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Pet owners count cost of pampering

Cherry Reynard
Written By:
Cherry Reynard

Pet owners have increased the amount they spend on their animals by 13% over two years, despite concerns over the financial pressure of keeping a pet, according to new research from Sainsbury’s Bank.

The research shows that almost three quarters of pet owners (74%) see their pets as part of the family, which means giving them birthday and Christmas presents, and taking them on holiday.

Dog owners are the most likely to spoil their pet, (48%), compared to 38% of cat owners and 39% of other pet owners.

Four in 10 pet owners (41%) say they give their pets Christmas presents and one in five (19%) celebrate their birthday. One in seven (14%) make or buy them special dinners, 16% take them on holiday and 4% like to dress them up in special pet clothes or collars. Some 3% of owners even take their pets to a pet spa.

The biggest concern for pet owners is the cost of medical treatment. Pets are living longer, and veterinary science has improved, which has send costs soaring.

Scott Gorman, head of Sainsbury’s pet insurance said: “Almost all of our claims (98%) involve veterinary costs and with vet fees rising by around 12 per cent a year due to some fantastic medical advances, it’s essential pet owners shop around and pick pet insurance that will provide sufficient cover should their animal fall ill or suffer an injury. Unfortunately, pet insurance policies vary significantly so the pet owner must take care.”