Saving Our Pets

Q. As a pet owner, am I a bad person if I don’t have the money to do whatever it takes to save or extend my pet’s life?

A. No, of course not. As long as you’ve given your pet the best life you could, that’s all they ask of you. It certainly is your responsibility as a pet owner to make sure you can provide and pay for basic veterinary care to your animal, along with food, toys, and lots of love. But not everyone can foot the bill for, say, a kidney transplant for their cat, or an amputation for their dog. Could you put it on a credit card? Would that hurt you financially? If you do pay for a high-cost surgery, will you be able to stay with and care for your pet while it recovers at home? You have to make those decisions, in consultation with your vet. But don’t be shy about asking your veterinarian about all the options available to you. You may want to set up a separate savings account, like a pet emergency fund, to prepare for inevitable medical costs for your pet(s).

Billfold pal Tess Vigeland answers the very tough question of what we should consider when our pets get sick, but we don’t have the money saved to take care of their medical bills. (For a real life account, see this story Jordan wrote for us last month.)

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