Canine Cover Can Ease Pet Costs

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Canine Cover Can Ease Pet Costs

by Philip Smith

Conservative estimates suggest there are just under 7m pet dogs in the UK, making them the second most popular pet after their traditional arch enemy, the family cat.

Pet insurance can be used to protect your pet, and more importantly your wallet, from a host of potential threats - and there are many varieties available. Yet in spite of this, pet insurance is a relatively unheard of concept in the UK, and research suggests just 15% of UK pets are covered by any kind of policy.

The cost of fixing Fido when he breaks is something that many people simply do not consider until it is far too late, but it pays to be prudent because the cost of keeping that nose cold is not to be sniffed at.

Quite apart from the enormous emotional attachment one tends to place on a family dog, they are expensive to replace and vets fees have been increasing at a rate in excess of 11% per year as more advanced techniques to help your pet have become available.

Vets estimate that around 60% of pet owners make a claim at least once a year and the RSPCA believes up to 40% of the total cost of a dog can be made up of unforeseen vets fees. With this in mind pet insurance is available at such a cheap rate that the benefits become clear.

Consider Lassie, for example, a Rough Collie. A dog like this would set you back probably around ?300 and then another ?10 to ?15 a week in food, so after five years you?re looking at an investment of over ?4,000, which you can protect for between ?19 and ?40 a month depending on the level of cover you go for - assuming in this example that Lassie was a five year old male living in north-west London.

Sticking with the famous dogs theme, Toto, the Cairn Terrier belonging to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz could be safely insured for as little as ?16 per month, assuming he picked up a typical price of ?300.

A policy like this will include the usual things such as vets fees and the level of cover available will be reflected in the price you pay. Injury and illness cover will usually include the cost of x-rays, surgery and medication, as well as the cost of boarding fees - which will be required if your pet is hospitalised for any length of time.

The cost of replacing your pet is also usually included in the fee - protecting you from the worst case scenario when your pet is lost or stolen. Perhaps most importantly of all, most policies allow you to opt for public liability and accidental damage insurance worth up to ?1m.

Sophie Neary, product director at, said: "Owning a dog can be a hugely rewarding experience but the cost of protecting your four legged friend can be quite the opposite if he falls ill.

"The last thing anyone wants is to make a choice at a time like that based upon financial necessity, and pet insurance is a way to avoid that. can help you find a policy which suits your needs."

Philip Smith writes for Beat That Quote on all loans and finance topics.

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