Owning any pet can be a fun adventure, but if something happens or goes wrong, you could be staring at a huge vet bill—and that bill can increase dramatically if you happen to own an exotic pet such as bearded dragons, leopard geckos, or another reptile that can only be treated by vets with specific knowledge.

There are ways you can alleviate some of the financial burdens of an unexpected veterinary bill, including pet insurance and credit cards. Generally speaking, pet insurance is likely the best option. Learn why you may want to obtain pet insurance for your exotic animal, even if it comes with a monthly premium.

Credit cards and other options may not cover everything

A pet surgery can cost thousands of dollars, which means you may not be able to rely on your credit card for it all if you have a lower credit limit. You may be able to put some of the vet bill on there, but you’ll likely still have some unpaid portion. On top of that, you will end up paying more than the cost of the surgery as you will have to pay interest on the balance of your credit card. A pet insurance plan may entail a monthly premium, but it’s the way to go if a pet parent wants to know that their gecko or bearded dragon is taken care of in the case of an illness.

Many people try other options such as fundraising on online sites like GoFundMe, but it is not a guarantee that you’ll end up receiving all the money you need. GoFundMe also takes a percentage of the money raised. You’ll already feel panic about the treatment your family member needs, and the added stress of worrying over these options will not help the situation either.

Pet insurance can provide you with a safety net

When your kitten starts acting strange or your gecko reptile isn’t eating properly, even though you bought premium Dubia roaches for sale, it can be alarming, especially if you don’t have money stored away in your savings account. After making sure that you bought the best feeders and breeders for your Dubia roach colony, you’re still left pick up the bill when your reptile is look green around the gills. In fact, nearly 70 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 stored away in their savings, according to Statista. If you end up with a high vet bill, then that can be a scary situation if you do not have the money to pay to save your older pet from their illness or injury.

If, however, you have a pet insurance policy in place that will help cover the expense, then you may have a chance at getting your pet treated. You can choose your level of coverage, and some policies will also cover routine appointments and treatments such as vaccinations, preventive care, dental, and more. Having this policy can give you peace of mind as an exotic pet parent.

The policy won’t be a huge drain on finances.

You may think that a pet insurance policy will cost you a lot of money per month, but typically, pet insurance is not as expensive as a policy for a human would be. According to Business Insider, the average pet insurance policy in 2019 for a puppy or dog was $48.78, and was $29.16 per month for a kitten or older cat. Depending on breed and type, of course, that cost varied. For an exotic pet, your cost may be a bit more a month, but could help save your pet in the event something happens.

As with any other insurance policy, it is best to shop around and look for the best value for you. You should also check out their reviews online to see if they consistently help their customers and do a good job. Organizations like the North American Pet Health Association carefully vet and examine pet insurance providers and give their information on their site. Don’t just pick the first company you find. Make sure they have experience helping exotic pets and will be the best option for your pet.

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