Pet insurance – is it really needed?

This is a tough question to answer, so let us explore the advantages and disadvantages of pet insurance.

Advantages

We are a nation of animal lovers, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our animals are cared for and that means in sickness and in health.  Veterinary treatment is not cheap and with advances in technology, costs continue to escalate.

Vets strongly recommend pet insurance and Medivet stressed that lifetime cover was the best since even though when your pet reaches a certain age, policies can rise dramatically. The average claim for pet insurance in 2021 was £848. Insurance policies will usually cost less than this, and you would be able to quickly access the needed cover in comparison to having to save up over a long period of time.

Having pet insurance will ensure that you never have to choose between health care and your bank account, and you will never be in the position of being unable to provide care for an ailing pet.  Owners who do not have insurance may have to make the agonising decision to give their pets up for adoption or in the worst-case scenario, euthanise their pets if treatment cannot be afforded.

Disadvantages

You have to remember that not all health issues are covered, for example, policies may not cover any pre-existing problems such as those pets who are currently receiving treatments before insurance was undertaken.

Annual boosters and neutering are not covered, neither are certain genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia, which is common in larger dogs such as Labradors and German Shepherds. Thankfully, some insurers such as British Pet Insurance do cover hip dysplasia.

Other benefits

When comparing insurance, you will find a huge spectrum of what is and isn’t covered and you may be surprised to know that some policies help with advertising and reward costs should your pet get lost or stolen.

It is also worth noting that you may find that some policies cover complementary therapy such as hydrotherapy, homoeopathy, and behavioural issues.

Savings on treatment

Having pet insurance will be beneficial if your pet has an unexpected illness or accident. However, there may be an excess you need to pay, and the cost of this can increase as your pet gets older. Do not be tempted to skip over the terms and conditions of the policy as this can be a costly mistake, make sure you are clear on what is covered and whether you are taking out lifetime cover or whether there is a time limit to when you can claim e.g. 12 months.

There are usually different levels of cover starting from as little as £6.88 per month, right through to advanced cover, which in some cases will include alternative treatment such as hydrotherapy and animal behaviour.

The cost of treating exotic pets such as Bearded Dragons, or an African grey parrot, can run into the hundreds or thousands of pounds, hence you really should carefully consider the type of care required and the potential cost.

Pet business insurance

Having worked in the pet industry for over twenty-three years, I cannot over-emphasise the importance of pet business insurance.  Whether you run a boarding facility, pet taxi service, hydrotherapy unit, dog walking or pet sitting business, you should have insurance in place.

One of the biggest mistakes with startups is failing to research your industry since the responsibility of caring for people’s pets is enormous and presents risks, so choosing the correct insurance is vital.  For example, your local authority may require boarders, be it in-house, or a cattery/kennel to have comprehensive insurance and if you employ people, it is a legal requirement to have liability insurance.

In cases where pet owners are unhappy with the standard of care provided, or if their pet suffers an injury whilst in the care of a trainer, border etc. the possibility of court action could damage or disrupt a business.

Types of Professional Insurance

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance covers your business’s legal liability to a third party as a result of negligence. For example, if you were dog walking and a dog slips its lead, runs into the road and causes a road traffic accident and injures a third party.

Employers’ Liability

For a company that employs staff, you should have this in place. Employers’ liability insurance protects you and your business against the cost of any legal action and compensation claims that an employee may make if they have an injury or illness while at work. For example, you could claim if a work experience student gets bitten whilst trying to secure a dog on the grooming table whilst under the supervision of a suitably qualified person.

Professional Indemnity

This type of insurance covers your business against claims for loss or damage due to negligent advice, services or breach of professional duty.

Care, custody, and control of animals

This covers injury, illness or loss of an animal whilst in the care of your business as a result of non-negligence or negligence on the part of the business.

Loss or theft of Keys

With this type of cover, you will be able to claim for the loss or theft of keys and the costs associated with replacing locks.

Summary

On balance and especially as the cost of living continues to spiral, I would say that pet insurance is a must.  British Pet Insurance offer a wide range of quality and affordable cover to suit everyone’s budget and having pet insurance in place, offers peace of mind knowing that should Fido or Kitty fall ill, you have the reassurance that the majority of vet fees will be met and with the right premium. You can sleep safely knowing that you can provide your pet with the very best possible care.

 

Funny Fuzzy Blanket Review

We have reviewed numerous dog blankets for various pet companies, but I have to say that the heart-shaped dog mat from a company called Funny Fuzzy is really quite unique and makes a fabulous present for Valentine’s Day.

I chose the pink anthurium colour and I love its quirky design which lends itself to any modern home interior, as well as being a blanket that your dog will love.  They also do a leaf shape blanket and like the one, I have reviewed; it comes in four different colours.  Ginko yellow, elm green, anthurium pink and pinecone grey and its size lend themselves to any large pup.

It is extremely versatile in that it can be used in your dog’s car crate on the back of a car seat, or as Ellie’s favorite which is her go-to place on our living room sofa or chair.  The other bonus is that it is 100% cotton and has a beautiful luxurious touch.  I love that it is machine washable as anything that Ellie touches gets extremely grubby after a while and dry cleaning can prove extremely expensive.

Sometimes washing can stretch products out of shape, but this held beautifully and looked as good as new once dried.  As with all machine-washable products, I would strongly advise that you follow the guidelines and don’t forget to use pet-friendly detergents. This will stop any itching which may occur when using regular human detergents.

The company also recommends buying the matching donut bed, dog tepee, and the three items together which form the Sweet Dream Sleeping Set.

Funny Fuzzy is a fledgling company based in the UK and their products are all designed on basic, simple, and practical principles which stem from their years of experience in the pet product industry.

Their website is easily navigated and their checkout system is so simple to use.  I am also impressed by the wonderful internet reviews which speak loudly of a company’s reputation.

 

 

 

Pets and Friends Review

Pets and Friends

I have been using Pets and Friends (formerly Kennelgate) stores, for the past thirty years, mainly when I lived in Hertfordshire, where they were based at an industrial site on the edge of the town.

The store was quite revolutionary in those days, specialising in supplying food to both commercial users and bulk food to the general public. You went through large double doors into a commercial type of property that stocked everything imaginable for your pampered pooch and small furries.  It was always a treat to amble around the shelves with my German Shepherd Dog, while my husband was busy stocking up on a months’ worth of tripe (yes tripe).  It was the recommended food of choice in those days and our dogs seemed healthy and happy on that diet.

Dog bed

When I was approached by Pets and Friends to review their Project Blu – Goa Eco Dog Bed (mattress) I was keen to oblige, since I love working with brands that offer Eco-friendly goods.

It is made from durable quality recycled polyester fabric, which is packed with recycled polyester fibre for ultimate control. I was sent the medium size for Ellie (50cm x 70cm 10cm) which is a perfect fit. It has no sides, unlike her current bed, but it is definitely preferred and within an hour of its unboxing both Ellie and our three cats were vying to stake their claim.

It has the added benefit of being completely machine washable which is a great bonus if you have dogs/cats that molt.  I would strongly recommend, however, that any dog/cat hair is removed before washing to save flushing out your machine after washing.

Cat litter

We were also sent a packet of WeCat vegetal cat litter, which we have yet to open.  For the purposes of my Instagram account, both Ellie (my Cockapoo) and Georgie (youngest cat), posed by the cat litter, which our followers mistook for dog food!  I must admit it is an easy mistake to make, given the packet’s bright and alluring colouring, although it clearly depicts two cats beneath the logo!

The company advertises the litter as innovative, since it is also made of natural ingredients of plant origin. It also inhibits the formation of bad odours and is easily disposed of in your toilet and urban organic waste.

Rebrand

The company has now relaunched as Pets and Friends after a rebrand and some of their shops offer a grooming salon, self-service dog wash, and a community hub for puppy training and general pet advice.

The company are keen to show their commitment towards the environment by reducing plastics in our oceans and I was delighted to offer this review on behalf of the echo-friendly company.

Pedy Water Fountain

Description

The fountain is made of ABS plastic which is safe for your cats and the charcoal filter promises to keep the water clean and healthy.

It is extremely quiet and the automatic circulating water and 1.6 capacity helps to ensure that your pet drinks regularly.

Package

1 x Pet Water Fountain

1 x Flower Mat

1 x AC Adaptor with a UK Plug

1 x Charcoal Filter

Instructions

There are numerous water fountains on the UK market, each providing a continuous stream of fresh water.  Since all three of my cats are used to drinking water on a high surface (away from  our dog), I wanted something that was not bulky and would fit onto our kitchen ledge.

It has has a steady trickle of water which our cats love, it is easy to assemble and takes up little room.  It also ensures that the water is clean and there is a maximum line which helps to prevent overfill.

The silicone mat is easily foldable for smaller spaces and brilliant for spillages and its little yellow petal makes it quirky looking and attractive to look at.

Summary

Pedy is easy to take apart and clean and you can buy the filters separately, which are available online. It has three different settings which are ideal for picky drinkers and offers maximum oxygenation for fresher, better tasting water.

This fountain retails at £18.99 on Amazon with free UK delivery, which compared to other similar fountains of the same specification, is extremely reasonable.

I would definitely recommend this product which can be purchased from any reputable pet store, or online.

 

 

Tabcat – A review

Finding cats when you can’t

Having worked in the pet care industry for the last twenty years, our clients and anyone associated with our company will be aware of the importance of using microchips to help identify your cat/dog if they go missing. Indeed since April 2016, having your dog microchipped has been mandatory and anyone failing to comply with this legislation may face a penalty fine of up to £500.

Although cats are exempt they remain much-loved family members and although microchips allow us to identify our pets, they cannot help us find our beloved pets if they get lost.

When I heard about Tabcat, which comes with a directional handset, two lightweight homing tags and waterproof cases, I was keen to test it and I can honestly say it works!

Now I have three cats, two of which are cat potatoes and rarely venture out of our garden.  Ed, however, loves to roam and when we lost her for almost a week six years ago, we were completely devastated and if like us, you have a cat that likes to wonder, this could be the ideal solution.  I should mention that it was a temporary loss, for she returned after posting copious amounts of leaflets through doors and informing our local neighbours.

Collar

My main concern was trying to get her used to wearing a collar.  Being a rescue cat, she was micro-chipped as a matter of course and therefore was unused to having anything around her neck, so getting her used the device has taken time, patience and a few of her favourite titbits!

Device

We live in an extremely rural area, surrounded by woods, open fields and a forest, so it was not unusual for me to be shaking her biscuit tin each evening and calling her name like the local village idiot when she failed to return for her dinner.

Before using this device I had assumed that she was too far out of range and therefore did not hear me calling, but with Tabcat her position was easily pinpointed which showed that contrary to our belief, she rarely ventured too far from our home.

It is important that you follow the directions when first using the device, which activates a low beep when you press the locate button.  This gets louder the closer she is and I am still using the same batteries that came in the box, proving that they are durable.

Since our cat has an allotted time outside of our home, she has learned to associate wearing the collar with going out, so we no longer struggle to attach it around her neck.  We now know that her territory is much less than we thought and have discovered her favourite hiding places, much to her annoyance!

Summary

Although we have only been using this product for a couple of weeks, I would certainly recommend it to our clients.  The batteries seem durable and the device is easy to use.  I have always been impressed with its ability to locate our cat even in a garage, with a metal shutter, so it does seem surprisingly accurate.

Setting up the device took me approximately 20 minutes (assembly and syncing the unit to the the collar).  The range states 400 feet but I have yet to test its full accuracy.   In essence, however,  I would say that it is reasonably priced and works PURRfectly.   A product that I would definitely recommend.

For full details visit the TABCAT website.

Kong Genius Product Review

As the owner of numerous German Shepherd Dogs, I am always looking for toys that will be both challenging, durable and education, so when I was sent a Kong ball, I was somewhat sceptical that it would be durable enough to keep my dog occupied and endure a bite force of 238 psi (238 pounds of force)!

The Kong has long been the classic enrichment toy, which offers the mental stimulation of harnessing a dogs instincful needs, but I had never actually heard of a Kong ball! The longest lasting ball I had tried was a JW Amaze-A-Ball which I believe are no longer manufactured, but even these were desimated by Luika within 6 – 8 months! So still somewhat sceptical I offered him the ball, which of course he loved and carried everywhere and to my utmost surprise has endured his bite for well over three years (as dipicted in the picture).

Of course being so impressed with the durability of these toys, we have already ordered another two, one black and one red, which he continues to carry, relectant to let it go even in sleep, which we find highly amusing, but of all the toys we have tried, this range’s durability has been extremely impressive and far exceeded my expectations.

As a brand, Kong is known for the durability of its toys and the Kong Genius is made from the same durable non-toxic rubber as the rest of their range. It is also dishwasher safe, a handy benefit considering its stuffable nature. The Kong Genius toys are available in a range of colours, allowing you to mix and match as you assemble new variations and potentially fill them with new and exciting treats to keep your dog motivated in play, both on their own and with you.

The result is a long-lasting toy that can keep even the cleverest of pets amused for a long period of time, thanks to its ability to take a bit of a bashing or gnashing, so if you are looking for a durable, educational toy to keep your dog stimulated, I cannot recommend them enough. For further details visit their website https://www.kongcompany.com/en-uk/