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Want to rehome friend's dog but nervous

(34 Posts)
Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 08:48:58

we have the opportunity to rehome a friends 4th cocker Spaniel. He's lovely, we have his full history - she's had him since a pup - we're all on-board. I have 4 children, youngest is just about to turn 4. I am a SAHM.
I am worried about money - we can't really afford it at the moment and the insurance is about £50 a month but we won't get this opportunity again. He does require some extra care as has a pre-existing skin condition but with careful management and a good diet it doesn't have to be much of an issue.
He is very good with children.
I have been agonising over it and need to make a decision. There have been tears.
My heart says yes but my head says we can't really afford it at the moment.
What should I do?

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 08:49:48

Not 4th, 4 year old Cocker Spaniel!

ditavonteesed Sun 08-May-11 08:50:32

why is your friend rehoming it? yo can get ins for a lot less than that, it is better to rehome through an organisation as you have no back up if problems.

ChippingIn Sun 08-May-11 08:51:20

Heart says 'take him and it will all be OK'
Head says 'if you can't afford the insurance, you can't afford the fella'

Are you sure that's right for the insurance? Have you rung around a few places? It seems very steep!!

Mutt Sun 08-May-11 08:51:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingIn Sun 08-May-11 08:52:07

I would take a friends dog that I had known for 4 years. It's not like you don't know his history.

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 09:03:29

She works full-time and feels she isn't giving him a good quality of life. She employs a dog-walker. She loves him to bits.
I have spoken to the charity, and signed up with them. I was hoping that they'd match us up - but they have a waiting list and advised us to wait a couple of years until the youngest is older. If I'm honest I don't want to do that!

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 09:06:38

My friend originally had the cheaper insurance, but as he has a skin condition it ended up costing more as after the first year it was deemed 'pre-existing' and proved to be a false economy. Now she has top cover and it makes sense. Is there a top cover that is cheaper?

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 08-May-11 09:17:21

Message withdrawn

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 09:27:24

Really??! £11??
That really would make this happen. I looked at Sainsburys, they do two options. I will go back and have another look.

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 09:29:42

She is giving me everything - crates, worming/flea treatments etc. I don't mind spending money on the more expensive food etc as in his particular case he is healthier when he has it.

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 08-May-11 09:35:24

Message withdrawn

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 09:42:12

But will that only cover the condition for a year - and then class it as "pre-existing" when you renew or change insurers? This is what happened with his skin-allergy you see, so it's not covered now.

Insurance seems like a bit if a mine-field!

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 09:45:52

Also, when DH is here I can get up and take the dog out to the park early but when he's not is it ok to let him out in the garden until the kids are at school and take him for a run then? It's been a long time since I had a dog....

ChippingIn Sun 08-May-11 09:47:04

Of course it is smile

ChippingIn Sun 08-May-11 09:47:36

Well - as long as it's fenced!!

What colour is he and what's he called?

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 08-May-11 09:49:19

Message withdrawn

Deesus Sun 08-May-11 09:51:31

Might be worth checking out Pet Plan insurance, might be a wee bit more than Sainsbury's but cover is one of the best in the market.

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 08-May-11 10:01:29

Message withdrawn

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 10:14:07

OK well its all a bit cheaper than I thought - Petplan is £35 for top cover. More than is quoting £12.40, Sainsburys is £19. All will increase their premiums, and presumably swapping insurance is more difficult if you have made a claim as these won't be covered? So you stay with one insurance and pay the premium increases if the condition occurs within the time of that policy so treatment can continue, or if you change to save the premium it is classed as pre-exisiting and won't be covered. That's right isn't it?
My friend has explained all this to me.
I'm just trying to get my head around it!
Honestly, I didn't put this much thought into having children! grin
I just don't want to let him or her down. Money doesn't seem like a good enough reason NOT to have him, but it is a big consideration at the moment.

vjg13 Sun 08-May-11 10:42:30

Does she live nearby? Would it be possible to do a dog share with her having him back at the weekends and sharing some costs?

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 10:47:00

sadly not, we moved away last year.

Actually she's a RL friend who I met though MN smile

Scuttlebutter Sun 08-May-11 11:02:57

I'd be cautious. If your finances are so tight that the £15 month a difference in quotes is making the difference in having the dog and not, then I'd say no, very reluctantly. Even if you have pet insurance, every claim has an excess, and it's surprising how vet visits can rack up that are not worth claiming for. In the past year, with our three very healthy dogs, we've dealt with a dislocated tail, a severe gastic upset and a sprained shoulder, most of which were only just over or on the excess charge, so we didn't claim for them. Let's also not forget the importance of having a bit of spare money for classes (essential in my view), plus things like incidentals like replacing rugs after accidents and even the extra cleaning costs associated with a dog.

I'm not trying to put you off - we are besotted with ours - but it is important to have a really hard look at the financial side of it . I know it's very easy to be swayed by a wagging tail, but those big brown eyes won't pay the bills. Far, far better to be a responsible owner and not have one than have one and end up in debt, worried, or even worse, reluctant to take your dog to the vet because you are worried about the cost. That would be a nightmare scenario.

Money is regrettably a VERY good reason not to have a dog - financial problems are one of the major causes of rehoming. With small children, I'm sure by now you know how often you get one of those months - suddenly everyone needs new shoes, or there's a run of birthday parties. Do you really want to be so tight on your budget that you have to choose between shoes and vaccinations? Don't forget insurance WON'T usually cover for things like dental work, definitely won't cover for vaccinations, worming etc and often won't cover for some behavioural consults, or even things like hydrotherapy (in some cases) or other complementary therapies for dogs. Not saying you need this now, but you should be thinking that the dog will be with you for probably another ten years and in their old age, that's when they get expensive (which is why the insurance goes up).

When youngest DC goes to school, will you be going to work? If you do, then you need to factor in costs of dog walker/sitter as well, plus holiday arrangements for the dog. If you still want to do a traditional week away in the sun in August, the cost of the dog's kennel fees could be equivalent to the cost of taking another person on holiday! And the good kennels get booked up months in advance.

Please, please, do think very hard about this.

Ohforfoxsake Sun 08-May-11 11:23:58

Thanks Scuttle - everything you have said is exactly what I have been thinking.

We don't go for a week in the sun - more likely a cottage in the Lakes in October!

We can do the £15 a month - its the £50 which I thought it was which was scaring me. We aren't in the poorhouse - its just weighing up adding another expense when we are meant to be cutting back.

Having looked at some quotes, even the top of the range petplan is £35, and not £50. M&S seem to do a good cover too. I'm just about to print them off and compare. Any to avoid?

You know what's just occurred to me? I pay £25 a month gym membership. I take the youngest to school and go to the gym. Now I will take the youngest to school and take the dog out for a run. DING! HEAR THAT PENNY DROP?!

Mutt Sun 08-May-11 12:08:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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