Pets are for life not just for Christmas, so make sure pet insurance is under the tree

24 December 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Pet insurance should be at the top of pet owners' Christmas list and is the best thing they could buy their pet, according to research carried out on behalf of the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The ABI has revealed that almost a third of Brits would consider giving a pet as a gift at Christmas, but found that many pet owners are unaware of how expensive vet bills can be if the animal is injured or becomes ill, making pet insurance a valuable purchase.

Nick Starling, director of general insurance and health at the ABI, warned that "if they need veterinary treatment, bills can run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Having pet insurance in place means that pet owners can have the confidence that their pets will get the best treatment without having to find money to cover large bills. This is even more important during hard economic times when household finances are already stretched."

Meanwhile, a study by MORE TH>N has discovered that the average dog can put on as much as the equivalent to one human stone in weight over the Christmas period as a result of misguided owners giving them too many treats.

This can put them at risk of developing a number of serious illnesses, the pet insurance provider warned, and urges dog owners to consider the consequences of giving uneaten mince pies and other Christmas leftovers to their pooch.

"Dog owners really do need to take care of their animals during the festive season" urges Pete Markey, head of MORE TH>N pet insurance, as "misguided kindness when it comes to treats could cause serious health issues for the nation's dogs in the New Year."

But the bark could be worse than the bite and MORE TH>N's fears could be unfounded this credit crunch Christmas, as cash-strapped families are less likely to treat their pets, according to research from Saga pet insurance which found that it's not just humans who are feeling the pinch.

Of dog owners aged 50 or over, just 54 per cent will be buying presents for their dogs, compared to 68 per cent in previous years.

Some of those who cannot afford the treats might be among the four per cent of British pet owners who will send their beloved pet a Christmas card.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd