Not to be morbid or anything, but eventually, we’ll all die – and probably in the most heart-wrenching situations, we’ll be leaving our beloved animal companions behind. In less extreme cases, we or our furry friends will be sent to the hospital for any number of reasons. Maybe we lose a job or get trapped in a pyramid scheme and lose money – it happens to the best of us.

The thought of how many zeros and decimals we’ll be seeing when we look at the hospital bill makes us sweat bullets. Sometimes, we think we’re prepared for whatever may happen, but when the moment comes… yeah, not so much.

We have a few ideas on how to save up for a dark, rainy, potentially catastrophic day.

Meds at work

Set aside a medical budget. Having a budget for vaccines, neutering, and deworming is important, but the idea is to also have a medical budget for unforeseen circumstances.

If an accident were to happen to your pet, you wouldn’t be scrambling over where to get the necessary funds because it’s tucked away just for that kind of situation.

In short, have a budget, then have an extra budget. A friend who had a cat companion shared, “I had extra saved just in case something would happen to [my cat] Kiara. And, hey would you look at that, something happened.”

B move

Yes, “B” as in budget. Like the name suggests, one of the most important things to do is to actually have a monthly or yearly budget handy. This is mostly a budget for regular expenses like food, treats if needed, grooming services, and essentials like litter or diapers.

This does sound like something you should be doing regularly, right? Right. But, if you have an idea of how much you’ll actually need every month or every other month for supplies, it makes budget allocation easier. Regular expenses become easy to manage and you are better equipped to set aside some amount for emergencies.

Low budget? No problem

The idea is less to save and more to prepare.

Animal shelters are sometimes where people look at when finding low-cost veterinary services. It’s handy to have a list of animal shelters and organizations near you that offer affordable vaccinations, among other veterinary services.

While you may still need a regular vet, these shelter vet clinics are more for regular, non-urgent cases. It really helps, especially if you find yourself in a tight spot.

Petsurance

Friend A: I wish there was pet insurance in the Philippines. I have so many cats, and then there’s my dog.

Friend B: Can’t you put them under your insurance, or whoever it is who watches them when you work?

This conversation brought about the brilliant idea of possibly adding a guardian or caregiver for animal companions to my friend’s life insurance policy.

While it may sound morbid, insurance benefits not only you, but also your furry friend. By naming a guardian or caregiver for your pet in case of The Worst Case Scenario in your life, an insurance policy gives you the assurance that the animals you love will be taken care of properly if things get a bit hairy (no pun intended).

Jarring experience

Here’s something that’s a bit smaller in size: a safety jar.

A friend of mine keeps a jar in her room. She labelled it specifically for her pets and everyday, she would add P20. “Saan aabot ang P20 mo? (Where will your P20 get you?) Your pet, that’s where.”

Filling up a jar with small bills may not seem like much at first, but when you find yourself in a bit of a pickle, you’ll find out just how far they can get you.

This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s July 2019 issue.

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