One adverse reaction to a rabies shot, and the vet bill was nearly $31,000.
“In that crisis it’s very easy to hand over your credit card and say, ‘Save my dog,’” said Roxanne, owner of Lilly, her beloved border collie, in The Outline. “It was probably not a very smart thing I did. But she was the dog of my lifetime.”
Although a $31,000 vet bill is uncommon, many pet owners could experience a pet health emergency like this one that requires testing and veterinary hospitalization—both of which still bear a high price tag.
Modern-day pet ownership fuels a large market, with the American Pet Products Association reporting that vet care and product sales in the United States reached $31.4 billion in 2020. And while some of that spending surely reflects our growing love for our pets, two important aspects are driving these higher vet expenditures:
- Technical and medical veterinary advancements help pets live longer.
- A longer pet life expectancy could lead to more vet visits for chronic ailments and opportunities for potential emergencies.
Yet, for most pet owners, keeping a pet happy and healthy – regardless of cost – is vital. And although almost every pet owner can attest to the beneficial effects of pet ownership, pets can provide especially important emotional and mental health benefits for seniors: A dog’s daily walks and yearly vet visits, for example, encourage seniors to socialize. In fact, a 2019 survey created by Home Instead Senior Care found that 66% of surveyed seniors experienced an “improved mood” thanks to their pets, and 86% of seniors would feel lonelier and less happy without their pets.
Thankfully, Pawp, a pet insurance alternative, provides members with a pet emergency fund to keep pets healthy and to keep owners from experiencing the financial panic that Roxanne encountered with Lilly.
Care for both emergencies and daily concerns
Providing a $3,000 fund for one pet emergency each year, Pawp members can easily access their emergency fund by placing a simple video call to a Pawp vet. Once the vet confirms the situation is critical and approves the use of the fund, the member can admit the pet to any vet clinic or hospital in the U.S. within four hours. Once the pet receives treatment, Pawp pays the vet directly so the member doesn’t incur any out-of-pocket expenses. Plus, there are no co-pays, deductibles or credit checks (and you don’t pay the money back). That kind of peace of mind is especially valuable during an emergency:
“Pawp saved my senior girl’s life!” said Dorcas K., in an online review. “In less than 10 minutes, our emergency fund was activated. We rushed her to the ER, and she stayed in ICU. Pawp paid $3,000, which is a lifesaver! We are forever grateful and thankful we enrolled in Pawp. Best thing we ever did.”
In addition to having access to Pawp’s yearly emergency fund, Pawp members also have unlimited 24/7 text and video call access to pet experts and licensed vets through Pawp’s online vet clinic, with no wait times or appointments required. Because more than 60% of pet issues can be solved with an online vet, customers can use this feature to access Pawp’s highly qualified veterinary professionals and ask them questions about their pet’s health, behavior, nutrition and more—saving them not only time and a trip to the vet’s office but the cost of an expensive vet bill.
A single membership costs a flat fee of $19/month and protects up to six pets within a household at no extra cost, and unlike traditional pet insurance, Pawp doesn’t have breed, age or pre-existing conditions restrictions. Plus, the service is not only user-friendly but also easily accessible, regardless of technology skill level.
Pet ownership with peace of mind
Of course, seniors should always talk to their veterinarian early and often about any budget restraints. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that by discussing financial limitations in advance, the vet can make recommendations to provide the most efficient use of a person’s financial resources. Some vets also offer deferred payments, payment plans, financing options or credit plans.
As a pet insurance alternative, however, Pawp can help alleviate many of these budget considerations, offering its valuable plan for just $19 a month, which covers not only pet emergencies but also a source of expert advice and a second opinion for day-to-day pet questions and concerns.
Whether the senior in your life has just adopted a new kitten or is caring for an older dog with health issues of its own, Pawp offers high-quality pet care at a fraction of the cost—allowing every older adult the companionship of pet ownership without the stress of financial concerns.