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What Options Exist Aside from Pet Insurance? The most obvious one is cash-out-of-pocket. This option basically depends how much the pet owner can afford or is willing to finance on their own. Ironically, despite the higher cost out-of- pocket, most pet owners tend to naturally choose this option. Much of this situation has to do with a lack of awareness of pet health insurance being available or a general suspicion that pet health insurance is just a scam and doesn’t actually provide coverage offered. Subscription and membership programs are one way of reducing costs still paid out-of-pocket. These programs, for an annual membership fee, will provide the same products, prescriptions, and tools for discounted prices. The cost difference can be as much as 25% to 50% versus the retail charged in veterinary offices and pet supply stores. These programs primarily serve preventative health needs for pets and don’t do much for reactive health care once the pet has a condition. They also usually require members to go to certain providers and pet supply vendors. This in turn provides a second income to these programs as they take a fee for driving business to specific businesses that give the discounts to members. Financial aid is available to specific pet owners that meet low-income criteria. Pet humane non-profit organizations will have support programs that can help. These will not necessarily be advertised as they can only help a few owners at a time locally, but asking a local SPCA can provide some opportunities. Charitable veterinarians will also help out a bit for immediate emergencies to at least help stabilize an injured pet or to cover the cost of euthanizing when significant help can’t be afforded. However, owners should not rely on these types of financial aid being available. In most cases finances will be the burden of the pet owner entirely.
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