With everyday living costs still high, many of us are feeling the pinch when it comes to looking after our pets.
Here’s what you need to know about the support available out there if you’re struggling with affording pet care. Plus ideas of what you can do to help keep costs down while still doing right by your four-legged friend.
A monthly poll of UK dog owners by Dogs Trust found that vet bills were the biggest canine cost concern for nearly half of pup parents.
And it’s possible that many cat parents share the same concerns about affording treatment for their felines.
Speak to your vet if you’re worried about the cost of treatment. They may be able to:
Get clued up on treatment costs and more with this expert breakdown of vet fees and how they work.
There’s also a few other things you can do to manage vet costs:
A number of charities across the UK may be able to support you with vet costs and neutering schemes. You’ll need to check eligibility as certain schemes are based on household income and whether you get means-tested benefits.
Don’t forget to contact the charities directly to find out what other discounts and support may be available.
You never know when your pet may need vet help for an accident or sudden illness. If you don’t have enough money put aside to pay the bill, you could be left making tough decisions.
To put things in perspective, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) found that the average cost of a claim in 2021 was £848.
Having pet insurance in place means that you could be covered for these unexpected and potentially ongoing vet costs.
If you’re still unsure, why not take a look at this deep dive on whether pet insurance is worth getting for your cat or dog.
Behavioural issues can affect both cats and dogs alike. The 2023 Paw Report noted that 60% of vets have seen an increase in dog behavioural problems over the past two years.
The cost of a behavioural consultation package varies depending on your pet’s individual needs. More complex issues like separation anxiety often need longer term support.
It’s also important to know the difference between a behaviourist and a trainer as these experts charge differently for their time and support. Be aware that some insurance providers won’t cover training sessions.
Remember to give your pet lots of love and attention and find activities to engage their brain. This can help stop behavioural problems like boredom and frustration from escalating.
The timing of your canine’s neutering can have a big impact on their personality.
Getting it done at the wrong time can lock in unwanted behaviours that need expert help to work through.
A growing number of pet food banks are opening up across the UK to help support a range of animals. Some of the charities running these banks include:
Don’t forget to take a look at these other ways to make pet care more affordable.
Being consistent with your pet’s care and watching out for signs of problems can make a big difference to their long term wellbeing.
Taking your pet for their regular check ups and boosters helps to keep them fit and healthy.
Vaccinations help to protect your pet from preventable common illnesses which can be expensive to treat in the long run.
Going for six-month or annual check ups means your vet can do a thorough health check and catch any issues early.
Ask your vet about whether their practice offers a monthly pet health scheme to help spread costs and give you savings. These schemes can often include:
It’s also worth understanding when your pet needs to see an emergency vet. These visits are charged at a higher rate than normal appointments and may not actually be needed.
Following a good care routine can help maintain both your pet’s physical and mental health. Focus on: