Charities provide help with vet bills to those struggling to make ends meet

While it’s the responsibility of pet owners to ensure they can afford any veterinary treatment their pets may require, we do understand that sometimes people fall on hard times. We know that paying veterinary fees in these circumstances, especially for unplanned emergencies, can be a real concern.

At Vets Now, we always urge pet owners who can’t afford the full range of treatment to speak to our vets and vet nurses to see if they’re able to tailor the treatment options. But for those on benefits who are unable to meet even the most basic costs, help may still be at hand.

Here are some charities who may be able to help with the cost of veterinary treatment. It’s also worth checking out our FAQs on prices and payment.

An image of a dog bowl filled with money for Vets Now article on help with vets bills
Several factors have a bearing on the price of pet insurance


To qualify for free or subsidised treatment, pet owners must be in receipt of certain benefits, such as housing benefit or council tax support, and live within the catchment area of a PDSA hospital or clinic. If your pet is registered with the PDSA, and you require emergency treatment at Vets Now, please advise our emergency call handler, or the clinic staff,  on arrival at the clinic. You will need to bring your registration certificate with you to the clinic. Proof of entitlement to benefits is not sufficient.


The RSPCA has clinics and practices across England which offer reduced cost veterinary assistance to pet owners who meet their criteria.

3. Blue Cross

Blue Cross operates in England and Wales, providing means-tested support to low-income families who live in the catchment area of its hospitals or clinics.

If you need help with vet bills, there are a number of charities who may be able to help

4. Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust provides free and subsidised treatments to pet owners who are homeless or in a housing crisis. The scheme runs in 112 towns and cities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

5. Cats Protection

Cats Protection offers financial assistance to cash-strapped owners wishing to spay or neuter their cat. Unfortunately, they don’t offer further assistance with veterinary procedures or bills.

6. Local charities and organisations

There are also several independent charities which offer help with veterinary expenses. Speak to your daytime vet to find out about those local to you.

Dog owners who are homeless or currently in a housing crisis can receive free and subsidised veterinary care from charities

Note of caution

It’s important to remember that charities are often stretched to the limit, and can’t afford to fund everyone’s veterinary bills. Only apply to a charity for financial help as a last resort, and try to pay as much as you can towards the treatment to ease the pressure on them.

Being prepared for pet emergencies

Pet emergencies can and do happen, often when you’re least expecting them. Our advice is to insure your pet as comprehensively as you can. Read our article on pet insurance for more information. Our FAQs on prices and payment may also be of use.