Many vets offer a Pet Health Club as a service, but are they really worth the money? Is it just a ruse to get you signed up with a plan you are never going to use? This Pets4Homes article looks at why these plans can actually be a good idea!
Pet health plans and pet insurance are completely different! Pet insurance premiums will pay out if your pet is covered, for unexpected things like emergencies or injury such as a broken bone. As an example, a dog with a fractured leg may need extensive surgery to repair it, including specialist equipment, metal plates, and screws, not to mention the aftercare, physiotherapy or hydrotherapy. All this can be very expensive reaching many thousands of pounds - it is why pet insurance is an excellent idea.
A Pet Health Plan wouldn’t be used for this as it’s not for emergency treatment. These types of plans are sued for preventative health in pets - things that can be planned for or prevented. The saying prevention is better than cure is very true - especially when it comes to pets and just as importantly finances.
With these plans, a pet owner can really make savings on treatment of their pet - by covering for possible problems in the future - an initial outlay on the plan far outweighs what some conditions can cost if they arose through not trying to prevent them.
A medium size dog is treated for fleas monthly, the cost of the spot-on treatment for is around £35-£50, which means the dog is treated against this parasite for 6 months. In fact, many spot-on's also treat for other parasites, such as several types of intestinal worm and other surface mites. So, in theory treating these extra parasites and the problems they can cause will also save money.
For completeness, and as the lifecycle of the flea needs to be broken, add to the cost of around £10 for a can of household flea spray (not covered under the majority of Pet Health Plans).
Just concentrating on fleas, they are stopped from causing your pet misery for the 6 months of the product for around £60, or £10 per month.
Now if the dog wasn’t treated for fleas and an infestation took place the scenario may be similar to this:
Even without possible further medication, and vet visits, this will cost well over a £100. For a condition that could have been prevented in the very first place!
Of course, fleas are not the only thing that can be prevented - pets can have a whole range of preventative healthcare, some of which can reduce the risk of life-threatening diseases. Most plans also cover:
Some pet health plans also provide:
It is not unusual for plans to offer benefits, these vary from practice to practice, but often include:
Most practices have a new arrival plan, specially tailored for puppies and kittens. These often include
According to the practice, they might also offer:
Puppy parties - to help with socialisation of new vaccinated puppies.
Follow up consultations with the nursing team to check weight, ask if there are any problems and to provide support.
You might find that the practice offers a very same plan than another surgery, a few miles away. This can be because the practices are owned by the same company. Practices that are not independent and come under the umbrella of a corporate company, normally have a standard pet health care plan, which generally is very good value.
In summary as a pet owner, whether with a new puppy or kitten, a rescue, or just looking for preventative health for your pet, these plans can really offer good value - especially helpful with the monthly payments. If your practice offers this service, it’s worth finding out more!