Food is only one small part of the financial responsibility of having a pet. If you adopt a puppy or kitten, they will need to be spayed/neutered, and immunized to protect them from diseases. We all fear that dreaded unexpected accident with our fur babies, the unexpected dog bite or an accidental fall off the stairs. We all fear the moment the bill comes from our trusted veterinary practice, those who have been to the vet will know what I mean.
Let’s face it, times are tough no matter who you are and where you come from. The last thing we need in a R15 000 vet bill when we least expect it. One thing is inevitable, your pet will need to go to the vet at some point in its life.

Are vets expensive?
That answer is yes and no, because the overhead costs of a veterinary practice are not cheap. A veterinary hospital is a business, does that sound heartless? But it’s true…a vet clinic is a business and needs to make money. Just like any other business they have bills to pay (and often these bills are huge). They pay rent, salaries, electricity and petrol bills. These practices pay large bills to buy and maintain equipment on top of all their other overhead costs.
Once you see all that happens behind the scenes and the time, money and effort that is put into caring for just one animal these costs are completely justified. In fact I would go as far to say that these vets are under paid, and often put in awkward situations where they have to choose the life of an animal or a financial loss, and this is their livelihood at the end of the day.
I think that having a debit order that goes off through our medical aids has obscured our view on how expensive these medical procedures truly cost, when one takes into consideration everything that takes place, during your vet visit and behind the scenes one can see that it was never going to be a cheap service that is provided.

Responsibility of pet owners
As a pet owner, you have the responsibility to take care of our fur children to the best of our ability. As a responsible pet owner there is a duty to have all vaccinations and primary health care dealt with. Be a Responsible Pet Owner, commit and avoid impulsive decisions when selecting a pet. Select a pet that is suited to your home and lifestyle. Keep only the type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriate food, water, shelter, health care and companionship.

What can you do?
Rising veterinary costs is becoming a reality nowadays. As pet owners, our responsibility to care for our pets involves covering these costs. Obtaining Pet Health Insurance is one step in ensuring the financial responsibility as a pet owner is lighter when it comes to illnesses and injuries. Pet insurance can be a wonderful option to ensure the balance between medical expenses being taken care of and financially straining yourself. It is a fantastic answer to ensuring that these unexpected vet bill are no longer a worry.
There are various pet insurance products in the market that all cater for various needs, make sure you familiarise yourself with the fine print on the policy. This will ensure that there are no unmet expectations.
A broker is a valuable asset to have when determining which insurance product will suit you best. Their advice allows for an informed source to provide details, to you, in a manner which you will understand. We all know how confusing these policy wordings can be.

The costs?
Owning a pet is a privilege and should result in a mutually beneficial relationship. Make sure you are in a position to be able to care for the responsibility which is to follow. We would recommend that as a potential pet owner you research all costs involved so that you are in the best position possible to be the best pet owner you can be.