The rising cost of vet bills is causing many pet owners to have their cat or dog put to sleep because, without pet insurance, they cannot afford to pay for the care their pet needs.
Sainsbury's pet insurance has revealed that 56 per cent of vets claim that they have put down cats or dogs which could have been treated because their owners could not afford the cost of treating their condition.
Other pet owners have rejected a course of treatment recommended by the vet due to the cost, with 88 per cent of vets saying this has happened to them.
Sainsbury's is urging pet owners not to go without pet insurance because it could mean the difference between life and death for cats and dogs.
Joanne Mallon, manager of Sainsbury’s pet insurance said: "It should be an essential item on a prospective owner's list when weighing up whether to purchase an animal or not. Doing without insurance is simply false economy and worse still could result in some heart breaking family decisions being made later down the line.
"Advances in veterinary science mean that our pets can get the best treatment possible these days, but these improvements including everything from more sophisticated scans to cancer treatments come at higher costs and the financial burden is being felt by pet owners."
Despite the rising costs of caring for pets, the 'vast majority' of owners do not have pet insurance, Sainsbury's says, so they have no protection in place for their pet.
"Vet fees are increasing by around 12% a year, and as a result of this we may see more animals needlessly being put down because their owners cannot afford it," Ms Mallon added.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd