Being free of the financial burden of caring for your pet if they become sick or injured goes a long way toward peace of mind. There are some great options available to help alleviate sticker shock for veterinary care should the need arise.
Consider pet insurance. This is an option available for cats and dogs, and some other animals as well. Be sure to check with the company you're considering to make sure your pet is eligible before enrolling. If eligible, you'll be able to choose your coverage, reimbursement and deductible levels.
If the cost of pet insurance is out of reach, there are other options available, including a cost-sharing service. Members agree to share the expense of veterinary care in this type of service, and while there are some great pros, be aware of the down-side as well. Namely, coverage will depend on the good faith of members of the group. Here's a link to one example of this cost-sharing service.
There are financial assistance programs available, as well as credit cards and credit lines that provide affordable repayment options. Review all options and associated costs carefully before applying for one of these options.
Some employers offer a pet insurance plan as well. Don't hesitate to ask your human resources department if this is a benefit available to you.