April 9, 2013

Spending money on pets

Wet weather forced major traffic delays onto the roadworks today. Bumper to bumper and a slow dreary trip to work.  Our local radio crew were discussing how much would people spend on their pets, and some interesting stories of hip replacements, injured ducks, tennis ball eating dogs and people who had spent thousands, money most of them didn't have to spare, rather than put these animals to sleep. Many people thought it should be banned and no one should spend so much on their pets.  While entertaining,  it did make me sad and annoyed that while every one complained about the cost, how much vets must cream it, that they would have just euthed the animals, and all the usual dribble that comes out of these situations, no one commented on how lucky they were that their pets were able to be saved. That vets, who don't cream it at all, have trained so hard, work so hard, and carry massive debt, to offer this service to people.  Do people ever consider that we don't actually want to just euth your pet because you can't pay to fix it. We know owners try to do the worm, flea, vax routines, with some grooming and check ups, but the major car accident, the teeth rotten beyond repair, the bone obstructing their bowel, the chronic skin condition, or in our case, the sudden onset of an acute medical condition that nearly killed Saffy.

Perhaps if people owned less animals, or actually took out insurance on their pets when they first got the new puppy or kitten, we could justify the treatments.  Because of my own experience with Saff, I now have insurance on Poppy. It costs about $30 a month for mixed medical and surgical cover.  I know it will be worth it.

The veterinary profession is facing an international crisis. There are not enough people able to pay enough money to support practices that can then pay to employ vets who have taken on so much debt to learn their profession.


Many tasks in a clinic have been passed to the veterinary nursing teams. Yes, they are still known as veterinary nurses here - a title we fight to keep for them. Overseas they are called technicians. But this poster is accurate.... wherever they work in any country, this is what they do.  For many graduates, they struggle to pull in a wage to support themselves on. They may love their jobs, but eventually they get tired and burnt out and leave the profession.


Pet insurance on the rise

  •  Anna Turner
  •  14th Mar 2012 8:22 AM

  • Most people have insurance for their car, house and contents, but only a small number of New Zealanders are covered for their closest pals - their pets.  
    Christchurch woman Joanne Hammond is one of the few Kiwis who has pet insurance. She learned the hard way a few years ago when her rough-coated collie, Sasha, contracted Crohn's Disease - which affects the stomach and intestines.   
    Treating her beloved dog cost her $11,000 in vet bills.   After Sasha died, Miss Hammond wasn't going to take any chances. She made sure to get pet insurance for her next dog,  golden retriever Storm.
    It paid off.  
    Two months later, Storm swallowed a stone and had to have a $2500 operation to have it removed. Three months after that, Storm repeated the stunt and had undergo another costly surgery.
    "I was extremely lucky. With the pet insurance I had picked I got 80 per cent back for any operations so it wasn't too bad. Without the insurance I wouldn't have been able to afford to pay the bills and Storm would have had to be put down."  
    At almost nine years old, Storm was now too old to be insured, but Miss Hammond made sure to also get her next dog, border collie Cody, included under her insurance policy.  
    And although Cody, 1, had lived an accident free life so far, Miss Hammond pays roughly $32.40 a month to ensure any future bills for Cody will be covered.  

    There are choices in New Zealand. Just google it - or check out



    If you can pay the vet bills... then vets can do the treatment: your pet survives, and clinics can survive to offer it to the next pet.  Perhaps an over simplistic answer to the problem, but a step in the right direction...


    1. Wow I had no idea! Thanks for informing us. I, for one, am so very, very grateful that we were able to have our cat Possum treated for a life threatening condition. We ended up spending $1500 on him and we are glad we had the savings there to do it. He is well worth every cent - such a gorgeous smoocher, life would have been very different without him. He received incredible care from all the professionals involved and I had no idea they were so poorly paid. How much more appreciative I am now!

    2. Few people ever consider the true costs of health treatment whether it be dental, physio, general medical or a major operation or cancer treatment and whatever they pay it is always too much and the person getting paid is getting fat on their money. And that refers to a treatment for humans provided often with or by money provided (by taxes) through the government. I suspect the same comments are made in every country - they are certainly made in the UK where, ironically, there is a national - and largely free - national health service. [and I bet someone from the UK will say dental services aren't free: go to the US if you want a comparison].

      So if people say that for their own treatment there is little wonder that people complain about the cost of treating animals: treatment which receives no government subsidies so far as I am aware.

      We live in a world where people expect things to be provided by some magical means that doesn't involve personal expense.

    3. Amen to your last sentence Geeb.


    Comments welcome....always love to hear what you think!


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