Starting to rack up

Now if you choose to scroll down on the blog area of the website, it has started to get quite long. However, it just also then appear I have a lot of free time on my hands to write these extensive blogs. And as long as you are enjoying them, it dinnae matter!

How to reduce your vet bills

Now this is going to be a risky one! I would like to point out, these methods are ways of usually reducing costs of vet's fees but no guarantee.

As many will agree, going to the vets is an expensive business. Just maintaining on yearly vaccines knocks you back £38.50 for dogs, £40 for cats and £32 for a rabbit. Though these are the all inclusive versions of the vaccines (so the cat's version includes Feline Leukaemia Virus and the rabbit's is both myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease combined), it is still not cheap to keep a pet healthy. Then you have the flea, worming, food, treats, (all elective bar the food of course) and you are looking at least £200 a year. And that's even before there is any sickness. So below are three main pointers that are highly advised to make sure you keep costs down right from the start of your animals life.

Number 1 – The Puppy/Kitten Club

OK, this may sound like an advert but I promise you that will save you heaps. The puppy and kitten club is our way of keeping your newborn healthy for those vital first six months. So with one payment of £70 (dog or cat) and it is the 2 initial vaccines, 1st dose of flea and worming, microchip (which is going to be compulsory in 2016 for dogs), puppy socialisation classes (very useful if you want to avoid on expensive behavioural training later, but subject to availability of there actually being other puppies), 4 weeks of insurance with PetPlan (I will get onto insurance later), and as many free nurse consults as you can squeeze in for the first 6 months. If you want more info about nurse consults and why you would use them, follow this link to a blog a few weeks back where I went on a tangent talking about them,

I have done the maths on this, totalling everything up individually, working on 2 nurses consults in those first six months and went from there. I estimate in full the kitten course should be £137.75 and the puppy course is £148.34, so that ain't a bad saving.

I should note that there is one thing for puppies which we strongly advise but don't include is a third parvovirus vaccine. This is given at 16 weeks and is just a little top up as there is canine parvovirus in Bath, which is very nasty disease that has affected vaccinated puppies without this third little addition.

Number 2 – Insurance

We cannot stress this enough, insurance saves pet's lives. Since veterinary is a private business, it does mean that there are bills to pay so unfortunately, when a condition arises, the limiting factor tends to be the depth of one's pocket. However, with insurance expensive bills tend to be paid.

There are four things that need to be kept in mind when looking at insurance. Firstly, the younger the better, so getting insurance for a puppy is much more likely to be cheaper and more fully covered than an 8 year old. This kind of brings me onto the second point. If you ever think of changing insurance companies, it should be noted that companies don't tend to cover for any pre-existing conditions, even if they have ended. For example, problem with left hind leg before won;t be covered in future. This is usually in the fine print, so the third point (which is rather obvious if very dull) is READ THE FINE PRINT! 4th point is you get what you pay for. Bridget and all the vets have spent more than is healthy speaking to insurance companies about various cases, but we have found that the more expensive insurance companies have a more no-questions-asked policy. Getting drawn into cheap initial premiums or low excesses is not necessarily the best way to go if you wished to be reimbursed.

Number 3 – The Best Friends Club.

Advert number 2. Ashman Jones' very own Best Friends Club. What this is our preventative measures scheme (+other discounts scheme). So to keep an animal in tip-top condition, we have created the best friends club to help you keep an eye on it. It is a monthly direct debit and takes away any worry of managing finances to afford a pet's condition. So all vaccines are covered, all flea, all worming, any nurse consult you feel like and a 6-monthly health check with the vet. There is also 10% off from all food and anything behind the desk so can total up to be quite a bit of a saving. In fact, for a cat, it is at least a saving of £114.04 a year and a dog can be up to £175.

The Bath Half

Of what has happened this week, the most notable (and only notable) is the Bath Half situation. Hayley and Bridge completed it, survived and put in very good times also, so fair play to them! Hayley managed it in under two hours (though she's not telling anyone the exact time) and Bridge was just behind at 2:16 minutes. They were both surprisingly sprightly for the next few days considering, though as Hayley put it, stairs were a challenge! Total raised for HEART is being counted at this moment and will be posted as soon as we know.

Into next week

All this week Sophie has been off, but next week she is back, so that's good news! However next Pip is disappearing off to Cheltenham for a little thing called the Cheltenham Cup, so there are still going to be various locums flitting in to help us keep on moving along nicely. Matt (who has been covering Sophie) will hopefully be in on Tuesday, however his wife is having a baby around that time so that may be acceptable reason if there is a last minute jig on the rota. From Wednesday to Friday we have another locum in by the name of Clara, who is simply lovely. She will mainly be based at Widcombe for the three days.

Finally, if you would like to participate in this blog just email us at or head to our website where you can email in from there. Just make sure that you make the subject for the attention of the blog, otherwise we may miss it!

And for a picture, how about this?

 Sometimes, we all feel like this. Some more than others admittedly!

Sometimes, we all feel like this. Some more than others admittedly!