The second is CareCredit. This is a line of credit specifically for use at participating veterinary clinics. Stacy Steele, DVM, of Ocean Shores, Wash. (profiled in “World Vets” in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue) recommends this to her clients, almost none of whom have pet insurance. Like a credit card, this line of credit can be used for routine care and/or extraordinary care. There are no up-front costs and you select the monthly payment option you can handle. Depending on the amount put on the card, you can take from six to 60 months to pay off the balance (check the annual percentage rate before you sign up).
The bottom line: choose the option that will allow you to sleep well, knowing that if your beloved companion requires expensive diagnostics, treatment and care, you have the resources available to pay for them. If you choose pet insurance, read every word of the policy very carefully and understand what the terms mean before you purchase. Then, go have fun with your pup!
On his website, attorney Adam Karp analyzes policies and comments on common pet-insurance provisions, as well as on a wealth of other animal law issues.
Check with your state’s consumer protection division or attorney general’s office and Better Business Bureau regarding individual insurance providers. Make sure they’re licensed to do business in your location and aren’t under investigation or being disciplined for questionable practices.
Rebecca Wallick, a long-time Bark contributing editor, is executive director of McPaws Regional Animal Shelter in McCall, Idaho.