Most of us can cope with the financial commitment involved in the day to day care of our pets.  However, how many of us come out in a cold sweat when our pet is ill or injured and we know we have to take it to the vet?  Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to afford it but, some of us who love our animals dearly cannot. Unfortunately we do not have a PDSA or a RSPCA Centre within our area, but there are a few charities who may be able to help.

They are able to help with the costs of neutering (dependant on the benefits the pet owner is on) and for emergency euthanasia (where a pet is suffering). They will help with the cost of neutering Staffies and Staffies Crosses regardless of whether the owner is on benefits.


May give assistance with veterinary costs over £100.00

0191 514 4353

PDSA - 0800 731 2502

PSDA provides a free veterinary service for pet owners on certain state benefits. One pet per household. Their PetAid Service is provided for those living in Postcode Areas LA1 to LA6 (check their website if you do not live in the Lancaster Area). The Vets participating in PDSA's PetAid are:-

DIMPLES, Caton Road, Lancaster; LANCASTER VETERINARY CENTRE, Bowerham Road, Lancaster; BURCH TREE VETERINARY CENTRES, Carnforth, Morecambe and Lancaster.



RSPCA - 08705 555 999

May give assistance if you meet criteria and live within a RSPCA Clinic. Worth giving them a ring.  Visit their site to check out the map.



This is a charity local to Lancaster and district and they have assured me that most vets in the area are aware of them.  However, they are very keen to raise funds but very secretive on how to contact them.  Should you have difficulty in getting assistance to find out more, via your vets, let me know.   May give assistance with veterinary costs. 

01524 853635
For most owners, their cat or dog is part of the family and they would do anything to protect them and ensure they stay healthy - which is where pet insurance comes in. With veterinary bills potentially running so high, it can help to have some financial assistance if your pet falls ill or suffers an injury. Here we look at pet insurance for cats and dogs, how it works, what to look for from a policy and how to get a good deal.
How does pet insurance work and do you need it?
suffers an injury in an accident. Depending on the policy you take out, there may be a number of additional features too - such as pay outs if a pet dies, or causes an injury to a third party. During these tough financial times many owners overlook pet insurance believing it to be an unnecessary expense. However, with veterinary practices having made significant advances in medicines and treatments and having access to much more sophisticated equipment than in the past, their bills generally come at a price, which could leave pet owners with tough decisions to make about their pet's health. However, with pet insurance in place you can have peace of mind that your pet will receive the treatment it needs and that you can explore all the available options without having to find the necessary finances alone.
What should you look for from a pet insurance policy?
Broadly, there are three types of pet insurance policy available:
- Cover for a set period: The cheapest option, this means that the cover ends at the conclusion of a set period - typically 12 months.
- Cover limit per condition: This provides cover up to a set limit, and thereafter the protection will end - meaning your pet may not get complete cover for ongoing illnesses.
- Lifetime policy: This is generally the most expensive option but also offers the most peace of mind as there is a cover limit per condition per year, which renews as you renew your policy. This means that your pet can receive ongoing treatments as long as the policy is active.
In addition to deciding what type of policy you want, you should also think about the cover options that are important to you. These can include:
- Veterinary fees: The most obvious reason for taking out pet insurance is to cover vet fees, but check to see if there is a cover limit per condition, any time constraints and whether there are complementary therapies available such as for the provision of a special diet if recommended by a vet.
- Death by illness/accident: If a pet dies suddenly as a result of an accident or illness you may receive a payout to cover its purchase price or market value depending on the circumstances. This is normally recommended for owners with pedigree dogs.
- Missing pet cover: If your pet is lost or stolen, some insurance companies will help cover the cost of advertising and even help you to offer a reward for its safe return.
- Cover abroad: Many dog and cat owners like to take their pet abroad with them, but overseas vet fees can be expensive. If you want to take your pet abroad then look for an extension of cover and read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure you're meeting the necessary requirements.
- Holiday cover: Should your pet suffer an accident or illness while you are away, some pet insurance companies will cover your costs if you need to return home quickly.
- Emergency boarding fees: What would happen to your pet if you required sudden hospital treatment? Some pet insurance companies will cover the cost of kennel and cattery fees should an emergency occur.
- Third party liability: If your dog causes an injury to a third party or damages to their property you would normally be held liable - however, some pet insurers will cover you against this risk. Cats however, are considered 'free spirits' and therefore their owners cannot be held responsible for their actions.
Is there anything else to consider?
When taking out pet insurance don't overlook the following:
- Excess: This is your contribution towards a claim. Generally, the higher you set the excess the lower your premiums will be - but you should be careful to keep it at a level you can comfortably afford.
- Pre-existing conditions: Most pet insurance companies will be willing to insure a pet with pre-existing conditions but they will exclude that condition from the cover. You must inform the insurance company of any existing issues or it could negate your cover when you try and make a claim.
How can you find a good deal on pet insurance?
As with any insurance policy, the key to saving money on pet insurance is to shop around and compare as many deals as possible. There are now comparison websites that will do this work for you - comparing deals from more than a dozen insurance companies with one search.
Just remember to look beyond the cheapest price alone and consider the levels of cover available to ensure you're receiving value for money.