This Weekend Is Exactly Why We Have An Emergency Fund

this is why you need an emergency fundIt never fails. You always need your emergency fund when you least expect it. Lucky for us, we have a fully stocked emergency fund.

So what happened? Our dog got injured on Easter Sunday.

She was playing with my parents dogs and two of her toenails got completely wrecked and had to be removed, which resulted in quite a bit of pain and bleeding for our poor pup Daphne.

Naturally, she choose Easter Sunday to get injured and none of the vets offices around town are open. Except for the emergency vet clinic, of course!

Emergency Vet Clinics Are Expensive!

We called to make sure we could bring her in and were informed of the $115 exam fee that they charge just to get your dog in the door. Then, we’d have to pay for any additional treatment Daphne would need to get her toe nails fixed.

While this is expensive, there is no way we’d let poor Daphne be in pain and bleeding until our normal vet opened up on Monday, so we took her in.

The vet’s office was very nice, as you would expect from an office that charges such high fees, and everyone was super helpful.

They took Daphne in the back and fixed her right up, all in less than 30 minutes. We were glad they were able to help, but it was finally time to get the nasty bill.

How Crazy Was Our Bill?

We were fortunate. The veterinarian was at home showering between working the previous night and coming back in on Easter Sunday.

Why did that make us lucky? They decided to waive the $115 exam fee since she never saw a veterinarian, just a vet tech. Unfortunately, the rest of the bill was just as ugly.

We were charged a total of $138.62 for Daphne to get her two toenails properly removed, the rest of her toenails cut, her foot bandaged up and for us to get antibiotics and pain medication for her.

To compare, Daphne had a toenail damaged a year or so ago and our regular vet only charged around $50 for everything. Just think, if we had to pay the emergency weekend exam fee, this vet visit would have been over $250!

Emergency Funds Are Awesome

We definitely didn’t plan to spend $138.62 on our pets this month, but that’s why you should have an emergency fund.

Fortunately, we spend less than we earn (actually… much less) so we didn’t have to dip into our emergency fund for this expensive vet bill.

We could have if we needed to though, and that’s what makes emergency funds so awesome. There was no thought about how we’d get the money to pay to make our dog feel better when she felt awful.ย Instead, we could focus on making our poor pup feel better as fast as possible.

Right now, Daphne is limping around the house on 3 legs, being careful not to put pressure on her injured foot. However, that foot is well bandaged and should be mostly healed in just a few days when things will get back to normal.

Daphne is like a child to us, as are most pets to their owners. Make sure you have an emergency fund so that you can help them out in their time of need, even if that time of need is an Easter Sunday when no vet clinics are open except the expensive emergency vet.

Have you ever had a pet get injured on the weekend and had to take them to an emergency vet? If so, was your bill more than ours was? If not, what is the most recent emergency you’ve had to consider dipping into your emergency fund for? Let me know in the comments!

Like What You See?

Join the other readers who have signed up for our email newsletter! No spam, just periodic updates to help improve your finances!

About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Sorry to hear about your dog this weekend, Lance. There was one time our dog got bit by another dog in the neighborhood and he wasn’t acting like himself. Naturally it was in the evening, so that meant after-hours charges. But like you said – they are like family and so you do what you’ve got to do for them.

  2. Oh, sorry to hear about Daphne. ๐Ÿ™ Is she okay now? Last January, our dog Sheeba got 5 stitches because she accidentally cut her right leg in the bulb wire. and the medicine was really expensive!

  3. $137 for the emergency vet? That’s a regular vet visit in my experience. I was expecting another digit on that amount. Do you budget for regular exams and vaccines? I used to take my pet to a discount vet clinic but switched to a regular vet after she had an illness the discount vet mismanaged. The care she receives and the relationship I’ve developed with her vet has probably saved me lots of money over the years, but more importantly it’s kept her healthier.
    Glad Daphne’s not seriously injured and hopefully this is her only time at the emergency vet.

    • We do budget for regular visits, but this month wasn’t in the plan. It stinks you guys had a bad experience with the discount vet. I hope she’s in much better care now ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Glad she’s OK and I think you really dodged a bullet with the $115 being waived. When I saw the title and the first couple of paragraphs, my initial guess was between $200-300 so you did pretty well, all things considered!

    • Yup, I’m glad it wasn’t $200-300 either. We did really dodge a bullet. We would have paid the $200-300 if we had to though. She was not a happy camper that morning.

  5. Oh Daphne, with a face like that, how can you blame her? And that vet bill isn’t quite so bad. The ones around here will add an extra digit to that bill but that is why I keep extra funds in the bank for my Patty.

  6. I recently read about a women in the yukon that had to get a lawyer to go after her pet insurance to get them to cover her $4000 + bill. It had some ludicrous clause that said they wouldn’t cover the accident if the dog was running, jumping, or other stuff that dogs just naturally do. Her lawyer said this is very common and said you would be better off to put the money you would have spent on pet insurance into a bank account.

    • In general I am not a big fan of pet insurance for the reasons you stated. However, if you read your policy closely you may be able to find a decent one. Unfortunately, it will probably take a ton of work and be more expensive than the cheaper policies out there.

Share Your Thoughts