Pet lovers: how to cover your vet bills and keep your pet related outgoings to a minimum

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We are unquestionably a nation of pet lovers; however, when you look at the cost of keeping the average pet it should come as no surprise that pet owners are looking to make savings. According to a survey carried out by the PDSA  and YouGov, the cost of keeping a dog over their lifetime tops £16,900. Even cats which are often considered to be less financially demanding then there tail-wagging counterparts are said to cost their owners over £17,200 over the course of their lifetime.

So if you already have a pet and would like to keep your pet related outgoings to a minimum what can you do?

One easy step is to buy your pet food in bulk. Many stores sell large bags of your favourite pet foods which work out considerably cheaper. As animals like dogs dislike their foods being changed these can be a wise investment.

It can be very expensive when pets fall ill – so do all you can to keep them in good health. Worm and flea your pets yourself if you can as this will save money on vets bills. Don’t be tempted to forgo vaccinations though. Keeping these up to date can prevent unnecessary illness. Many pet insurance policies don’t actually cover illnesses which can be inoculated for – so make sure you keep track of jabs and know what your pet insurance policy covers – assuming of course that you have insurance which could save you substantial costs long term.

One significant cost associated with pet ownership is paying for their care if you go on holiday. In addition to shopping around for affordable and reliable kennels and catteries, consider setting up a cat-sitting or reciprocal dog-walking ring in your neighbourhood.

Finally, for those people who have not taken the pet ownership plunge yet, it is worth considering cost efficiency when selecting a companion. If you are set on having a dog consider getting a mongrel instead of a pedigree which will not only be cheaper in the first instance but may also have cheaper treatment costs should they get ill. You may also want to steer clear of breeds which are prone to hereditary illness. Of course the cheapest pets are often smaller pets such as hamsters and goldfish which also represent less of a long-term cost commitment as they unfortunately don’t live as long.

If you’re considering to buy a pet, please note that pet ownership is a big responsibility, so before you make the decision to bring home a new best friend you should do as much research as possible to find a pet that matches with your lifestyle.