For a household with young mouths to feed and some hungry pets as well, living expenses can stretch the budget thin.
There are ways to prevent our beloved pets from eating us out of house and home. Follow these tips to keep your pets healthy without sacrificing your financial well-being.
Avoiding High Pet Insurance Premiums
Until NHS develops a plan for animals (which is not likely to happen), vet bills are entirely the responsibility of pet owners. If the pet becomes seriously ill or is involved in an accident, the bill can become extremely expensive. One estimate indicates that unexpected vet bills represent 40 percent of the cost of dog ownership. Pet owners should take out pet insurance and get an adequate amount to cover the most common expenses. Only about 12 percent of the 13 million dog owners in the UK currently insure their pets.
A ruptured cruciate ligament is the most common canine knee injury. A vet charges between £500 and £2,500 to fix this problem, which may create financial problems for a dog owner. An adequate level of pet insurance will cover the majority of this bill. Pet insurance provides other financial coverage including the expense to repair a fence and a car if a motorist crashes a vehicle into the fence to avoid hitting an insured dog.
Pet owners who spend time in court due to their troublesome dogs should look for insurance policies that cover legal fees and include legal services. Owners of dogs covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act are legally liable for damage to people or property caused by these animals. Keep this in mind when deciding which level of pet insurance will be sufficient.
Some pet insurance policies pay for pet boarding or kennel services if the pet owner is admitted to the hospital. The best policies pay for cancellation of a holiday if the insured pet becomes injured or sick during that time. Insurance may even come in handy when a pet is lost by paying for the cost of advertising to find the animal and any reward offered. If the pet is stolen or dies, some policies will reimburse the purchase price of the animal.
Pet insurance premiums are based on the type and age of the pet, how likely the animal is to become ill or get lost, and where the pet resides. Purchasing a policy online can save approximately 20 percent and insuring more than one pet with the same insurance provider may result in an additional discount. Comparison-shop for policies online and read policy terms and conditions because the least expensive policy may not be the best deal.
Do Not Avoid Other Expenses
Pet insurance is designed for unexpected expenses so it does not cover spaying, neutering, worming, boosters, or vaccinations. Though these services are not cheap, they should not be overlooked. The cost of a booster or vaccination is much less than the expense required to treat a resulting illness. On the other hand, do not take the pet to the doctor every time it seems a little lethargic. One report suggests that UK pet owners spend more than £188 million each year in relation to emergency vet visits that are unnecessary. Save vet visits for when the pet stops drinking or loses its appetite.
Keep Expenses Low By Selecting A Non-Pedigree Pet
A non-pedigreed dog or cat costs much less than its pedigreed alternative. In addition, the insurance cost is typically approximately 40 percent less, as is the expense for annual care. Research indicates that it costs up to one-third less each year to care for a non-pedigreed dog or cat. A rescue pet is the best choice because it costs less than a pet from a breeder or pet shop. Some charities request only a donation and may subsidize spaying or neutering and vaccination expenses before the pet is taken home.
Animals may be surrendered to rescue organizations because their owners can no longer afford to care for them. Other pets land there because owners must relocate to a residence, such as a nursing home, that does not accept pets. Still others are let loose on the streets by owners who do not care enough about their well-being to surrender them in person. Whatever the case, these animals make loyal and loving pets for their new owners.
Taking in a rescue animal prevents it from being killed and helps maintain the animal population. Review advertisements from local rescues and visit these organizations in person to find one that is clean and staffed by attentive workers who take good care of the animals. Play with the pet and watch how it interacts with family members. Making a careful decision prevents wasting time and money on an animal that does not end up being a good fit for the household.
Look for a pet that can live in the house without any expensive accommodations. For example, a large dog requires room to roam so a house with an unfenced yard is not a good home. Instead of spending money on a fence, the family should look for a small dog or an older dog that does not require much exercise. Families who have small homes should not choose large pets and those who have limited money to spend on pet care should not purchase pets that have special medical needs.
When a pet is well cared-for, it becomes a member of the family. There are ways to keep pet care expenses within budget without sacrificing the health or well-being of the animal. Get a rescue animal rather than a pedigreed version and purchase an affordable pet insurance policy that provides adequate coverage. Do not skip pet boosters and vaccinations and address serious medical conditions before they get out of control. The pet will provide joy to the family without destroying the household budget.