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Barking Brits spend 30K to keep a dog

Thursday March 17th 2011

In sharp contrast to the Crufts qualifiers, sadly some breeds are no longer 'Top' with families who are strapped for cash. The cost of keeping a dog can easily amount to over £30,000 in a dog's life-time which is why we are seeing a dramatic rise in the number of dogs being dumped.

With 30 pets a day being dumped by their owners, pet insurance provider helpucover says people should be sure before they purchase a dog that they really can afford to keep it, and highlights which breeds can bite into a family budget, more than others due to health problems.

Veterinary Advisor for helpucover Dr Eric Jackson says "According to RSPCA figures, nearly one-fifth of people who bought a puppy in the past two years no longer have their dog. This is why people purchasing a new dog should think ahead. Our statistics show that some breeds have far more health problems than others leading to additional costs":
The breeds listed below had the most health problems in 2010.

1 -Labrador
2 -Boxer
3 -Golden retrievers
4 -German Shepherds
5 -Cocker Spaniel
6 –West Highland White Terrier
7 -English Springer Spaniel
8 -Staffordshire Bull Terrier
9 –Border Collie
10 -Doberman
The above breeds are affected to a varying degree by the following conditions: hip and elbow dysplasia, skin disorders, heart and breathing problems, cancer and digestive disorders.
According to helpucover, provider of pet insurance, the average cost of a claim for a dog is £409.00 which is worth remembering if you don’t take out pet insurance.

To help 'would be' pet owners, helpucover has listed tips to help people save money if they are planning to get a dog:
* Visit rescue homes and choose carefully
* Consider getting a Mongrel – they do have less health problems than pure breeds
* Clean your pet’s teeth daily or give dental chews
* Buy Pet insurance – Life time cover offers best value
* Get your pet neutered - unless you want more mouths to feed
* Buy Pet food in bulk – but make sure your dog likes it first
* Keep up to date with vaccinations, worming and health checks – prevention is always better (and cheaper) than cure
* Buy toys for your pet from charity shops
* Consider ordering over the counter pet medications on line
* Set up a house sitting/pet feeding rota with neighbours – far cheaper than a professional service
* Stop buying over the top accessories – who really cares if FIDO has a sparkly collar except you?

Anne Blackwood from Wales knows only too well the cost of owning a breed with renowned heath problems. Her Boxer Carrie requires monthly treatment costing an average of £400 per month. Anne says “In addition, Clarrie also requires about three hours of surgery every eight months costing £400-£500 each time. We would have found it hard to sustain the cost of looking after Clarrie if we didn’t have lifelong insurance."
For more tips on choosing the right pet for you visit for a free Pet Guide to answer all your questions.

Based in average medium dog living for 12 years – survey by Good Housekeeping magazine August 2010
RSPCA Jan 2011

RSPCA Jan 2011
Based on helpucover statistics 2010 (claims per breed) and also PDSA statistics
Based on helpucover 2009 Claims. Claims can last up to 12 months per condition

The facts
* In 2010 there were around 8 million dogs in the UK – Pet Food Manufacturers Association Jan 2011
* 45.7% of households in the UK own a dog – Data monitor Industry Insight Interviews 2009
For media enquiries, please contact: (Cardif Pinnacle)
Barbara Russell – Head of Marketing

Sarah Potter – Communications Manager 020 8207 9000

Notes to Editors
About is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc - one of the UK's leading insurers. "Pinnacle Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority".

About Cardif Pinnacle
Cardif Pinnacle (a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc) is the UK insurance unit of BNP Paribas Assurance, which is the life and property & casualty arm of BNP Paribas. BNP Paribas Assurance counts over 8,000 employees, 74% of them outside France. BNP Paribas Assurance had gross written premiums of €20.7 billion in 2009. It generated 41% of its 2009 gross written premiums outside France. BNP Paribas Assurance is the world leader in creditor insurance and the fourth-largest life insurance company in France. BNP Paribas Assurance is actively committed to exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility. It has adopted a Socially Responsible Investment program, encourages diversity throughout the enterprise (earning the "Equality at Work" label in France) and supports local economic development in the markets where it operates. BNP Paribas Assurance is equally committed to environmental responsibility, deploying an action plan to achieve a 10-percent reduction in the company's carbon emissions.

Formed in 1971 and currently employing circa 750 staff in the UK, Cardif Pinnacle has established itself as a leading provider of Protection solutions. Cardif Pinnacle acquired Warranty Direct and Direct Life and Pension Services in 2008, specialists in the provision of warranty and life insurance products.

With an emphasis on quality of service for clients and customers, Cardif Pinnacle is a preferred partner to more than 250 of the UK's leading Banks, Building Societies, Finance Houses and Intermediaries.

Protect yourself from large, unexpected veterinary bills with a Lifetime Pet Insurance policy from helpucover.