The cost of vets highlights the importance of pet insurance

23 June 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Vets have become the most profitable business category in the UK, highlighting the cost of treatment for furry friends and what a money saver pet insurance can be.

Vets have experienced a 37 per cent return on capital per year over the last two years, making veterinary practice the most lucrative of businesses.

If a dog breaks its leg it can cost thousands of pounds to get it treated, and advances in medicine mean that domestic animals are now receiving care for a lot more illness than they have in the past.

The figures are a "wake-up call" for pet owners, according to Gideon Ingham, head of insurance at ASDA Financial Services, to invest in pet insurance in order to protect beloved pets by ensuring they can afford the care they need, and to protect themselves from the financial injury the care can cause.

This is particularly important in such times as these, he said, when budgets are tight and there might not be enough money in the kitty to pay for the family pet's treatment if it becomes ill or is run over.

"Gone are the days when animal lovers only visited the vet for tablets, neutering and putting pets to sleep, but more about care that you'd associate with humans including heart surgery, cancer care and alternative medicines," Mr Ingham commented. "This sort of care is not cheap and is a major reason why vets lead the way in profit.

"What concerns me is that independent research suggests that less than a quarter of pets are insured. Of that, more dogs are insured than cats. As almost three quarters of pets are dogs then you wouldn't want to be a poorly cat in the UK at the moment. At this time of credit crunch, with no insurance and the prospect of a sizeable vet bill, these are costs that people just can't afford at the moment."

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