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Thursday 19th September 2019

Is getting a dog worth the financial commitment?

A puppy! I want one!

Yes – in short. I would never revoke my decision to bring home that bundle of joy who has now terrorised our house and laid claim to every room – if you know what I mean!

April 2017, me and my partner took the plunge to extend our family (in the four legged, furry way!).

After months of market research and scrolling through various pet websites, looking at breeds, traits, and health factors, maintenance, financial obligations, food, insurance – the list could go on – we mutually agreed on a short haired Standard Dachshund (or rather I wanted a Dachshund and my partner got to pick the colour!).

Keith the Dachshund has been with us for nearly eight months’ now – and we wouldn’t change him for the world!

But what happens when something goes wrong?

Following eight x-rays and a vet bill accumulating over £500, he came home.

July this year, we went away for a long weekend and left Keith with a dog sitter. When we returned, and picked him up he was badly clicking at his hips – concerned, we immediately rang the vets, who bumped him up the list due to his breed as Dachshunds can suffer from Intervertebral Disk Disease, which affects the disks in their backs, due to the fact that when they grow, they grow very long!

We took him to the vet’s, who did a general check-up, admitted there was ‘something not quite right’ and concluded Keith’s ball and joint weren’t quite in the right place.

Following eight x-rays and a vet bill accumulating over £500, he came home, groggy from the anaesthetic. But home, nonetheless.

This invalidated our insurance and led to us being asked to pay the whole bill.

But then came the issue of payment. Luckily, we were insured with a Premium Gold insurance package from one of the leading pet insurance companies.

In the cross fire of Keith going to the vets, going under anaesthetic, having X-rays and the uncertainty in-between, the vet had taken down some incorrect information and relayed this to the insurance company. This invalidated our insurance and led this ‘premium brand’ of pet insurance to ask us to pay the whole bill following Keith’s visit – which was near impossible!

So, we contested it and the fault lay at the feet of the vets, mislaying the information to the scribe following Keith’s visit. But, the hassle hasn’t stopped there. The vet has now had to contest the decision of the insurance company – all while the interest on the bill is slowly creeping up, due to late payment.

Moral of the story: research. Research the veterinary clinics you would like your beloved family member to attend, just like a primary school – do not go for the local, most convenient one. Take into consideration reputation, online reviews, local recommendations and everything in between!

We will be changing the insurer of our beloved four-legged-furry friend.

Following our unfortunate times with said clinic, we spoke to several other local people, who have all experienced issues with the same clinic. So undoubtedly, we will be relocating the needs of Keith to a different veterinary clinic.

Insurance? Although a reputable premium brand of insurance – do your research, and do it again! The good reviews do get bumped to the top, as they want your money! They want you to hold a policy with them as you’re paying them ‘just in case’ something was to happen, which they use to pump into branding and advertisement to coax in other wittingly naïve pet-parents.

Again, we will be changing the insurer of our beloved four-legged-furry friend – once the whole issue is resolved.

Photo by Álvaro Niño on Unsplash

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Cait Armstrong

Cait Armstrong

Mouthy blogger

Recent Cardiff grad, undeniable tea lover, avid daydreamer and aspiring lawyer.

1 Comment
  1. I would love a dog, but must admit the potential cost is the main thing that’s putting it off. My cat was ill a couple of years ago and it cost almost £4,000. The insurance company wouldn’t pay (due to it being a ‘pre-existing condition’ that I didn’t know about. He is a rescue cat and has an unknown past. I still don’t know what the vet had told them, but my appeal was turned down). Anyway, although he is worth every penny to me, I certainly couldn’t take a financial hit like that again. I’m glad to hear little Keith is better, although sorry you’ve had such a stressful time with your vet and insurance company. I have trouble with the vet in question during my cat’s treatment too (I actually believe some of the cat’s ‘illnesses’ were invented). I went with the closest vet to me, and they were part of a large franchise so I actually thought it was OK. I also went with the cheapest pet insurer. I agree – research and local opinion is the most secure option before even bringing the pet home. I hope your problem gets resolved asap!

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