Preliminary results are in for PetCareRX’s ‘Pet Healthonomics’ study and they’re both revealing and concerning.
Over 1,100 households nationwide participated in the study and I guess it’s not too surprising that 74% of them are concerned about their ability to properly care for their pets as a result of the rising cost of pet healthcare. There’s good reason to be concerned…according to the American Pet Products Association the average annual costs for caring for a dog have increased 15% to $1,649 while cat care costs have jumped 28% to $1,271 per year over the past five years, all while the median income for US households declined 7.5%. One unfortunate result of this is that over half of the pet households are opting to own fewer pets. This means fewer adoptions, leading to heavier burdens on shelters and rescues.
The news is not all grim. Pet parents are willing to sacrifice for the welfare of their pets, as these results show:
- 73% agreed with the statement “I would consider paying almost any amount of money to keep my pet healthy.”
- 83% of respondents would be willing to cut back on eating out or going out to provide better healthcare for their pets
- 72% would tighten their belts to be more frugal on other household expenses
- 66% would skip a vacation
- and a surprisingly high 8% would be willing to move from their current home
But what are these real-world pet parents doing to cut costs right now? A variety of methods are being used and, despite the best intentions some of these can expose their pets to potential health problems and even larger medical bills later on. 35% of respondents are cutting back or skipping vet visits. Routine items like flea & tick and heartworm preventatives are being cut back or eliminated. Nearly 1 in 5 pet parents have taken one of these potentially dangerous cost-cutting steps involving prescription medication:
- Delayed buying a recommended prescription
- Split pills or used less of a prescription than recommended
- Declined to buy a prescription their pet was prescribed
And what happens when a pet is diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes or cancer?Participating pet parents spent an average of $611 per year per pet on healthcare related expenses like vet visits, prescription medications and diets, flea and tick protection, and emergency procedures and care. Those pet owners whose pets have a chronic condition spend an average of $935 per year per pet on healthcare expenses, a 53% increase over the average. Owners of pets with very serious conditions like cancer can see their bills skyrocket into the thousands, depending on the course of treatment.
(Chronic conditions surveyed were Addison’s disease, arthritis, cancer, Cushing’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, hip dysplasia, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, and urinary incontinence.)
There are some smart ways to save…41% have saved by educating themselves about preventative health and wellness. 22% have consulted with their veterinarian about preventative methods. Buying pet medications online has become more popular – 38% of those surveyed take advantage of the lower prices online. 76% are researching their pet health-related questions online. I know that I’ve consulted with PetMD.com and taken courses at PetMD University.
PetCareRX wants to help and has come up PetPlus, a prescription card plan for pets offers savings of up to 75% on prescriptions, and additional savings on vet visits, vaccinations, and more. PetCareRx CEO Jonathan Shapiro will be on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy this Saturday, October 26th, at 11 am EST. He’ll be discussing the Pet Healthonomics findings and PetPlus.The show will air on NewsChannel 8 in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC at 11am EST, and you can catch the episode online at ThePetShow.tv.
Does the rising cost of pet healthcare concern you? Have you taken any cost-cutting measures in your pet healthcare this past year? Are you looking for ways to save? I’d love to hear your thoughts…
PetCareRX has a great sweepstakes running now on their Facebook page. Click on the image below to enter…
UPDATE: Sadly, beloved Benny of Two French Bulldogs has lost his fight with liver cancer…he gave it his all, but his tiny body just couldn’t fight anymore and he left us last night…Benny had hundreds all over the world fighting with him…Please visit his family and show your support
This is not my typical FitDog Friday post, but I felt the results of this survey were important to share.
I am sharing this information because I feel it is relevant to my readers. I have not been compensated in any way by PetCareRX.