The unlucky pets that will cost you a fortune in vets bills

Study reveals the unluckiest dogs and cats. How can you protect yourself?

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Mongrel Dog With a Toy Bone

If you've got a crossbreed dog called Charlie, then brace yourself for some shocking vets bills during their lifetime, because a new study has revealed they are the unluckiest pets in the UK. Meanwhile, if you've got a shorthaired cat called Oscar, then your bank balance could be in for a bruising too.

The Co-op Insurance analysed its pet insurance claims in order to track down the animals that racked up the most claims. This was the second year in a row that cats called Oscar took the title, while Charlie knocked Alfie off the top spot as the unluckiest dog name. Overall they found that male pets were more likely to get into trouble than their female counterparts.

Dog top ten:
1. Charlie
2. Alfie
3. Bella
4. Max
5. Ruby
6. Molly
7. Rosie
8. Oscar
9. Bailey
10. Poppy

Cat top ten
1. Oscar
2. George
3. Charlie
4. Alfie
5. Felix
6. Max
7. Leo
8. Molly
9. Billy
10. Coco

Cost of unlucky pets

Owning a pet is not cheap in any case. A study by Totally Money discovered that the average cost of keeping a large dog with an average amount of luck is £19,577, while the cost of a small dog is closer to £22,344 (because they tend to live longer).

When you add unusual vets bills on top of this it can be financially crippling, especially as the Co-op study found that the average claim for a dog was £510 and for a cat it was £475.

If you have a hapless dog that constantly needs attention after getting into scrapes, then you can spend thousands of pounds on vets bills. If they are often unwell or pick up a chronic condition, then you could end up spending even more on your furry friend.

Cover

It goes to show how valuable it can be to have decent pet insurance for your pet - particularly if it turns out to be particularly accident prone or sickly.

In many cases, having the cheapest possible cover is far better than nothing. However, it's also worth checking the small print to see what you are covered for, and how long for, as some policies place far lower limits on repeated treatments for ongoing conditions and others have seemingly endless exclusions.

It's also worth considering lifetime policies over renewable cover. It is more expensive, but it means that if your pet develops an illness, it will be covered throughout their lifetime as long as you pay your premiums. Under renewable cover, it will class the illness as a pre-existing condition and won't cover it. The benefit of lifetime cover is evident from the fact that Petplan, which offers lifetime policies, pays 97% of its claims.

It's worth talking to your vet too about the insurers they have the best experiences with, because some are far better at paying claims than others. We revealed earlier this year that one in three claims are turned down, so it may be worth steering clear of those your vet considers to be the worst offenders.

When it comes to the fluffiest members of the family, it's worth taking some precautions - especially if they are called Charlie or Oscar.

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