With current inflationary pressures, many Australian households are feeling the pinch financially which is why it’s essential to know how you can prepare for, and manage, pet healthcare costs. 

Research from Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) shows 68% of pet owners had considered not going to the vet when needed, a decision driven by cost concerns*. In addition, research commissioned by PetSure shows 40% of pet owners would consider economic euthanasia if a veterinary treatment cost exceeded $3,000#. 

Pets are unpredictable, so you never know when you might need to cover treatment costs for an accident or illness so here are our top tips for managing pet healthcare costs. 

  1. Speak with a vet as soon as possible 

If you’re concerned about your pet’s health, you should always speak to a vet. And in many cases, seeing a vet sooner, particularly for a minor concern could save money – if treatment is delayed, the illness or injury could progress to something more serious requiring more costly treatment.  

  1. Be upfront with your vet about your financial situation 

If you find yourself at the vet clinic, be upfront with your vet about costs and your ability to cover veterinary costs. This might include enquiring early about the estimated treatment costs, notifying the vet of any financial constraints you may have and disclosing whether or not you have a pet insurance policy. Discussing finances early on during your vet visit can help avoid any surprises or difficult conversations later on about treatment costs. 

  1. Consider a GapOnly®-ready policy, to reduce upfront out-of-pocket costs 

Available Australia-wide, GapOnly® is an innovative payment solution that allows you to claim on the spot, simply paying the gap**. Claiming with GapOnly® helps reduce your upfront out-of-pocket expense, which is useful from a cashflow perspective because you don’t have to pay the full invoice upfront and wait to be reimbursed later. 

If you’re in the market for a pet insurance policy, consider a GapOnly® ready policy and search to find your nearest GapOnly® vet clinic. 

  1. Consider vet telehealth for non-emergencies   

Online veterinary services offer access to video and live message consultations, where you can connect with qualified vets for advice and triage. Vet telehealth services, like VetChat, are useful for non-emergencies and queries like gastrointestinal issues (i.e. if your pet ate something it shouldn’t have) or for mild skin irritations or issues. 

VetChat consultations are complimentary with a majority of PetSure administered policies, or are otherwise available for a small fee, which means you can save on any unnecessary in-person consultation fees. However, it’s important to note that vet telehealth is complimentary to in-person veterinary care. 

  1. Purchase pet prescription medications online for cost savings 

In some cases, you could save money by buying pet prescription medications through an online pet pharmacy. Buying from an online pet pharmacy may be suitable when purchasing medications to help treat things like allergic skin conditions, arthritis pain, or thyroid conditions. 

However, online pharmacies are not suitable for emergency situations where the medication needs to be administered immediately. If you are unsure where to buy from, enquire directly with your vet. 

  1. Consider lowering your pet insurance premium 

If you’re struggling to afford your existing pet insurance payments, there are options available to help minimise costs, such as lowering your premium by changing levels of cover or opting for higher excess options.  


*Animal Medicines Australia report (2022), “Pets in Australia: a national survey of pets and their people” 

# PetSure research on customer’s sentiment towards vet bills (Sept – Oct 2022) 

~ Based on PetSure claims data for the 2022 calendar year 

**The gap means the difference between the vet’s invoice and the eligible claim benefit under your policy 

VetChat is a related company of PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd 

Testimonials and customer experience may vary depending on individual circumstances. Claims are assessed subject to policy terms and conditions. 

GapOnly ® is a trademark owned by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure). Insurance products are issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584

Pet insurance can help by covering a portion of the eligible vet bill if the unexpected happens. Because it is difficult to predict the costs of veterinary care, it can help to have measures in place to help prepare for the unexpected. Check out our partner network and explore our policy tools to find a pet insurance policy.

Not all conditions or items are covered by Pet Insurance. Refer to the applicable Product Disclosure Statement for information about coverage and exclusions.