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Cats and dogs suffer as 2 million owners ditch pet insurance

27 March 2009 / by Rachel Mason
Nearly a quarter of pet owners say they have had to cut back on care for their pets as a result of the credit crunch with nearly 2million being forced to ditch their pet insurance altogether.

According to research from Sainsbury's pet insurance, 4.64 million dog and cat owners admit their pets have suffered as a result of tightening budgets, with 836,000 saying they have stopped taking their cat or dog to the vet for regular check-ups.

A quarter of a million pet owners say they have had to either refuse veterinary treatment for their sick dog or cat or have their animal put to sleep due to money issues, while 1.91 million have delayed purchasing pet insurance cover, or even cancelled their current policy as a result of the credit crunch.

"We understand that almost everyone is being affected by the current economic climate, however one way to make sure your beloved dog or cat doesn’t suffer is to make sure that you have adequate insurance cover should they have an accident or fall ill," says Joanne Mallon, Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance Manager.

"It’s inevitable that many pet owners will look to cut back on expenditure, but it’s worth noting that veterinary medicine has advanced greatly over the past five years and treatments have become a lot more costly.

She continued, "good quality pet insurance is therefore essential and is really not something to cut back on."

Research from Direct Line pet insurance has found that average vet fees now stand at £715, so pet insurance has never been so important.

"Pet owners should remember to safeguard themselves against hefty vet bills by taking out insurance for their pets," urges Chris Price, head of Direct Line Pet Insurance.

"Sadly many dogs and cats have to be put down every year because owners are cutting back on insurance and then cannot afford to cover the costly vet bills associated with an accident or illness."

Sainsbury's pet insurance is currently offering a 15 per cent online discount, while with Direct Line pet insurance you can get 12 months cover for the price of 10.

Make sure your pet is covered: get Sainsbury's pet insurance, get Direct Line pet insurance or

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