We now accept automatic monthly payments for all of our Right Start Kitten and Puppy Packages, our Preventive Care PLUS Packages, and add-on packages when a Preventive Care PLUS or Right Start package is purchased.
We do not offer payment plans for any other services.
There is a one-time enrollment fee of $25. The first payment and the enrollment fee are due at the first visit. Subsequent payments are due on the same date each month. We do not automatically re-enroll pets into packages each year. If you renew the package or upgrade, we waive the enrollment fee.
Failed payments incur a fee of $25. No services will be rendered until the account is made current. We will try to bill your account 4 times within 2 weeks to make the account current. Two failed monthly payments will cause the full balance to be due immediately. The full balance is the difference between the FULL PRICE of the services already delivered and what you have paid so far, minus the $25 enrollment fee. If we end up owing you, we will contact you immediately to issue a refund. If you owe us, and the balance is not paid in full within 30 days of cancellation of services, your account will be sent to collections. You will not be permitted to enroll in payment plans again. Once the account is made current, you will be able continue being our customer, but payment will be due in full at the time of service.
For people who need a little more flexibility in the payment plans, we recommend CareCredit. You can apply for CareCredit here.
If you are interested in the monthly payment plan option, please email us. We offer both automatic ACH withdrawals from your checking account through GoCardless, and automatic credit card payments through Stripe. Both services are PCI compliant. We never ever see nor do we want to see your payment information.
If for some reason your pet needs to drop out of a package, you will be charged or credited only for the services performed. Due to the law, we are unable to issue refunds or credit for prescription medications.
Paying for Veterinary Care
I know it doesn't seem like it sometimes, but everyone in the veterinary profession tries to make veterinary care as affordable as possible. Routine preventive care and being proactive when your pet is sick are the best ways to keep your veterinary bills down. For example, $480 may seem like a lot for a Basic Right Start Package, but the vaccines can save you thousands of dollars if your dog gets parvo or your cat gets panleukopenia- if they even survive the infection. $100 a year seems like a lot for heart worm prevention and intestinal parasite control, but a visit to the emergency clinic for a blood transfusion because your dog or cat has hookworm anemia costs easily over $1000. If you had taken the pet to a vet when you first noticed the dark tarry stool indicating blood in the feces, a simple $30 dewormer would have taken care of the problem. That's what I mean by being proactive- don't wait until the pet is trying to die to get any abnormality checked out!
Any pet emergency can easily cost over $1000. Some clinics require a deposit of $500 or more before they even will see your pet. Unfortunately they had to make that a policy because too many people never paid the bills. When some people don't pay, everyone else pays more in the form of higher prices, and that's not fair. Like I said, we're trying to keep costs down folks! Your vet is responsible for providing your pet's care but YOU are responsible for paying for it.
Responsible pet ownership means being prepared for emergencies. Despite everything you do to keep your pet safe, all the preventive care, being proactive, stuff happens. The petsitter's kid lets your dog out the front door and he gets hit by a car. Your cat eats your daughter's hairbands and develops an intestinal blockage.
I recommend having a way to pay at least $3000 in emergency veterinary bills. That covers most recoverable problems, including major GI surgery or orthopedic surgery in case of accident. There are a few options:
Keep the money available in savings. My husband and I are working Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball program, so we are trying really hard not do anything that puts us further into debt. Before we started our debt payoff plan, we did what Dave recommends and saved $1000 for emergencies. Being that we have 5 pets, 3 of whom are seniors, I decided we'd save a little more. That money we saved can be used for any emergency, like when our home's foundation tried to collapse last year (grrrr).
That said, I also have a CareCredit card, just in case. It would only be used if we didn't have enough money in savings. Like last year, after I took a lot of money out of savings to pay for the foundation repair (grrrr). If something had happened to a pet before we rebuilt the savings account, I'd have used the CareCredit card, but I wouldn't have liked it!
Some people keep a credit card available for their pet's care. That works too, as long as you keep it empty and use it just for pets. One of my friends has her pet's credit card frozen in a block of ice in her freezer so she isn't tempted to use it for anything else LOL! Another has a credit card that gives cash back for most purchases. She buys her pets' food and such on the credit card and pays it off every month. When she gets enough cash back, the pets get new toys.
Some of my clients have pet insurance. I'm a bit of a cynic but it works for some people. Keep in mind that most pet insurance works on reimbursement- you have to pay the veterinary hospital up front, then wait for the insurance company to reimburse you. If you don't have the money up front, your pet won't get the care it needs. Some insurance companies do pay the veterinary hospital directly and quickly but you need to ask each veterinary hospital if that's something they'll do. Some won't because pet insurance companies like to weasel out of claims just like human insurance companies, then the hospital doesn't get paid and that sucks for everyone. Most people pay WAY more for insurance than they will ever get back. And that is also why so many companies are getting into pet insurance now- it's freaking easy money for them!
If you would like pet insurance, it is best to sign up as soon as you obtain the pet, the younger the better. That way, there are no pre-existing conditions for which they will not reimburse you. Certain breeds are much more expensive to cover than others because they are prone to many expensive medical problems- like any pet with a smushed face (brachycephalics). Some pet insurance companies will not pay for congenital defects like hip or elbow dysplasia, which can be really expensive to treat. There is a ton of fine print to read and you practically have to be a lawyer to understand it all. This website has a nice overview of pet insurance and compares different companies: pet insurance review.
If the worst happens and you find yourself in an emergency situation with your pet and not enough money to cover the bills, you can try to borrow money from friends or relatives or even your church, set up a gofundme page (be aware that you may not get the money in time in an emergency situation), or sell something of value. I have had more than one client sell a vehicle to pay for their pet's care. Drastic but they really wanted to save their pets and had no other way to pay for the care they needed.
We hope you'll never have a pet emergency or serious illness but hope is not a good financial plan. Be prepared and make a stressful situation easier to deal with by having the funds available to pay for your pet's care.