April 29th marks World Veterinary Day, where people across the globe take a moment to celebrate their pets, and, most importantly, the veterinarians who keep them alive and healthy. The day was initiated in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association and is celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April.
“South Africa is certainly a pet-loving nation and many of us take pride in taking care of our pets, especially when it comes to their health. We have seen a 38% increase in the number of people comparing Pet Medical Aid quotes from 2015 to 2016,” says Derek Wilson, head of South Africa’s leading online insurance and financial comparison website, Hippo.co.za.
Healthcare for your pet is, however, only one of the costs to consider when owning a pet. For those who are calculating the cost of getting a new pet, here are a few things to consider:
Whether you are adopting or buying a pet, consider what the cost of this will be and budget ahead of time. Also, consider what vaccinations have been done already and what will be for your own cost. Having a pet like a dog could also require training to be done, which will come at an additional cost. You would also need to buy shelter (kennels, beds, baskets), equipment (leashes or collars), and utensils (food and water bowls).
This includes monthly costs such as food, vitamins, treats, toys and grooming. Compare these items from a range of brands and stores to ensure that you get the best deal for your money. Contrary to popular belief, top-tier food is not compulsory and many of the less expensive brands have great nutritional value. Speak to your vet and other pet owners to get some advice on the best options.
The most costly aspect of owning a pet is the medical costs. This includes vaccinations; spaying; flea, tick and worm control; dental care; and sterilisation. Pet owners could also incur other unexpected medical costs such as accidental injury and illnesses ranging from minor incidents such as ear infections and bee stings to major conditions such as broken bones, diabetes and cancer.
“Luckily, Pet Insurance or Pet Medical Aid covers most of these costs depending on the type of cover that you have,” says Wilson, “Compare Pet Medical Aid costs ranked by price at Hippo.co.za and view the various benefits. You are also able to compare your personal life and medical quotes such as Life Insurance, Medical Aid and Funeral Cover whilst you are online.”