How You Can Afford Your Pet’s Care When You Become Unemployed

With the current job market being what it is in the U.S., no one can foretell if they are going to lose their job in the next year. If you are currently successful and doing well, there is still a chance that something could go wrong in the company you work for, and you could be out of work. If you just got a puppy or kitten for your family and then lose your job, you may be wondering how you will take care of your pet in the coming months. You may even be considering surrendering your animal to the local shelter. Before things go that far, here are some options which can help you take care of your pet.

Spay and Neuter Clinics

These are clinics offered by veterinarians as a charitable means of supporting pet owners. The operations may be free, have a very small fee attached to them, or offered on a sliding income scale. They do fill up quickly and are often sponsored by your local animal shelters, which try to prevent an influx of unwanted, abandoned or excess animals. Call your local shelters to see if this service is offered in your area and what the costs are, if any.


Some shelters also provide a free bag of dog or cat food to pet owners who are short on cash but are worried about having to surrender their pets. Shelters typically want to help pet owners keep their pets, so this program is fairly common. You will have to call and set up an appointment to explain your situation. Be sure to bring documentation of your unemployment, such as an unemployment stub or your pink slip from your previous employer to your interview. Most shelters can only help you with a bag of food once every few months because they rely heavily on donated pet food themselves, but if you are in a very tight pinch and don't want Fluffy or Fido to starve, this program is a big help.


Usually by the time you get a puppy or kitten, it has already been vaccinated against most diseases and illnesses that would cause him or her to become fatally ill. Additional vaccinations for rabies, feline leukemia, distemper (for cats and dogs kept primarily outdoors) and feline HIV are given much later in your pet's life, which gives you time to save a little here and there. To help pet owners with costs, some veterinarians will provide vaccinations on a sliding fee scale or take five or ten dollars a month until the vaccinations have been paid for. It does not hurt to explain to your vet what your situation is and see if he or she is willing to help in some way.

If you have questions about the care of your pets, contact a veterinarian like those at Fischer Animal Hospital.