Easing the Strain of Budgeting for Your Dog's Cancer Care and Treatment

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Pets are beloved and often essential family members. Many owners make no distinction between their children, whether they be of the two or four-legged variety. From food choices to engaging toys and comfortable bedding, caring dog owners are often faced with daily decisions about what is right for Fido’s health and wellbeing.

When it comes to a cancer diagnosis in your pet, the choices can be overwhelming and the hurdles seemingly unsurmountable to extend your beloved pet’s length and quality of life. One of the largest concerns of dog owners is affordability and funding of that much-needed care. Few of us have unlimited resources to spare and the costs of cancer treatment can pile up fast. All hope is not lost, however. Here we’ve compiled a wealth of handy advice and potential alternative methods for raising that much needed capital to help get your dog on the road to recovery after a diagnosis of cancer.

Compile All Costs and Treatment Options

The first step to putting together any kind of budget is gathering a list of all actual and potential costs. Convention treatments such as surgery, radiation and therapy can range between $5,000 – $8,000 with costs rising for a combination or advanced or experimental treatments. In addition, there will often be regular follow up visits and cancer screenings as well as lifelong medications in some cases. Don’t forget to add in costs such as travel if the vet is a great distance away or lost time off work.

When putting together the budget for your dog’s cancer treatment, ask your veterinarian for the full picture of what may be needed to provide quality treatment. Veterinarian’s often have dedicated front office staff that are willing to work with you regarding low, mid and high estimates and most offices should also be able to itemize out costs so that you can see exactly when and where funds will be needed. Once you’ve compiled a list of your total potential expenditures you’ll have a better idea of which method will be right to help finance treatment.

Seek Additional Funding Sources

If the amount of your dog’s cancer treatment will exceed your available funds there may be other payment methods to consider. For starters, many vet offices offer payment plans or financing. Several commercial companies also often credit cards or lines of finance specifically for veterinary services, often at much lower rates or with special financing offers that can help ease the burden of added expenses or fees.

If credit isn’t in the cards for you and your doggie family, consider asking friends or family to chip in. Social funding sites have experienced a large upswing and can allow a large network of people to all contribute smaller amounts in order to help ease the individual burden. Many of these sites do ask for a small fee for the service and you should ensure you’re dealing with a reputable company prior to entrusting them with any financial information.

Difficult Quality of Life Considerations

When speaking about budgeting for your pet’s cancer treatment it’s also important to discuss quality of life considerations. As a loving dog owner, you never want to put a dollar value on the happiness of your pet. Unfortunately, however, statistics show that upwards of 50% of dogs over the age of 10 will receive a cancer diagnosis as they age. For some older animals, owners may want to consider if the stress, strain and pain that may be caused by invasive or lengthy procedures provides valuable quality of life for their pet. These are decisions that need to be made on an individual basis after careful consultation with your veterinarian and owners should feel free to ask about probabilities of favorable outcomes so that they can weigh these factors against both financial and personal costs to you and your pet.

The Final Word on Budgeting for Your Pet’s Cancer Treatment

Dog owners should know that budgeting for your pet’s cancer treatment isn’t as insurmountable a task as it seems. Veterinarians will often offer special financing packages, either in house or through reputable financial companies. In addition, pet owners should think outside of the box when it comes to raising funds with the help of friends and family. Starting off with a concise and thorough list of expenses will make the process easier and will help ward off surprises when you receive the medical bill. Finally, any cancer diagnosis in your beloved pooch should open the door to an honest discussion with your vet regarding quality of life and potential positive outcomes. Keeping these items in mind will help make budgeting easier and will greatly alleviate stress, helping free up quality time with your canine family member.