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Guide to Pet Financing

Guide to Pet Financing
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Sulaiman Abdur-RahmanUpdated June 23, 2022
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Whether you own a cat, dog, or other lovable creature, pet financing can help you cover emergency veterinarian expenses. Pets can be expensive to own and maintain, often costing hundreds of dollars a year between food and routine health checkups.A pet MRI can cost more than $2,000, which may be necessary to diagnose neurological issues. Pet surgery financing can cover the costs of invasive procedures, such as removing brain tumors that an MRI may have detected. A personal loan may help you finance these expenses.In addition to pet care financing, consumers can borrow money to buy exotic animals, including parrots and horses. Below we highlight the typical costs of maintaining a household pet.

Typical Costs For Different Types of Pets

Here are some typical pet maintenance costs across different species:


The ASPCA says annual pet care costs for a cat can run up to $1,149. This includes expenses for food, litter, toys, and routine medical costs. You may face greater costs depending on your cat’s dietary needs. Maintaining a specialized wet food diet, for example, can cost more than $2,000 a year.


The educational website says you can spend $85 per month maintaining a pet bunny. This includes expenses for litter, hay, and vegetables. As lovable as they can be, pet rabbits may cause property damage from time to time. You may have to repair or replace certain household items if your rabbit gnawed on your personal accessories.


The ASPCA says annual pet care costs for a dog can run up to $1,391. This includes expenses for food, toys, and routine medical costs. In some cases you may need to spend more than $100 on high-quality dog food each month if your pooch requires a specialized diet.Recommended: Your Options for Financing a Fence


Taking care of a pet lizard can cost you about $75 per month. Some lizards, including bearded dragons, can live up to 12 years. Bearded dragons generally eat a mixture of insects and vegetables. Maintaining a safe habitat for your reptilian friend can be taxing in terms of cleaning and disinfecting its tank on a regular basis.


Owning and maintaining a pet snake can cost you up to $740 per year. Such maintenance expenses can include the cost of food and routine health checkups. Maintaining a safe and clean habitat for your snake, including proper lighting and heating, can be a taxing endeavor. These slithery creatures regularly shed their skin several times a year and may feast on rodents once or twice a week.


Owning a horse can be costly in terms of maintenance expenses. Caring for a horse and providing it with sufficient hay and grain can cost you more than $300 a month. The lifespan of a horse is generally measured in decades, with some living beyond the age of 40. 


A parrot is an exotic bird that can cost owners up to $2,000 a year to maintain as a domestic pet. Maintaining a parrot can include regular cleaning of its cage and giving it fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts for nourishment. Parrots have long lifespans on average — with some reaching the age of 50 and beyond.

Reasons to Consider Using a Personal Loan for Pet Financing

Here are some reasons to consider using a personal loan for pet financing:
  • Covering emergency veterinary expenses 
  • Financing the purchase of critical items to establish a healthy pet habitat
  • Borrowing money to buy an exotic pet
  • Covering the costs of international pet travel
There are various personal loan types you may consider when looking for pet financing. As mentioned above, a personal loan can help you cover emergency vet expenses or cover the costs of traveling internationally with your pet.The way a personal loan works is you receive a lump sum of money known as the loan principal. You must repay the principal over a set term and any interest charges and fees that may apply.Borrowers may have great versatility on how to spend the loan money. Among the different ways to use personal loans is spending the money on expenses related to pet maintenance.A repayment term on a personal loan can range from 12 months to seven years. Some lenders may charge origination fees and daily simple interest on the loan. Personal loans can be secured with collateral or unsecured without pledging any asset as collateral. Any personal property you own, such as a car, can serve as collateral. You may need good credit to qualify for an unsecured personal loan with no collateral. Failing to pay and defaulting on a personal loan can have a major impact on your credit score. Lenders may also seize your collateral if you default on a secured personal loan. Paying off the loan in full without missing a payment can benefit your credit score.Lenders may approve personal loan applications within minutes of receiving the application in some cases. In other cases, however, a lender may review an application for several days or one week before making a final decision on whether to approve or deny the application. Lenders may give you several ways to check your personal loan application status, including going online or contacting the lender by telephone.

Other Pet Financing Options

Below we highlight additional pet financing options you may consider:

Credit Card

You may use a credit card for pet care financing. Every credit card account has a predetermined credit limit capping how much you can charge on the card. Some creditors may offer credit cards that feature a 0% promotional interest rate on purchases for up to 21 months. This may be the best pet financing solution for you if you need to cover unexpected pet care expenses without exhausting your personal savings.Cardholders are expected to repay their credit card debts over time and can make monthly payments that meet or exceed the minimum payment due. If your card doesn’t have a 0% promotional rate, you may still be able to avoid interest charges by paying your statement balance in full each billing cycle.

Personal Savings

Consumers with available personal savings may consider using those funds instead of borrowing from a lender. A private lender may offer personal loans with interest rates as high as 35.99%. Any money you have deposited in a checking or savings account can be withdrawn and spent on pet-related expenses without incurring interest charges.Using your personal savings to cover emergency vet expenses doesn’t impact your debt-to-income ratio and doesn’t require a hard pull inquiry into your credit report. Some savings accounts, however, may place limits on the number of withdrawals or transactions you can make during any monthly statement cycle.

Personal Loans for Pet Financing

Taking out a personal loan for pet financing can help you cover unexpected pet-related expenses. There are several advantages and disadvantages of a personal loan. Among the pros and cons is that personal loans can help you build credit but may feature high rates of interest.If you need a personal loan for pet financing, Lantern by SoFi can help. Just provide basic information about yourself, and Lantern can guide you in the process to apply for a personal loan with the lender of your choice. Check your interest rates for a personal loan today and see if you prequalify.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pet financing options for bad credit?
What is the average pet care financing cost?
Is it possible to use a personal loan for pet financing?
Photo credit: iStock/svetikd

About the Author

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman writes about personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and other personal finance topics for Lantern. He’s the recipient of more than 10 journalism awards and served as a New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists board member. An alumnus of the Philadelphia-based Temple University, Abdur-Rahman is a strong advocate of the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
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