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📅 Last Updated: April 11, 2023
✏️ Written By Corrina Murdoch
🕵️ Fact-Checked by Caitlin Wood

Whether it’s a present for your children, partner, or yourself, any pet can bring joy to your life and quickly become a part of the family. The only problem is that some pets are quite expensive to purchase, feed, and keep healthy. Nonetheless, the money and effort you invest in them are always worth it. 

If you’re currently dealing with an unexpected pet expense and are interested in learning more about your financing options, Loans Canada has everything you need. 

Financing Options For Veterinary Bills

As mentioned, one of the larger expenses associated with pets is the cost of keeping them healthy. Medical emergencies are often the biggest culprit when it comes to large veterinary bills.  

As necessary as veterinary procedures are, their costs can be well above your income and savings account balance. If that’s the case, don’t worry, because there are many ways to finance those expenses over time, such as:

Finance Your Vet Bills With A Personal Loan

This is a specific amount of money that you can borrow from almost any lender in Canada. If you’re eligible for approval, the personal loan will be deposited as a lump sum directly to your bank account. Your repayment plan would then be broken down into equal installments, which you will gradually pay back with interest. 

Finance Your Vet Bills With A Credit Card

Though not ideal for larger expenses, using revolving credit to tackle veterinary bills is a popular approach. If you use this method of payment, it is best kept for smaller bills or smaller animals that involve less maintenance and healthcare, such as reptiles and rodents.

They are beneficial because you can take advantage of the minimum (or multiple) payment options for each monthly billing cycle. It is especially useful if you are able to repay the amount before it accrues interest. Whenever possible, aim to use a card with a low-interest rate and rewards points.

Finance Your Vet Bills With A Secured Loan

If you’re looking for better rates or are having trouble qualifying for a normal loan due to less-than-perfect finances, you may be able to offer up an asset as collateral, such as a vehicle or other valuable property. This lessens the risk for the lender, so they will often give you better loan terms and conditions. 

Finance Your Vet Bills With A Specialized Pet Loan

While most everyday financing products can be acquired through your local bank or credit union, there are also many organizations in Canada that offer loans that are designed specifically for pet care. Although rates and conditions will vary from lender to lender, a specialized loan may be able to help you cover a greater variety of pet-related costs.

Pet Vet Bill Loans Eligibility Requirements

Accessing a pet care loan is fairly straightforward, it comes with the same eligibility criteria for those looking for other types of financing. 

  1. Firstly, you must be an adult, having reached the majority age in your jurisdiction. 
  2. Two, you must either be a Canadian permanent resident or citizen and be able to provide proof of address. 
  3. Three, you must have a functional bank account and provable income. 
  4. Four, depending on the lender, they may have a minimum credit score you must meet. While some lenders accept bad credit, others will require good credit. However, generally, the higher your credit score, the better terms you will be eligible for. 
  5. And Five, your debt-to-income ratio will also affect your eligibility for pet financing.The higher your ratio, the less money you’ll be able to borrow.

How To Apply For Pet Care Financing? 

Particularly if you decide to apply online, it is fairly easy to apply for pet care financing. The key to finding an amenable loan, regardless of the purpose, is to do thorough research. Use a reputable loan comparison site to ensure that you are getting the best possible terms when it comes to the loan amount, duration, and interest rate. Once you know exactly how much you need, simply follow the below steps:

Step 1 – Review Your Credit Report And Score

When you go to submit an application or funding, the first step is always to look at your credit report and score (an essential habit to maintain healthy finances). By managing your credit profile, you can plan when it’s best to take out the loan and choose lenders who accept borrowers with your credit score. 

If you are pursuing an elective procedure, and have a lower credit score, it may be better to take some time to grow your score. You can do so by making payments in full and on time, paying off your credit card twice a month, and paying down any debt you have. 

Similarly, before applying with any lender, be sure to also evaluate your finances as a whole. By reviewing your finances, you can ensure that the lenders you apply with are ones whose minimum requirements you meet. 

Step 2 – Compare Loan Options

This is when you take the facts you’ve established: loan total, credit score, desired term, etcetera, and do thorough research. An ideal approach is to use loan comparison websites to see what financial services are available. It informs you of the options available to you. Giving you a full picture of the options on the market, you can compare the terms to other options like credit cards or in-house financing. 

Step 3 – Apply and Receive

Once the loan company receives your application, they will review your information and ensure that you meet the requirements for financing. Provided you are approved, you will receive a loan contract (often digitally). In some cases, depending on the amount being lent, you may need to complete the final steps in person at the financial institution. Most alternative lenders don’t have this rule, though, so signing it can be done entirely online. 

After you have signed and submitted the contract, the amount will be transferred based on your agreed-upon method (bank transfer, mailed cheque). The payments will commence at the agreed-upon date, and continue on the regular intervals until the loan term expires and the amount is paid with interest.

Veterinary Bill Financing Costs To Consider

When you are deciding to take out a loan for your pet care bills, there are a few key factors to consider. By understanding all the aspects of your loan, you can make a more responsible decision regarding the loan. Among the things to factor in are: 

Interest Rate

A fairly basic consideration, the higher the interest rate, the more you are going to pay. Though pet care loans tend to have reasonably similar interests between vendors, the actual figure will depend on the borrower. If you have a decent credit score, a stable income and a low amount of debt, then you are likely to get a desirable interest rate. It’s best to shop around since you are likely to find competitive terms available.

Loan Term

Next up is thinking about the duration of the loan itself. Though the vast majority of vendors will offer a minimum or maximum threshold, there is usually some wiggle room. Generally, a longer-term means you will have lower regular payments. However, it results in paying more in interest due to it compounding over time. A shorter loan period means that you pay less in interest, though the payments are higher. Determine which is a good fit for your lifestyle. 

Loan Amount

A key consideration is the amount you need. The vet will typically give you a quote directly, though it may not represent all the costs. For instance, if you need to cover the cost of medication, prescription food, or transportation with the proceeds of the loan, you may need a higher borrowing amount. Determine how much you actually need in terms of financing. Identify loan companies that are able to lend out that amount, a quick way to narrow down your search. Be sure to consider any payments from pet insurance, if you have any for the pet in question. 

Financing Urgency

There are many aspects of pet-care financing to keep in mind, a key one being the time it takes to get the funds. If your pet is in need of urgent assistance, or time-sensitive medical intervention, finding a company that can offer you the cash quickly can be helpful. Conversely, if you are able to wait, there are many businesses that supply the funds within one to two weeks. 

Worried about bad credit? Find out what bad credit lenders are looking for, here

What Costs Does Pet Care Financing Cover? 

There are several forms of pet financing that you can apply for in Canada, some of which may come with conditions that are right or wrong for your particular situation. However, generally, you can use your loan to finance various veterinary procedures and pet-related good and services

Veterinary Procedures

  • Surgeries (hip dysplasia, etc.)   
  • Dermatological care
  • Vaccinations 
  • Rehabilitation
  • Micro-chipping

Pet-Related Goods And Services

  • Bedding/housing (tanks, cages, etc.)
  • Aquarium/terrarium installation & maintenance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Training products/courses
  • Teeth/body cleaning

What Is The Average Cost Of Common Veterinary Visits 

It’s clear that many of the highest pet-related costs are associated with veterinary care. Although these types of expenses are more necessary for some animals, medical conditions are possible when it comes to any pet, so it’s best if you’ve got an appropriate financing method on-hand.

While procedures and treatments will vary in price based on your province, living area, animal species, and chosen clinic (private clinics are often more expensive), some of the most common veterinary costs include but aren’t limited to:

Basic Health$300-$500Depending on what breed and size of animal you have, you can expect to spend an average of $300 – $500 a year on simple but necessary treatments, such as check-ups, parasite checks, and grooming. 
Spaying/Neutering $100-$800Though this is not a mandatory procedure, spaying and neutering helps limit our country’s stray animal population and will usually cost a one-time fee of $100 – $800 (depends mainly on the size of your dog or cat).
Dental Work$200-$7,000Dental hygiene is important for many species. Unfortunately, like with humans, some procedures can be quite pricey. Most exams, tooth extractions, and cleaning services range from $200 – $7,000 (veterinarians may bill you for time, resources, and even the amount of teeth pulled).
Vaccinations $10-$30Basic vaccinations (rabies, deworming, antibiotics, etc.), while cheaper than other procedures, may still range from $10 – $30 per shot. However, many clinics can offer you a bundle cost for several vaccinations at once.

What To Avoid When Looking For Veterinary Care Financing

As awesome as it can be to own the right pet, your personal and financial health is always important. This is why it’s in your best interest to make sure that the lender or service provider you choose to work with is reputable and can provide you with a financing option that meets your needs. 

When looking for the right pet financing, make sure you…

  • Avoid applying for too many loans within a short period of time, this can negatively affect your credit score
  • Avoid taking on a loan you can’t afford or that will put you under financial stress
  • Find a lender that meets your needs and offers a realistic loan and repayment plan

Other Ways To Finance Your Vet Bills

There is more than one approach to financing veterinary expenses.

  • In House Financing – Some veterinary services will offer financing options in-house, in which case you would make monthly payments toward the total amount.  
  • Non-Profits – Another approach is looking into non-profits in the area. You can contact your local Humane Society or SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Particularly for spaying and neutering procedures, most of these agencies make the services financially accessible. These organizations may also be able to help low-income pet owners with affordable veterinary services in the area.

Pet Care Financing FAQs

How fast can I get a loan for my veterinary bills?

Some companies can get you the funds within a business day, provided you offer the direct deposit information for your file. Conversely, more traditional lenders may require five to ten business days in order to send the funds. If you are expecting a payment in the form of a cheque, it can take even longer. 

Should I get pet insurance?

Provided the situation is appropriate, pet insurance can be a very affordable safeguard against unforeseen expenses. If you have a reasonably young pet, free of pre-existing medical conditions, then you can usually get a competitive rate. Be sure to do your research when choosing pet insurance to find the most comprehensive coverage and best price. 

Can I use my personal loan for my vet bills?

Yes, you can use a personal loan for your vet expenses. However, you cannot use your veterinary loan to pay for personal expenses unrelated to your pet’s care. In fact, many pet financing agreements stipulate the specific areas where you can direct the money. Be sure to understand what you can and cannot do with the money in order to avoid any penalty or default.

Find Pet Financing Through Loans Canada

Remember, your pet is a member of the family, so it pays to keep them as healthy and happy as possible, which often means some financing is essential. This is where Loans Canada can help. We can match you with the best sources of pet financing in your area. 

Caitlin Wood Priyanka Correia Lisa Rennie Bryan Daly Cris Ravazzano Margaret Johnson Kale Havervold Liz Enriquez Sean Cooper Veronica Ott Corrina Murdoch Chrissy Kapralos

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