Back in 2012, July was declared national savings month by the South African Savings Institute. For the average South African, this means putting some money away in a pension or savings fund for when it might be needed, but what about our pets?
It all boils down to planning. As a pet lover, you should know that certain things will always need to be done in order to keep them happy and healthy. Apart from food, shelter and love, the primary requirements include keeping pets out of harm’s way and preventing them from getting sick. For dogs and cats, this means getting them sterilised and vaccinated.
Getting your dog or cat vaccinated and spayed/neutered has many more advantages than disadvantages. It also makes them better pets, so it makes no sense not to do it. Electively sterilising your pet has to happen, and vaccinations on the South Coast are recommended once a year – so why not have a little savings account for your pet? Even if you put away a small amount in an easily accessible savings account, it will help.
At Vet Hospital Port Shepstone, all new puppy and kitten owners are encouraged from early on to save about R300 a month for the sterilisation operation. Apart from using a traditional bank to save money, there are also other saving options available:
- Using a ‘lay-bye’ at your family veterinarian. With our practice management software system all payments are recorded and credit/debit amounts are always available on demand. Many of our clients pay a small amount into our bank account to be used as they need.
- Some pet medical insurance companies, e.g. GENRIC Pet Insurance (see their website), now also offer a savings account.
Pet medical insurance
While a savings account is always accessible, it might not cover large, unexpected events – such as an expensive operation. In order to be even more prepared, pets can be signed up for medical insurance. In South Africa, there are many options to choose from, each with their own set of benefits. Seeing that the chances are high for pets needing veterinary attention (estimated at more than 60% chance per year, or twice every 3 years), one can also think of a pet medical insurance as a savings account.