How owning a pet adds up
Pets are royalty in any animal lover’s household. But no one’s tail is wagging after an unexpected trip to the vet… especially when the bill arrives. So what’s the cost of pet care in New Zealand?
Every pet needs a vet
It varies from pet to pet, but the cost of caring for your four-legged friend can stack up quickly. Based on local pricing, here’s some of the costs you might expect owning a canine or kitty in New Zealand:
- Microchipping and desexing = $300
- Vaccinations = $150/year
- Registering a dog with local council = $47 - $189/year
- Pet proofing your home = $250 - $900
The cost of owning a pet doesn’t stop at the purchase price. The most recent New Zealand stats estimated that caring for a cat costs around $670 a year¹ – including food, check-ups and extra care. And $1,686 yearly for owning a dog². But that only factored in expected costs. Never mind grooming, vet prescribed pet food and unexpected accidents or injuries.
Estimations aside, surprise vet bills can cost a paw and a leg. And you’ll stop at nothing when it comes to caring for your pet. So it’s worth considering how you would cover unexpected costs to keep their tail wagging. But is pet insurance the way to go?
Pet protection policy
There’s a few things insurers consider when it comes to covering your cat or dog, like how old they are, their breed and whether they have any pre-existing conditions. These factors could determine the policies you’re offered and the price you pay.
Whether your pet’s quiet and mischievous or clumsy and rambunctious, you don’t want to hesitate to call a vet when you need one. So a safety blanket always helps. To give you an idea of what’s covered by pet insurance, here’s a breakdown of the level of cover available with Tower.
|Illness cover||Accidental only plan*||Essentials Plan*||Comprehensive Plan*|
|Optional Dental Cover||-||$350||$350|
Pet insurance helps to makes those tough decisions easier – without money being the main motivator. So you can give your pet the care they need when they need it. But how does it all work?
How pet insurance works
It’s similar to other insurance. But unlike your health insurance where you choose how much excess you pay upfront if you make a claim, insurance for cats and dogs generally works through ‘Co-payment’. That means you pay 20% of each bill, while most insurers will pay the other 80%.
There are often age restrictions on policies. But once your pet’s covered – they’re usually covered for life. There may also be limits on claims for ongoing conditions. And most pre-existing conditions won’t be covered – so it’s always good to look into insuring your pet sooner rather than later.
Turns out, calculating the cost of owning a pet is harder than it seems. While you can easily add up the expected costs, pets can get up to all sorts of chaos when we aren’t looking. So it’s always best to be prepared.
* You can see the full details of what our pet policies and additional benefits cover here.
¹New Zealand Immigration. (N.D.) Owning a Cat/ Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment, New Zealand Government
²New Zealand Immigration. (N.D.) Owning a Dog/ Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment, New Zealand Government