The obvious benefits of owning a pet can’t be understated. The Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) maintains that bonds created between humans and their pets yield varied health benefits.
However, a significant number of pet owners fear they cannot afford medical expenses if their pets unexpectedly fell ill or got into an accident.
1. Pet Spending on The Rise
According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), Americans spent approximately $18 billion on pet healthcare in 2019 alone. In fact, pet spending grew faster than other categories in pet spending with a growth rate of 6.1% per year. But why has pet healthcare become so expensive?
Millennials and Generation Z are arguably the highest demographic cohort in pet ownership. They have caused a change in perceptions of the role of pets within families. Pets are increasingly being seen as part of the family, decisions in health care spending are likely to have emotional considerations similar to human healthcare decisions. Pet owners would, therefore, be willing and ready to pay more to receive appropriate care.
2. Pet Care Treatment is High
Pet healthcare has become even more demanding than human healthcare. For instance, the cost of a dog’s treatment would cover expenses for vaccination, routine physical exams, parasite control, disease screening, vitamins, supplements, and other drugs. You can see why the aggregate final cost of care would be alarming if all the demands are met.
The cost of running a veterinary service also translates into the final pet healthcare expenses. A dedicated pet healthcare facility needs just as much support staff as hospitals, from receptionists to laboratory technicians. Other than the labor costs, return on investment is a valid business expectation and a veterinary service would not be different. Vets spend a lot of money in training; this together with other overheads associated with running a vet clinic will be recouped in the calculation of the final cost of care.
Another factor for expensive pet healthcare is the cost of insurance for professional indemnity for vets in case of negligence. Because of the emotional bonds between pet owners and their pets, more scrutiny is likely to be carried in cases where procedures backfire. This would expose the vet to various costs in damages for professional negligence when proved. This cost of insurance, when factored in, will also increase the cost of care.
4. Rise in Technological Care
Technological innovations seen in the human medical field have also been spread in the advancement of veterinary healthcare technology. Be it imaging technology or other physiological monitors used for diagnostics, this change in veterinary technology means complicated procedures can now be performed making them very expensive.
Other than the technology, some pets require specialist care ranging from nutritionists, radiologists, or toxicologists. When specialist care is needed, pet owners will part with large sums of money in healthcare costs.
5. Rise in Medication
Finally, compounding in the expensive pet healthcare is the pharmaceutical products and other supplies used in a vet service. Due to growing demand, large Investments have been made in the developing, testing, approval, and distribution of pharmaceutical drugs leading to high consumer cost.
Some of the procedures previously preserved for human healthcare are now found in veterinary facilities such as human healthcare like MRI scans, orthopedic surgery, and chemotherapy, so when you think about your own expensive healthcare, you can imagine there would be a similar cost of care for your pet.
There aren’t anything pet parents wouldn’t do for their pets and that includes the best healthcare to help their beloved pets live long healthy lives. We now have the best facilities, drugs, and medical procedures to help pets live longer, healthier lives, and occupy a more central role in our lives. This has resulted in higher veterinary bills.