What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford a Vet?

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No pet owner would want their pet(s) to suffer because they don’t have enough resources to offer even the most affordable vet care. Certain things can happen in life, leaving you with huge bills you hadn’t anticipated. For instance, a job loss, an accident, or illness can make it difficult for a pet parent to cater to the pet’s needs.

In such circumstances, the biggest question you have is – what can I do if I can’t afford a vet? You’re in luck because, in this guide, you’ll find useful information on how to navigate tough times. Read on to explore your options.

Vet and Vet tech examining the dog, What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford a Vet? - I Love Veterinary

What can I do if I can’t afford a vet?

The first time you brought your pet home, it was happy and healthy. You might have thought about them getting sick, but you didn’t plan for it. Taking care of your pet can be quite costly, especially when it falls ill. If you are prepared with dog health insurance, it is easier to manage the situation. But, if you are caught unaware you can try the following helpful tips: 

  • Look for an affordable pet clinic near you. Some hospitals offer free services for the first visit. You can also check local shelters and rescues. Some have the resources to help, or they may direct you to available low-cost alternatives.
  • Find out if your vet or animal clinic offers payment plans for the treatment your animal needs. 
  • You can look for the help of third-party companies that offer credit for pet-related expenses. The terms are usually like those of credit cards. So, ensure you understand all the terms of the loan before you sign for it. It would be best to avoid taking a loan that you can’t afford to repay. 
  • If your pet requires services you can’t afford and exhausted all options, talk to your vet. Enquire if they have a pet fund in their facility. Ask the veterinarian for advice on affordable pet care available for your situation. 
  • If there is a university in your local area that offer a degree in Veterinary Medicine, find out if they offer low-cost vet services. 
  • If all these options don’t work, you might have to surrender ownership of your pet. You can take it to a hospital, rescue, or shelter who can afford the medical expenses. Use this option as a last resort. 

Vet, dog and dog owner at Vet Clinic, What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford a Vet? - I Love Veterinary

National organizations that offer financial help to pet owners in need

If you cannot afford your pet care bills, some organizations can help. Before surrendering the ownership of your furry friend, you can seek help from the following organizations:

In Memory of Magic (IMOM)

IMOM’s primary goal is to help people, help pets by providing financial aid for those in financial difficulty. They also have a program that offers free spray and neuter services to pets. The staff of IMOM is available to answer your questions. You can also ask them for guidance on resources you’ll need to care for your animal. 


RedRover offers grants to pet owners that need financial aid. They also provide emotional help to pet rescuers to help them care for animals in danger. Their programs also assist victims of domestic violence to escape with their pets and offer disaster relief. 

Brown Dog Foundation

Brown dog foundation helps families that are in temporary financial difficulty. They help them care for their pet if they require life-saving treatment. They can also help you get your pet life-sustaining medications. They design their programs to offer pet owners a one-time benefit. 

Vet examining dog at Vet Clinic, What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford a Vet? - I Love Veterinary

The Pet Fund

The Pet Fund offers financial aid to pet owners whose pets need expensive veterinary care they cannot afford. You’ll not be eligible for the fund if you need primary, urgent care. The fund only covers chronic conditions, cancer, heart- and eye diseases. Eligible pet parents can apply for a one-time grant. 

Shakespeare Animal Fund 

The Shakespeare Animal Fund targets the elderly and people living with disabilities. It also helps pet owners living in absolute poverty. They help pet owners in these categories get emergency pet care. Some emergencies eligible for help include:

  • Fractures
  • Paralysis
  • Bite wounds
  • Torn toenails 

Top Dog Foundation – Bentley Grant

The Bentley Grant works in collaboration with veterinarians. It offers financial help to dog owners, rescues, and shelters. Their assistance is targeted at senior dogs aged above ten years that would have been euthanized. 

The Onyx and Breezy Foundation

This organization is run privately in honor of the founder’s dog. The Onyx and Breezy Foundation offers emergency medical care to pets whose owners are having financial problems. The foundation also aims to rescue dogs from high-kill shelters. 

Dog shelter, What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford a Vet? - I Love Veterinary

Harley’s Hope Foundation

Harley’s Hope Foundation offers services targeting low-income pet owners. They also help service animals and senior animals living in short-term foster care. 

Handicapped Pet Foundation

The Handicapped Pet Foundation is a non-profit organization. It focuses on the health and welfare of seniors, injured, and disabled pets. The foundation also donates mobility equipment to pets that need them. 

Pets of the Homeless

This organization provides help for veterinary care to pet owners in need. They also help decrease pet hunger by offering food assistance to the homeless. 

Dog and veterinarian at Vet Clinic, What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford a Vet? - I Love Veterinary


Sometimes, life can be very unpredictable. You might find yourself in financial difficulty whereby you can’t afford your pet’s medical expenses. If you find yourself in such a situation, there are various options you can pursue. 

This guide has highlighted what you can do if you cannot afford a vet. You can explore the options that fit your current situation best. If none of the options work, it would be best to find a rescue center that can take in your pet. 

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