Last month, Consumer Reports released results of a survey that showed spending on pets had not dropped even during the economic downturn. And not only that, but the price of pet food, veterinary care and other pet-related products and services has actually increased in that time!
In an effort to help pet owners save money on pet expenses, they put together a list of cost-saving tips. These tips include buying pet medications from a human pharmacy instead of a veterinary office, not paying a high price for a pet food just because it includes the word ‘premium’ in the description, and researching new options for flea and tick prevention.
However, there is one tip that we definitely do not agree with. Consumer Reports suggested not investing in pet insurance, but instead setting aside that money every month in an emergency fund.
We know this sounds like an attractive alternative to many pet owners, but unfortunately, for many of us, it’s just not practical, for many reasons. First, setting aside money every month and not spending it on other things requires a lot of self discipline. Many times, that money gets allocated to other things and isn’t there in a true pet emergency. Second, if started today, it would take years to save enough to pay for cancer or other expensive treatment. What if your pet becomes seriously ill in the next couple months? You wouldn’t have the funds. And third, unexpected illnesses or accidents can eat up years of savings, so if you are using the same savings account for all emergencies and need to tap it for a pet’s illness, you will be financially vulnerable to the next emergency.
So, before you choose to self-insure based on the recommendation of Consumer Reports or other sources of information, make sure you thoroughly think it through. The best decision is an informed one!
So, what do you think of the tips in this report?
Read the full press release from Consumer Reports.