Nothing could be more heart-breaking than to have to have an animal you love euthanised, because you are unable to afford the cost of expensive surgery or treatment for a chronic illness, but this is the sad reality, for both vets and pet owners.
My dog policy costs me about A$10 per week.
This year, my dog has had is annual check up and vaccinations, an ear infection and, most recently an allergic reaction to a bee sting which occured over Easter, resulting in an expensive out of hours emergency consultation and treatment.
Without pet insurance I would be close to A$500 out of pocket. With it, I am about A$60 out of pocket for all of our visits. To my mind, Whippet Boy's health insurance is money well spent, and this year alone, money actually saved!
Pet insurance is thesedays, part of responsible pet ownership.
In many ways, the less money you have, the more vital pet insurance becomes!
In Australian capital cities, there are clinics, such as at Melbourne's Lost Dogs Home, that offer more affordable vet care for those on limited incomes or who carry an Australian Health Care Card.
Outside the capital cities it is very much a case of user pays.
I have known many people who have taken out personal loans of thousands of dollars to cover vet treatment for their beloved animals, when having pet insurance could actually have prevented even further financial hardship.
When I adopted Whippet Boy, I knew he was likely at some point in his life to require costly emergency treatment, as the breed is prone to injuring itself via impalement, running at high speeds. His breed alone, was an incentive for taking out pet insurance.
Our previous whippet ended up twice in intensive care for several days from just such injuries, and was stitched up a few more times for comparatively minor impalements, that still required an overnight stay at the vets.
The policy I took out with RSPCA Pet insurance, also returns a percentage of the premiums I pay to the RSPCA's animal welfare programs. My premium covers 80% of costs, in most situations and up to A$11,000.00 annually.
A friend told me she has to pay over A$200, for any one visit before her policy kicks in, so be careful to shop around.