Picking up our new puppy next week and I'm feeling anxious....

(71 Posts)
Leapoffaith00 Fri 18-Oct-19 21:08:14

It's because I'm a single parent and worry something financial may crop up. Not sure if I'm over worrying. I work part time and have no concerns re him being looked after etc. I just worry that an unexpected vet bill may crop up. I worry if the car may break down or the heating systems may break too. That's normal isn't it? As a single parent with one income. I just don't have any savings and have lived this way for 10 years being single. Always managed though.
Please can someone reassure me that everything is going to be ok. Surely tgere are lots of single parents on low incomes have a family pet?

OP’s posts: |
IncrediblySadToo Fri 18-Oct-19 21:10:15

Find the money to pay for GOOD pet insurance -you need to read the fine print!

Tell us about him!

missbattenburg Fri 18-Oct-19 22:13:00

You need a really good insurance policy if you do not have (or want to have) the funds for medical treatments.

Most dogs are quite medically expensive in the first year or so: vaccines, flea and worm treatments, neutering etc. All of those you would have to fund as they are not covered by insurance.

So, if then if something happened unexpectantly that required additional medical treatment you need the insurance to fall back on.

BiteyShark Fri 18-Oct-19 23:13:33

I have insurance but the number of under the excess (£85) vet visits have been considerable.

I can't imagine not getting mine checked and treated if I couldn't afford the vet bill.

As missbatternburg said there are also a number of other items you need to fund early on as well.

itsasausage Fri 18-Oct-19 23:19:03

look for the best insurance with lowest excess. I think there are some 75 pound ones out there. Our puppy ended up going to vets maybe 4-5 times in first year which was £100 excess for me each time!

Motorina Fri 18-Oct-19 23:42:45

You will be lucky to escape with £500 vets bills in the first year (vaccines, worming, spaying/neutering). Is that going to be a deal-breaker financially?

Floralnomad Fri 18-Oct-19 23:46:43

I think if you are worrying about the finances of getting a dog then the answer is don’t get one , sorry .

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missbattenburg Sat 19-Oct-19 05:28:02

if you do not have (or want to have) the funds

I just reread this and realised it sounds rude, a bit ike I was suggesting you might CHOOSE to say you didn't have the money etc. I did not mean it like that - more that insurance is also a choice for people who would be uncomfortable digging into savings etc, should they have any.

dangermouseisace Sat 19-Oct-19 09:53:49

Insurance! I insure all our pets on lifetime policies (important) as I couldn’t bear the thought of something happening that I couldn’t afford to treat.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Sat 19-Oct-19 09:59:35

Puppies are pricey! People make me laugh when they worry about paying£xxx for the little brat darling and you think you ain't seen NOTHING yet...

I was a state the week my monster was being picked up. But I would never be without him

Namechangeforthiscancershit Sat 19-Oct-19 10:02:16

Neutering was the big bill. Make sure you know how much aftercare etc you're paying for and how much is extra. For vaccinations fleas, one off consultations (not the drugs) I am on the vet direct debit scheme. Not so much for the whopping15% or something it saves but for know exact month it's this.

Daycare is a bit of a killer, but I don't know if you're using that.

Motorina Sat 19-Oct-19 10:44:19

Namechangeforthiscancershit you're not wrong. I did the maths, and my two cost me around £500-£750 per month in routine running expenses. That's day care three days a week, two classes a week (and we're about to start agility, which will add to it), food, parasite treatments, toys, etc etc. Mine are self-cleaning, so no grooming costs. That's before you factor in disembowelled sofas and peed on carpets.

Plus we've had about £8000 in vets bills this year to date. Now, that's end of life care for dog one, emergency surgery (she ate glass - on a weekend of course) for dog two, dog two needing a CT scan for her bum hips, and puppy care/spaying for dog 3. Most years we spend much less. I don't have insurance, because my last policy quote 3 years ago was £2000 with a £500 excess, because old dogs are expensive. (That's not a strategy I would recommend if unexpected bills are a huge stressor, but its right for us. I have the savings to manage and it gives me a level of choice that I wouldn't have had if I were dependent on what they would cover. For example, dog one had a CT scan two days after onset of symptoms, and the insurance wouldn't have covered it until she'd tried other cheaper approaches. It didn't save her but the information in it was hugely helpful in me making the decision to euthanise. Sorry - digression.)

No wonder I'm skint.

I'm not saying you can't do it cheaper. You can. I could leave them home alone instead of putting them in day care (but they love it and it's great socialisation), saving £126 per week. They don't need two classes a week (£15 each class, times 2 dogs). I could feed cheaper food. I could have treated dog one's cough with antibiotics and wait-and-see, which would have saved maybe £2k, but I chose to have the CT early to investigate.

But, none the less, they're expensive little buggers.

The PDSA gives an idea of costs at www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/the-cost-of-owning-a-dog

I'm not saying this to put you off, Leapoffaith, and clearly I don't know your financial situation. But it is worth being aware of the financial realities.

MustardScreams Sat 19-Oct-19 10:51:46

My cocker had a complication post-spay. Obviously it happened on a Saturday! It wasn’t covered by insurance and the total cost of spay, out of hours call out, antibiotics and follow up care was almost £1k Can you afford that? It was just a small infection, so not a major problem but enough that it absolutely couldn’t have been left. And something that can happen to any dog.

Then there’s vaccinations, worming, fleaing, food, equipment etc on top of that. If you can’t afford it all then I really, really don’t think you should be considering getting a dog. At least not until you have a good buffer of savings for emergency vet care and similar.

PositiveVibez Sat 19-Oct-19 11:56:22

In the last couple of weeks I've had to buy advocate and indorex which cost £37.

Poor dog was still scratching after treatment so we took her the vets and turns out she had an ear infection. That cost is £70.

So yes, they are expensive and I think you really need to look at whether you could afford it if something like the above cropped up.

RedHelenB Sat 19-Oct-19 13:05:42

Had my puppy 2 years. Hes not neutered and has had annual booster vaccinations and flea/ worm treatment. Only additional cost was £80 on visit to the vets and antibiotics for a grass seed in his paw.

MustardScreams Sat 19-Oct-19 13:16:44

Not having a dog neutered isn’t cost saving. The risk of testicular cancer, prostrate cancer, and testicular issues affect I think it’s roughly 80% of dogs by the time they’re 5/6.

So whilst it’s cheap now I hope you have excellent insurance in place for a potentially very expensive future.

MustardScreams Sat 19-Oct-19 13:17:13

*prostate

CottonSock Sat 19-Oct-19 13:20:07

I was anxious when I got our new guinea pigs ffs. I felt ridiculous! We are comfortable in terms of finances, I just felt stressed by things relying on me (as well as two kids). Anxiety is tough and not always rational.

Motorina Sat 19-Oct-19 13:47:53

The difficulty is the unpredictability. RedHelenB’s grass seed could have tracked up the leg requiring major surgery, for example.

I think CottonSock is bang on. Anxiety at this stage is very normal. Only you know your finances. If you did suddenly get a vets bill for £1000+ what would happen? Could you find it or would you be looking at euthanasia? Only you know that.

BrokenWing Sat 19-Oct-19 14:19:25

Before you pick up the pup seriously consider if you can afford it. Dogs are expensive to care for properly.

If you can't afford the vets fees your choice will be leaving the animal untreated, debt or PTS. What would you do with a £1000+ vet bill?

Our 6 years old labrador costs us:

£54/month in insurance (and that isn't top of the range, has a £4k limit which we have been close to twice and £85 excess. He has also been in the vets twice in the first couple of years with gastro problems which cost £400-£500 at time. When he had knee surgery for luxating patella dh and I had to take weeks of annual leave at different times to be at home for the dog)

£11/month for preventative flea, tick and worming treatments, annual health check and vaccination boosters. They should be proper prescription flea and worming treatment from the vets. Supermarket worming tablets don't cover lungworm which can be fatal. Supermarket flea treatments aren't effective.

£40/month in a reasonable quality kibble (you can obviously buy cheap crap food, but that wont meet all your dogs needs)

£80/month for 2 days dog walking service when dh and I are both out house for 5-6 hours.

That doesn't include all the other expenses which are not insignificant such as wet/cold weather shoes/boots and clothing for 1+ hour walks in the rain through muddy fields the winter, treats, beds, etc etc.

When they are a pup you will also need to pay for initial vaccinations, neutering. Training classes every week. Different harnesses, training leads etc as they grow. Cleaning products during housetraining. For us it included replacing a sofa, carpet, shoes, kitchen cabinet door he chewed during the night when he was a teething 1 year old! etc etc.

Of course you will love and care for your pup, but seriously think it through, this is a 10-15 year significant commitment you will be signing up for! Have you looked into the breed you are getting and looked at its likely health issues? I have a friend with a westie who did not have lifetime insurance cover and pays a small fortune every month for skin treatments which is very common with that breed.

Leapoffaith00 Sat 19-Oct-19 17:13:38

Oh good Lord! Thanks everyone but I feel more anxious now!
It's a cockapoo.
My dd's are like bottles of pop as they have been counting down until the day we pick him up.

OP’s posts: |
talia66 Sat 19-Oct-19 17:41:08

Ahhhh it's so exciting getting a pet. Just start a savings - even if it is little bits. My last dog over his life time cost me easily over £15000. It's just the reality of pet ownership. Think of it like if the only medical care you could get was private hospitals - that's the real costs of vets! Luckily a lot of times the real expensive ops happen when the dog is older - so start saving now.

Raphael34 Sat 19-Oct-19 17:50:41

Have you had a dog before op? Crossing cockers with poodles usually result in a very hyper and high drive crossbreed. I know quite a lot of people with this crossbreed and find them destructive, they also tend to suffer with separation anxiety and bark a lot

adaline Sat 19-Oct-19 17:56:34

It's exciting but they are expensive pets. Have you really thought about covering the costs? Not just insurance, but everything else:

Vaccinations
Flea/worm treatment each month
Neutering/spaying
Those little vet trips that fall under the insurance limit (eg. cut paws or similar)
Grooming - cockapoos will need grooming every 4-6 weeks and it will cost you £30+ each time.
Food
Toys
Beds
Leads/collars/harnesses/coats
Dental costs (often not covered by insurance)
Training classes
Treats and chews
The cost of replacing chewed clothes/furniture/toys
Training classes (essential if you've never had a dog before)
Kennels if you want to go out for a day or away on holiday (lots of places won't allow you to take your dog so who will look after him?)
Dog walker (not an essential, but could be needed if you decide to go back to work full-time in the future).
Emergency/out of hours vet treatment if the dog gets unwell on weekend or in the evening.

Please think it through. Dogs can be really expensive. Ours has been relatively cheap so far - we have family to watch him and take him everywhere so we have no costs like daycare/walkers and he's been very healthy (paws crossed) but it could so easily go the other way. I have a friend whose dog is unwell at the moment and surgery is going to cost a minimum of 5k. Unfortunately she's had stomach issues in the past and her insurance are refusing to pay out for further surgery. If she couldn't afford to pay, her choices would be to relinquish the dog to a sanctuary, get into debt or have her PTS.

BiteyShark Sat 19-Oct-19 18:05:41

* Emergency/out of hours vet treatment if the dog gets unwell on weekend or in the evening.*

Oh yes forgot about this. We have had a few of those trips and it's £150 for a consultation without any treatment.

OP seriously consider whether you can afford it now because it will be more heartbreaking later if you can't afford the bills.

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