By Jonathan Wainberg, SVP and General Manager, Pet, Synchrony
Humans and their pets: it’s more than a lovefest. Half of pet parents say their pets are as much a part of their family as a human member, according to Pew Research Center. As a result, many pet parents want the same level of healthcare for their pets as they expect for themselves, including high-quality treatments, advanced medical procedures, wellness programs, and, more recently, holistic and alternative therapies, including acupuncture.
It doesn’t end there. One survey cited that 58 percent of respondents would donate a kidney to their pet to ensure their pets’ health, if they could.
Besides providing unconditional love and companionship, pets are good for our own health. They can reduce loneliness and depression, and can decrease pet parents’ blood pressure and anxiety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It’s no wonder there’s an organization — Human and Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) — dedicated to advancing “the vital role of the human-animal bond in the health and well-being of people, pets, cultures and communities.” Synchrony joined forces with HABRI to provide pets the care they need over their lifetimes.
Managing the Rising Costs of Pet Health Care
Unfortunately, pet healthcare costs are rising. According to Synchrony’s Lifetime of Care Study, the lifetime cost of pet healthcare can range from $20K-$55K for dogs and $15K-$45K for cats. The study also found that 30 million U.S. households are ill-prepared to handle these costs.
To address the rising costs of treatments, vaccinations, tests, and surgeries — including everything from routine check-ups to unexpected emergencies — veterinarian practices are increasingly offering flexible financing to help pet parents give their pets the medical attention needed. Here are three options to consider:
- Credit cards targeted for pet care. CareCredit offers a way to pay for routine veterinary appointments, treatments, surgeries, and even emergencies, with different payment options that work with a pet parent’s budget.
- Pet health insurance. Pets Best can help pet parents afford treatments and protect against major financial setbacks that are often an unfortunate result of an emergency. Pets Best will reimburse pet parents for veterinary bills when a pet gets sick or injured.
- Flexible payment plans. These plans can help spread the cost of expensive surgeries or treatments over several months.
Giving your pet the healthiest life is the best gift — and will go a long way in enhancing your bond.
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