. This means that you must go into a veterinary clinic to have your pet examined and have a medical history taken first; then, follow-up visits for that medical condition with that clinic can be done online. Any new medical issues require the establishment of a new VCPR before treatment can be continued virtually.
Some states don't require this or don't have any indication of the need for an in-person VCPR in their Veterinary Practice Act, and they are Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Virginia. The TeleVet website has a good resource that lists the requirements by state. The Veterinary Virtual Care Association is another great resource.