Posted: Sat 22nd Apr 2023

Over a fifth of dog and cat owners put off vet visits due to increased costs

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 22nd, 2023

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New research from Co-op Insurance reveals that almost a fifth (19%) of UK dog and cat owners are avoiding trips to the vet for their beloved pets due to increasing financial difficulties.

The rising cost of living and average vet bill claims, which reached £532 across 2022, are forcing many pet owners to make difficult decisions about their pets’ healthcare.

The study, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Co-op, sheds light on the challenges faced by the nation’s pet owners as they grapple with the financial impact of rising costs.

Worryingly, 20% of those delaying vet visits for financial reasons admit that another unexpected vet bill could render them unable to afford their pet.

For those struggling to meet these expenses, 37% of dog and cat owners said they would need to take out a loan or go into debt to cover an unexpected vet bill.

Tragically, over 6% of cat and dog owners said they would have to consider giving up their cherished pets against their wishes.

Co-op Insurance data also indicates a 16% increase in the average pet insurance claim for vet bills throughout 2022, with average policy premiums at around £24 per month.

Andrew Nevitt, Head of Co-op Pet Insurance, noted that pet insurance can offer a financial safety net for pet owners facing higher vet bills, but nearly half (49%) of dog and cat owners do not have pet insurance.

To address this issue, Co-op Insurance is working with FirstVet, a 24/7 independent digital veterinary clinic providing video consultations. All Co-op pet insurance policies include FirstVet as standard, offering free online consultations with UK-registered veterinarians. Since the start of 2023, Co-op has seen a 33% increase in the number of customers using the FirstVet service.

FirstVet CEO David Prien said that the partnership with Co-op Insurance aims to make vet care more accessible and affordable for all pet owners, helping them manage their pets’ health without incurring excessive costs.

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