Pets Are Expen$ive
I was inspired by an article written by youngandthrifty.ca about Pet Insurance, to rant about a subject that drives me absolutely spare, Pet Insurance.
Many years ago Vets made their business from large animals on farms (e.g. Cows, Horses, Goats, Llamas, etc., etc., etc.,). If you brought your cat or your dog in, the vet would fix it and charge a fee, but this was not how the Vet made their living, they took care of big animals.
I remember I purchased my first cat at the Kitchener Humane society in 1984 for $10, and then had to get him neutered for another $120, and the only big bill after that was when he fell 8 stories out my apartment window (he lived, but was a little skittish after that), still not too expensive (although I did get a preview of the world to come when I found out it cost $25 to euthanize a hamster that cost $2 to buy).
Fast forward to present day, where there seems to be a new Veterinary Practice opening on every street corner (which suggests this must be a very profitable business). Cats now cost about $125 or so, but usually they are already neutered or sterile in some fashion, but now Vets send you reminder notices about your cat’s check ups, and call you if you don’t follow up with them. The amount of money spent on the upkeep of the family pet is spiralling out of control, so much so, that now PC Financial and others are offering Pet Insurance. This is health insurance for your pet (there are people in the U.S. that don’t have health insurance, yet we Canadians have health insurance for the family cat).
I had no idea how much Pet Insurance actually cost but the YoungAndThrifty.ca article outlines a tremendous cost for this service, which stands to reason when people are spending upwards of $2000 for hip replacement surgery for the family dog.
I decided to check and see the cost and PC Financial’s insurance for a 10 Year Old Tabby, in my area, would be $17 a month for their Value Plan. This is about $200 a year in Pet insurance for my 10 year old cat, which cost $125 to purchase.
Now that people are buying this insurance, the Vets are raising their service fees to reflect this new ability by folks to pay for more interesting and expensive treatments for their pets (my opinion). The spiral keeps spinning up, with no end in sight, so what does this mean? It means there will be families who should seriously be thinking about not having family pets, because the cost of these luxuries (they are luxuries now) are prohibitive to a lot of families struggling to make ends meet.
I care for my family pets, and I am very sad when they pass away or are ill, however, how is it that my Cat can get better health service than I can sometimes? The answer is simple, there is big money involved. I used to think Pet Sematary‘s were the wildest idea ever, Pet Insurance just won that contest.