Would you go into debt for a puppy? It might sound like a silly thing to some, but there are thousands of pet owners out there who disagree. In fact, puppy lending has turned into big business with more websites offering these loans springing up all of the time.
What Is A Puppy Loan?
First, what exactly is a puppy loan anyway? Essentially it is just a personal loan that is marketed towards pet owners. It is an unsecured installment loan just like any other, but it is advertised as a way to pay for pet expenses.
Some of these puppy loan websites, such as Scratch Pay, will work directly with veterinarians and pet shops. They allow the borrower to get their pet or pet services and then pay the provider directly. This allows for an easy transaction for the consumer who only has to fill out one short application to get their financing needs handled.
Other websites, like Puppy Lending help consumers get more direct pet financing. When a borrower receives a “puppy loan”, their lender will deposit money directly into their account. They can then use the funds to pay for their pet expenses or buy their new pet. The advantage here is that they can use any service provider, even those that choose not to work with finance companies.
Should You Accept A Puppy Loan?
While it might seem foolish to some, going into debt for an animal, many pet owners gladly take on this burden. There are a number of reasons for this such as the following.
Big Veterinary Care Bills
Standard vet care is rather affordable, with most pet owners spending a few hundred dollars a year on routine vet visits. Emergency care fees are an entirely different animal, so to speak. Emergency services can easily reach the thousands, money that many people just do not have on hand.
Faced with the possibility of losing their precious pet, most pet owners would gladly take on the burden of a puppy loan.
High Cost Of Puppies From Breeders
If you have ever priced a purebred animal from a breeder, you know that they can be expensive. With the recent pandemic, things have only gotten worse.
So many people are now working at home and with that freedom comes the new ability to be able to take care of a pet. This has greatly increased the demand for dogs while the supply has stayed relatively the same. The result is sky-high dog prices.
A good example of this is the English Bulldog. This is an animal that is notoriously hard to breed and has always been an expensive dog to buy. With the pandemic, prices have increased greatly and a puppy that would have cost $2500 on average a year ago now sells for $3500. That is a 40 percent increase in price in just one year’s time.
For many, the only way to afford such an animal these days is to finance it, and that is exactly what they are doing.
Are There Any Alternatives
There is almost always another way to go about things and these alternatives may very well be better than an expensive loan. It just depends on what you need the pet loan for.
If you need the money to pay for veterinary care, consider negotiating a payment plan with your vet. Most, but not all, veterinarians care just as much about their patients as they do their wallets. You might be surprised at just how willing they may be to work with you, especially if they are a small practice.
Another option is to look for a veterinary school in your area. Should you find one, you could likely get treatment for your pet for a fraction of what an established veterinary clinic would charge. Yes, these will be students, but they will be under the direction of a qualified and experienced veterinarian.
If you are looking to purchase a new puppy and can not afford it, you should consider turning to rescue instead of the breeder. Every breed has a rescue that is devoted to caring for it and the adoption fee will typically be far less than what a breeder would charge you. Most rescues charge around $500 to adopt an animal.
Do be prepared to be thoroughly vetted, however. Rescues are notoriously picky about who they let adopt their animals. They will likely require approval from your landlord or HOA and will visit your home to make sure that you are a suitable candidate. Some will even require you to commit to training if the dog has special needs. Still, it is an affordable way to get your new full-bred puppy, and you will be doing a good thing.