Wad of cash
“In an ideal world, welfare should always come before cost. The truth is that it often doesn’t” – Image ©iStockphoto.com/SimonJamesLBIPP

All too often the deciding factor in an animal’s veterinary treatment is cost.

It has to be a factor because there is no NHS for pets. But it is unfortunate that, when undertaking the care of an animal, many people underestimate this cost or even seem to give it no consideration at all – although this is a crying shame because, in an ideal world, welfare should always come before cost. The truth is that it often doesn’t.

Countless times on placements I’ve seen owners arrive in an expensive motor, or flash a handbag worth more than my own car, and yet grumble about the cost of treatment for their pet. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the total selflessness of one particular client I had the gratification of meeting recently.

From appearance (and sadly smell) this client evidently doesn’t have much in the way of spare cash, but comes into the practice frequently throughout the year to add what money is around to their account, ensuring they are always in credit.

This client owns numerous cats, every one of which is up to date with vaccinations, worming etc and receives any other veterinary attention as and when required, despite that none of them are insured.

Old woman and cat
Some people will do everything they can for their pets, whatever their own situation. Image ©iStockphoto.com/DLeonis.

During one consultation, the vet asked what food the cats all eat, to which the client answered “Sheba”.

As one of the premium brands on the market, this came as a surprise, but cemented the notion that this client really does put their animals before themselves and will provide nothing less than the very best for them.

It was so refreshing to meet someone who genuinely prioritises their pets over anything material in their life – and while this client is an extreme example of dedication to animals, there are other clients who will do all they can with the funds they have for their animals.

The unfortunate reality that so very few people have this mentality can often be disheartening and enraging, but it is the clients that really care and genuinely put their animals first that make the less grateful ones bearable.

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