It's time to adult and get pet insurance for your dog & here's why


Jade Poole from I write words

pet insurance for your dog

“Nothing screams ‘adult’ like being in bed at 10 pm and complaining about your local municipality”. And here’s what else means you’ve reached the prime age of adulthood.

When we were kids we swore we would live life by our own rules when we reached adulthood. We would stay up all night watching R rated TV shows. We would eat as many bowls of chocolate cereal as we wanted to and not have anyone tell us otherwise. We would walk around in our brightest underwear. Climb trees as high as we wanted to. Play music as loud as we could. Basically, just live a life of adventure. And what happened?

Well, the late nights are somewhat dictated by early morning Zoom meetings with our boss telling us to pick up the slack (cue lockdown, the ultimate motivation-defeatist since Netflix). The bowls of chocolate cereal turned into coffee and quickly scoffed down muesli rusks. And as Schalk Bezuidenhout so eloquently stated “nothing says your youth is over like a muesli rusk. One bite of that muesli rusk and two seconds later you are complaining about the municipality.” And although we all laugh along, the truth hits kinda hard - doesn’t it?

The truth is, the things we thought we would do as adults, quickly changed as the bills came flying in, our backaches prevented us from climbing trees and our neighbours complained about the loud music and late-night half-naked dance routines in our living rooms.

What happens when things go wrong?

Another thing we quickly learn as adults is that things can go wrong when we least expect it. From catching a cold that turns into pneumonia and a hospital bill costing thousands of rands to having a taxi ram into the back of your new car, costing a paycheck and a half at the panel beater.

Cue insurance.

Insurance was created as a safety net. It’s basically a clever way to plan for the unpredictable so that you don’t have to forgo this month’s rent to afford to fix your laptop that was struck by lightning. You get the point.

And so, many twenty-somethings quickly turned to the likes of health insurance to help afford medical bills, car and home insurance to protect their valuable assets and now, pet insurance.

What happens when something goes wrong with Fluffy?

A rite of passage into adulthood is getting a pet. Nothing says you have your life together like a perfectly groomed pavement special from your local shelter. Or maybe you’re more into the pedigree kind of pet, in which case you love to parade around with your pomeranian in tow. No matter what end of the purrfectly pet-worthy spectrum you might find yourself on, there’s no doubt that getting a pet is one of the best decisions you will ever make.

Don’t want kids? Get a dog. Want to start a family? Get a cat. Lonely? A puppy can help with that. And as much as pets bring endless amounts of unconditional love, laughter and glorious memories of walks in the park into our lives, they can also bring about stress, panic and credit card debt when something goes wrong.

Sure, your pet’s annual check-up might not seem like much at only 500 bucks a pop. And yeah maybe that round of vaccines set you back a few boozy lunches with your mates. It was worth it, right?

But what happens when Fluffy gets in a fight with that dog who looks like the canine version of a WWE star? What happens when you find a lump on Snowy’s stomach and it’s a cancerous tumour?

The cost to save your pet’s life can easily balloon to R20 000 or even R40 000 depending on the treatment and level of care required. Can you put a price on the health of your pet? Probably not. And whilst saving your pet’s life might be your top priority, is it worth getting into debt or taking out a loan to do so?

In fact, let’s break down these costs a little further…

The costs of emergency pet healthcare

For the sake of this article, we’re going to break down some of the most common costs associated with emergency pet healthcare. It’ll be quick, we promise. But it’s worth the read.

One of our most common pet insurance claims is for foreign body removal. This is when Whiskers or Bruno swallows something they shouldn’t. Like the chicken sosatie off the braai, skewer and all.

The cost of a basic foreign body removal surgery can start at R12 000 and go as high as R20 000 or more. These costs will typically include the surgery costs, blood tests, anaesthesia costs and any other scanning tests or procedures involved.

Large dog breeds are known to suffer from a common condition known as hip dysplasia. The cost of a total hip replacement is roughly R35 000. And this isn’t taking any rehab treatment or additional procedures into account.

If your pet is involved in a life-threatening accident, such as falling from a height, the MRI costs to identify the extent of the damage is charged at a rate between R9 000 and R10 000. An X-ray alone costs as much as R3 000. Nevermind the costs of surgery or medication.

The reason for pet insurance

Please note that these prices are reflective of the date that this article was written. For up to date pricing, please follow this link

Every millennial and their Ouma are starting to realise the benefits of pet insurance and the peace of mind it brings.

Let’s look at an example to put the financial benefits of pet insurance into perspective.

A client of ours recently purchased a pet insurance plan 4 months ago. Just last week he took his dog to the vet and the bill came to R11 000. According to his chosen plan and limits (The Pet Classic Plan), we paid this claim in full.

If he had to save R11 000 himself, he would have had to save R300 a month for 3 years, and he had only purchased his pet insurance plan a couple of months ago with his premium costing the same price. Plus, if it’s an emergency we will pay your vet as much as R5 000 upfront to help pay for the deposit of a hospital admission.

And here’s the kicker, pet insurance doesn’t have to cost you the price of your daily frappuccino from Starbucks. In fact, our accident-only plan starts at R60 a month. And for only R60 a month you receive up to R8 000 a year in cover for vet bills associated with accidents.

Which means that insuring the health of your precious pet costs you roughly R2 a day. Is that worth it? We think so.

And the best part? Getting pet insurance doesn’t mean you are succumbing to the many woes and expenses of adulthood. Definitely not. In fact, having a pet insurance policy in place will help bring you that sort of care-free wonder we all experienced as kids. Meaning you can happily live life with Fluffy and not have to fret about when something might go wrong. It’s a win-win.

Yours in adult-approved pet insurance,


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