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St Anne's Veterinary Group Blog

» The real cost of owning an animal

Having a pet is a wonderful experience and they definitely become part of the family. Taking on an animal is a huge responsibility and unfortunately more and more animals are ending up in rescue because people weren’t fully prepared. Currently I’m fostering a gorgeous kitten that has had the worst start in life, she had no trust in humans but now loves me and has taken over my entire flat! Everyone is saying I should keep her but this is a huge decision! I adore her but I have to think about the fact that she could live for 20 years, I don’t know where my life will take me in the next 20 years. She was hit by a car and got huge injuries meaning none of those things will be covered by insurance. What happens when I want to go on holiday? People would argue that being a Vet Nurse I’m in the best position to look after a cat but these are still things I’m thinking about and weighing up everything so that I know if I choose to have her as my own, she is my responsibility.

After the John Lewis Christmas advert with the Boxer bouncing on the trampoline the most googled search was ‘boxer puppy’! Studies have proven that people spend more time researching what trainers to buy than what pet to get.

Having a pet is a luxury, they’re expensive to keep, this all has to be thought about before an animal is taken on. There are the foreseen pet costs and the unforeseen costs. The foreseen costs include vaccinating them, worming them and flea treatment. Also food, microchip, nail clips, grooming and neutering are all things you know will (in most cases) have to happen. Most animals in their life will require a dental and rabbits especially can have very frequent dental problems. Buy signing up to the pet health care plan you can save money by paying by direct debit for the preventative things such as wormers and flea treatment. And get a discount on a whole host of other things to, so it’s definitely worth looking at.

The unforeseen things are the potential injuries like being hit by a car or catching bugs that cause vomiting and diarrhoea that require veterinary help, heart or kidney problems. Out of car, house and pet insurance, it is the pet insurance that is the most claimed. A lot of people argue that you wouldn’t  buy a car when you can’t afford to put petrol in it!
The animal charities who are there to help the people who have fallen on hard times and are struggling to fund their special pet are really struggling. We as a practice have always wanted to be there for people who have found themselves into this situation and that’s why we stayed with the PDSA longer than other practices in the area. But unfortunately the PDSA which is a charity is struggling and is no longer able to help people in the same way because they received limited donations against the cost of the animal’s care they were undertaking.

The amount of brachycephalic breeds being taken into rescues is growing enormously unfortunately, having restricted airways and protruding eyes leads to numerous complications. Many of these breeds need surgery in order to function as a normal dog which is a very sad reality. At the end of the day we are all animal lovers but we just need to really have a very long and realistic look to see whether we can provide everything our future pet might need in their entire lifetime.

I will continue to foster the kitten as she’s still pretty scared until I come to a decision to as to what to do. As pet owners we have a duty of care to our animals, this is something to take very seriously. Let’s face it, all we want are happy and healthy animals in our lives!

At St. Anne’s we provide free pre-purchase consultations with our nurses who can answer any questions you might have and guide you to find the right animal for you to fit your lifestyle.


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