UK pet owners are spending more than ever on vet fees for their dogs and cats, with new analysis from Direct Line Pet Insurance revealing that the average cost of veterinary treatment for dogs and cats has risen by four per cent over the past year, with the overall cost of medical treatment claims for dogs and cats in the UK totalling £775 million last year, an increase of ten per cent on 2016.
With more than a million pet insurance claims made during 2017, an average of nearly two every minute, pet owners are advised to look out for early warning signs of illness and injury to ensure their pets are given the best possible care and to reduce the likelihood of increased veterinary bills further down the line.
Analysis of Direct Line’s Pet Insurance data shows that whereas cats are most likely to be treated for wounds or gastrointestinal disorders, dogs were visiting the vets for treatment for tumours, growths, warts or cysts and musculoskeletal disorders such as lameness, arthritis or ligament damage.
The most commonly claimed-for ailments for dogs and cats
Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, commented on their findings saying, “Our analysis reveals the importance of insuring your pet against illness and injury, as owners can be left footing bills running into thousands of pounds.
“Many conditions can be easily treated so it is important to get your pet checked out as soon as you suspect something is wrong. Comprehensive pet insurance provides the vital peace of mind that a trip to the vet won’t always result in a trip to the bank.”
Direct Line Pet Insurance customers concerned about their pet’s health can take advantage of free access to the PawSquad app, which allows users to video call or text a vet in any situation including emergencies.
Sarah Page-Jones, Chief Veterinary Officer at PawSquad, added: “As time goes on, it becomes possible to treat pets more comprehensively and to manage a wider range of conditions, so average veterinary bills continue to rise.
“Unfortunately, we still see a far lower percentage of cats visiting their vet than dogs, often due to the stress caused to both pet and owner. PawSquad’s instant access, online video and chat service provides a stress-free way for pet owners to obtain veterinary advice from the comfort of their own home.”