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The Mortgage of Love

Written By: Jane Davidson RVN

With a name like VetHelpDirect you can probably guess that we are going to be supportive of vets and the vet industry and yes, even supportive of the fees vets charge. We know that paying for healthcare for pets can sometimes be costly and in an emergency the cost of treating your pet can be the last thing you want to consider, but it’s an important part of caring for your pet.

While none of this will be a surprise for you, as a reader of VHD blogs you might be interested in the latest figures on pet spending in the UK that More Than insurance have released as part of their Future of Pet Ownership report. The headline figure is that on average in the UK dog owners spend £240 a month and cat owners spend £100 per month on their respective pets. To put this in perspective a dog owner spending this much might manage to pay a mortgage over the average lifetime of a dog (15 years) on £35,000 worth of property!

That starts to sound quite scary so what are people spending this Mortgage of Love on?

The value of a treat may go up or down

The breakdown of the monthly average is spend is quite interesting as although pet insurance and medical treatments feature, it would appear that food and treats combined are a bigger spend every month than insurance and vet bills combined! In fact, for cats and dogs, people are spending as much on treats as on pet insurance, and over 50% of the total spend on food is spent on extra treats!

Maybe this is why so many pets are obese… that little extra treat every day is adding up on the waistline as much as in your wallet.

You may not get out what you put in

While spending on healthcare and food are basic necessities we hope every pet gets, there is also a significant spend on toys every month. Toys get broken, or lost or chewed but an average spend of £27 per month for a dog and £9 per month for a cat is still pretty high. It would seem that buying new toys or replacing lost ones is a bigger cost than most of us would consider and maybe our pets aren’t getting what they need from the toys?

It’s definitely worth asking at your vet practice for advice on safe and stimulating toys that will last. There are toys for dogs that are heavy chewers or catnip toys that keep their scent for longer than 5 minutes – it might be time to up the monthly spend just once to but good quality toys that provide fun for your pet and last longer than a few weeks.

Your pet will be affected if you do not keep up monthly repayments

The report then goes on to highlight that almost 60% of dog owners and 80% of cat owners did no research into the costs of having their pet before getting them. It seems the majority of people do get pet insurance, but not all, so the unexpected costs of accidents and illness could add to these current monthly figures.

To keep a pet happy and healthy you do need to spend money, so you do need to look at the cost of your pet beyond some food and a pretty coloured new bed. You may choose a cheaper food, or to not have insurance and deal with problems as they arise. You might have a pet that doesn’t need grooming or not need to pay a pet sitter, so your monthly costs may be lower than this.

However there is still a cost attached to a pet and if it costs as much as buying a small house in some parts of the country, then it’s worth taking some time to look at how you would afford a furry mortgage, because it’s a price worth paying for love.

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