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Poor pet dental hygiene could leave uninsured pet owners with nearly £1,000 in vet bills

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Neglecting pet dental hygiene could result in a costly bill of up to £962 according to new data from an insurance provider.

Almost a fifth of pet owners have delayed visiting the vets due to the cost of living. But those that delay, partcularly the uninsured, risk running up hefty bills and this is just as true for canine and feline dental care. Indeed, over two fifths of dog and cat owners put dental issues in the top 10 reasons to go to the vet.

Co-op Insurance has worked out that ignoring or waiting too long to address dental issues in pets can result in bills of up to £962 on ailments.

Almost a third of dog and cat owners have said that they would feel guilty if they could not have their pet seen to, but pets’ dental hygiene is sometimes overlooked. Teeth cleaning can be challenging for many pet owners and pets can find the experience distressing.

However, poor dental hygiene can develop into larger issues such as dental disease, gingivitis, or abscesses. These issues are most commonly claimed for on pet insurance.

The UK’s most popular breeds, Cocker Spaniels and Labradors, rank highest in dental claims, according to Co-op Insurance.

Tips to avoid expensive dental bills

  1. Dental chews can be integrated into a dog’s routine, keeping them entertained and healthy.
  2. Different dog breeds have different alignments, so discuss the best way to brush teeth with a vet.
  3. Find out the best type of toothbrush to use as there are several options
  4. Human toothpaste is unsuitable for dogs – speak to a vet

Pet insurance is a purr-fect safety net

Andrew Nevitt, head of Co-op Pet Insurance, said: “We know owning a pet brings great joy to many, however we shouldn’t underestimate the responsibility it also takes to care for them.

“As with people, dogs and cats come with their own specific health requirements and we know that if these aren’t properly looked after, it can lead to complications further down the line as well as costly vet bills.

“Insurance can provide a safety net for pet owners, however it’s important to properly understand your policy and be aware of what it does and does not cover.

“As our research has shown, dental issues are a key reason why pet owners would visit the vet, and whilst comprehensive dental cover for accidents and illness is included as standard in all Co-op pet insurance policies, this might not be the case for all providers – always make sure to check the details of your policy.”