Taking a beloved pet to the veterinarian due to a medical emergency is not fun. Not only are you stressed and worried about the animal, you may also be stressed trying to figure out how to pay for the trip. When money is an issue, it is important to be upfront with the doctor and talk to him or her about making payments for the work done.
If you have been using the same vet for any length of time, and know each other a bit, there is a chance you might be able to make payment arrangements for the treatments. You may want to talk about this at a regular office visit when you will be paying for the visit. Mention to the doctor that while you can pay for this visit, if there is ever an emergency, you may not have the money for it. This will give the doctor time to think about the situation and your history with the office. It is not putting anyone in a position of saying no and denying an animal treatment; it is just giving a heads up and allowing him or her time to think about it.
Some vets will allow payments if it is a true emergency. They are more apt to deny any payment plans if it is for a regular checkup or something not life-threatening. It is important that you talk with the doctor as soon as you get there and explain the situation. Many will be understanding and want to help the animal. They may offer you some type of credit arrangement or have you apply to a company that does. Do not wait until after treatment has been given to tell them you cannot pay for it. This could result in them holding the animal until you can pay the bill, and the bill will go up with each day.
If you do not already have it, many veterinarian offices offer some type of pet insurance. It is the same thing as your own health insurance, but for animals. You will pay a monthly premium and there will be a deductible, too. However, the insurance can be used for regular checkups and vaccinations, as well as emergencies.
Veterinarians have often been not paid for their services when they extend credit to pet owners. This is the big reason why it is not often you will find one who will extend credit. You should try to be prepared for emergencies and be able to pay the bill. It is not always going to be that way though, so you need to be honest with yourself and with the vet and work something out. It is not fair to the animal to suffer.