NATIONAL PULSE – Pet owners say veterinarians are charging too much
By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
November 17, 2022 – Thousands of Canadian households welcomed furry friends into their homes during the pandemic but the end of social distancing means there is less time to spend together – and the rise of inflation means Canadians are hissing and growling at the costs of keeping them healthy.
The latest survey from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that while a majority of pet owners value the quality of service and care veterinarians provide, these professionals are seen to be charging too much to take care of their non-human patients.
At least three-in-five Canadians who have taken their dog, cat, or other pet for a routine checkup, dental procedure, treatment for an illness, or emergency visit say they believe the price they paid for that service was too expensive.
These views come against the backdrop of low uptake of pet insurance. Few Canadian pet owners (16%) avail themselves of this method of cost mitigation.
Those who do insure their pets give the service mixed reviews. Among this group, one-in-five (22%) say it has been a “total life saver”, while a third (34%) say they haven’t always needed insurance but it is nice to have. Two-in-five say their insurance didn’t help them when they’ve needed it (30%) or it was totally useless (10%).
More Key Findings:
- Pet owners give veterinarians glowing reviews. At least four-in-five say they received ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ service from their vet when their pet required a routine checkup (88%), dental procedure (85%), urgent care (80%) or treatment for a less urgent illness (85%).
- Four-in-five (80%) dog owners describe their pet as a member of the family. Fewer, but still a majority (68%), of cat owners do the same.
- Three-in-ten (28%) current pet owners adopted a pet during the pandemic. Half of pandemic pet adopters say they face challenges including separation anxiety for them (26%) or their pet (19%).
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