Money Moral Dilemma: Should we have to pay the vet bills?

Former_MSE_Lee Former MSE Posts: 343 Forumite
edited 5 October 2010 at 8:40PM in MoneySaving polls
Please give this MoneySaver the benefit of your advice...
Should we have to pay the vet bills?

After our second baby we were struggling, so my parents in law offered to look after our dog. Yet every time the dog so much as coughed she'd be taken to the vets and we would be presented with a £50 bill. This was happening once a month for minor complaints and the dog wasn't living with us. My parents in law are rather affluent and at the time we weren't. Should we have to foot these vet bills?
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  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Forumite Posts: 4,632 Forumite
    If your parents in law look after your children while you are away, or at work do, they foot the bills as well?

    Your dog, your responsibility.
  • chris_n_tj
    chris_n_tj Forumite Posts: 2,658
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    As above its your dog so you offer to pay. If your in laws offer to pay then fine, otherwise hand over the cash. Your Dog is worth it after all.

    Pet insurance? If not why not.

    Chris n TJ
    RIP TJ. You my be gone, but never forgotten. Always in our hearts xxx
    He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
    You are his life, his love, his leader.
    He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
    You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
  • Petaldust
    Petaldust Forumite Posts: 49
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    You should foot the bill. If you didn't want to, you should have told them in no uncertain terms NOT to take the dog to the vets after the first time it happened. They obviously thought they were doing the right thing. If it kept happening, it's your fault for not saying anything.
  • higginsb
    higginsb Forumite Posts: 20 Forumite
    Yes, you should pay the vet's bills as it your dog which they are doing you a favour looking after. However maybe you could ask them to call you first before taking the dog to the vet, and ask you to decide if he needs to go. You should really take him anyway, as he is your dog.
  • Morganarla
    Morganarla Forumite Posts: 709
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 3 January 2012 at 5:14PM
  • Susan_Frost
    Susan_Frost Forumite Posts: 416 Forumite
    Of course it is your responsibility

    If you dont want the dog, then re-home it properly

    Paying for food, etc. is not mentioned so I imagine they are already doing that. But a vet bill is different and you should pay for it.

    Ask them to check it out with you each time they feel it needs the Vet. An emergency would be obvious so they can surely be allowed to make that decision themselves - but your dog, you pay.
  • craftycrafter
    craftycrafter Forumite Posts: 68 Forumite
    Were you struggling with lack of time, or lack of money?

    If it was time, and you did not discuss bills, I think you should pay.

    If it was money, surely the cost of food, and presumably other bills, was discussed before your dog went to stay with your parents in law?

    Whatever you decide, talk to the parents in law urgently so you all know what should happen from now on.

    Perhaps you can negotiate with them for instalment payments, or ask for some of the bills to be paid by them in lieu of Christmas presents for your family?

    Good Luck.
  • pennypinchUK
    pennypinchUK Forumite Posts: 383 Forumite
    Isn't this just something you talk to your in-laws about? Something along the lines of "We really appreciate you looking after the dog, as you know we're strapped for cash at the moment. The vets bills are bigger than when we had him/her and we're struggling to pay those. We obviously want what's best for the dog, but perhaps you could chat with us before taking the dog to the vets, just so we agree it's necessary to take him/her".

    I really don't see the dilemma.
  • System
    System Community Admin Posts: 178,003
    10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Community Admin
    Last Friday, my daughter and her husband brought their two dogs for a week whilst they move house. Within 12 hrs, one of the dogs was ill and the following day we my daughter organised a vet for us by phone. Later that day the vet was contacted again and after several hours when the dog was clearly unwell, the vet collected the dog for an overnight stay on a drip and after discharge on Sunday, we had a further two visits. We don't drive so it has cost about £18 each visit by taxi. My daughter and her husband said at the onset they would reimburse me with every penny.

    The dog ?, poisoning from one of their country walks/runs seems to be the cause, but cannot be certain and now he appears to be on the mend.

    When taking on someone else's pet, it should be said clearly and distinctly who would be responsible for costs incurred even though it is the owners pet.
  • ericthelobster
    ericthelobster Forumite Posts: 133
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Photogenic
    islandman wrote: »
    When taking on someone else's pet, it should be said clearly and distinctly who would be responsible for costs incurred even though it is the owners pet.
    That's the crux of the issue in the present case.
    In defence of the owners, I think you need to distinguish between looking after the dog temporarily because (eg) they are going on holiday, and taking over the pet because the owners can no longer afford to keep it.

    In the first case the vet bills would be unarguably down to the original owners; in the second case it's more difficult. What's the point of handing over the pet to someone else if the cost actually escalates (due to apparently over-zealous vet visits) as a result?

    A final point - who is currently paying for the animal's food? By extension, the same person should pay for the vet bills.
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