The average annual UK vet bill is now £598, twice as much as it was in 2006 and an increase relative to twice the rate of inflation since 2008.
One in five over 50s are cat or dog owners, according to Saga pet insurance, which has identified that vet fees have increased by 11 per cent in two years, more than double the rate of inflation for over 50s.
But since 2007, annual vet fees for the over 50s have increased 53 per cent, from £391, and 101 per cent since 2006, from £298.
Commenting on the figures, Andrew Goodsell, chief executive of Saga Group Ltd, said: "As vet bills are vastly surpassing inflation, pet insurance is therefore a vital tool to help owners budget for unforeseen costs of care for their cat or dog that may arise in the future."
Mr Goodsell said that taking out pet insurance is especially important for the over 50s demographic, because their incomes have already been squeezed more than most by the current financial climate.
"As a nation we consider pets as members of the family," Mr Goodsell continued. "Without the appropriate insurance, owners could be faced with the prospect of being unable to afford care because it's simply too expensive, a situation no one would voluntarily put themselves in."
© Fair Investment Company Ltd