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A fifth of pet owners avoid vet visits due to cost-of-living crisis

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

New research reveals that 19% of dog and cat owners are putting off vet visits due to increased costs.

A survey by the Co-op of 2,065 pet owners also discovered that for 20%, an unexpected vet payment would mean they could no longer afford their canine or feline friend.

Meanwhile, given how important our pets are to us, almost two fifths (37%) of dog and cat owners said they would consider taking out a loan to pay for an unexpected vet bill.

Protection for your pet

One way to counter the costs of surprise vet bills is to insure your pet, however Co-op noted that almost half are failing to do so.

Andrew Nevitt, Head of Co-op Pet Insurance, said: “We know from the research that almost half (49%) of dog and cat owners do not have pet insurance, meaning more people possibly having to face the heart-breaking decisions we are already seeing in these difficult times.”

Data from Co-op insurance has found that in the last 12 months, the average pet insurance claim for vet bills rose to £532. Yet, the average cost of some conditions can be three times more. For example, ligament injuries can cost up to £1,643.

With latest data from Co-op showing a 16% increase in the average pet insurance claim for vet bills throughout 2022, combined with the average policy premium being around £24 per month, pet insurance can provide a safety net for pet owners who are facing higher vet bills.

Nevitt added: “It’s well-known that the UK is a nation of animal lovers, however the costs associated with our beloved pets are even more challenging at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.

“Pet insurance can provide a financial security blanket for pet owners, especially during those times when they might be faced with an unexpected vet bill and being able to spread the cost out across the year, means there are more affordable ways of giving pet owners peace of mind.