How pet owners can save money – without compromising on welfare
As part of Woodgreen’s dedicated community outreach team, here are some questions we’re asked regularly:
How much does it cost to own a pet?
It can vary hugely depending on their species, breed and individual needs. As a rough guideline, allow a monthly budget of around £100 for a dog, £80 for a cat and £80 for a pair of rabbits to cover the essentials – in addition to the initial up-front costs of getting the pet(s) and all the supplies they need. Bear in mind that small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs and rodents need to live with companions of their own kind, so you should always budget for having two.
This cost can be significantly higher for older pets, pets with ongoing medical conditions, large dogs and certain breeds, for example flat-faced dogs like French Bulldogs that are expensive to insure. Before taking on a pet, please consider the ongoing costs and whether you will be able to afford them – both now and in the future.
Is preventative healthcare really worth it?
Yes, absolutely! Don’t underestimate how much money can be saved by preventing issues from occurring in the first place. There is a cost involved with neutering, microchipping, vaccinating and giving your pet regular flea and worming treatments, but you risk paying much more down the line if anything were to go wrong. Preventative healthcare is always a good investment and isn’t worth skimping on.
Should I cancel my insurance policy to save money?
At Woodgreen, we always recommend insuring pets as it can save some hefty bills in the long run. Rather than cancelling your policy, shop around and use price comparison websites to make sure you’ve got the best policy for your pet, as you may find a cheaper option elsewhere. The best policies cover pre-existing conditions for life – if you don’t opt for this, ongoing conditions can become costly.
If you are struggling to meet the monthly cost of your insurance policy, another option is to contact your insurance provider and ask to drop the maximum level of cover, which will lower the monthly payments. A policy that covers your pet for up to £2,000 should be enough for most things like blood tests and basic procedures. This is better than having no cover and being faced with unexpected bills.
Is it possible to save money on vet bills?
Addressing medical issues at the first sign of sickness or injury is often cheaper in the long run, so it’s best to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. Waiting to see if things “get better” can make treatment far more expensive.If your pet is prescribed medication or a prescription diet, you don’t have to purchase it through your vet. Discuss with your vet the option of writing a prescription, as this can allow you to purchase the medication or food online at a cheaper cost.You can also be registered with more than one vet. For pet owners who are on a low income or receive benefits, you may qualify for discounted veterinary treatment through the RSPCA or PDSA, depending on whether you fall into their catchment area. You can find out more about this by checking with your local RPSCA and PDSA clinics.
For trusted advice on all aspects of pet ownership, please visit www.woodgreen.org.uk or contact the team at Woodgreen for free support.