Owning a pet can be very rewarding and has proven human health benefits. Having a dog around can lead to lower levels of stress for both adults and kids. Pets have been found to decrease the risk of asthma in children, have been linked to lower blood pressure, and researchers have also shown that dog owners are more active. It is therefore desirable to look after our furry companions to ensure they are happy and healthy also.
But pet care can be costly. Veterinary care does not have any government subsidy as we do for our human healthcare, so pet owners will be paying the true cost. As with human medicine, veterinary knowledge is constantly growing and we are able to do much more for our pets than we used to be able to do in the past.
WE need to factor their normal requirements into our budge (food, shelter, vaccinations, parasite control, toys…) and also to make provisions for the unexpected as well.
There are a few options of ways to achieve this, including putting savings aside regularly to use when required, or considering pet health insurance.
Having pet insurance can be very beneficial for those unexpected costs. You choose a level of cover that you are comfortable with, and premiums are calculated based on the age and breed of your pet. Getting your pet insured when they are young and healthy is recommended so that if they do develop a long-term condition, the policy was in place before the condition started. Having insurance may give you greater access to referral of specialist services.
There are several pet insurance companies operating in New Zealand that offer a variety of policies to suit your needs. As with any insurance policy, it is important to read the fine print to know what coverage you have selected and any limitations or exclusions. Policies do not need to be limited to just injury cover; some policies cover illness, day to day care, dental care and a contribution towards vaccinations. Your vet clinic can supply brochures for you to read and consider.