This summer PetCareRx began a study of hundreds of pet parents that showed the rising costs of pet healthcare are dramatically influencing pet parents’ lives and lifestyles. The findings of that initial report proved just how important a conversation about navigating the rising costs of pet healthcare is, and the survey was expanded to over 1,000 pet parents in October.
New insights into the real effects of pet healthcare costs have come to light, including just how dramatically costs can rise when a pet is diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes or cancer.
How pet parents are managing these costs is changing, and PetCareRx is evolving to meet the needs of a pricier, higher-stakes pet healthcare landscape.
Vast Majority of Pet Parents Concerned About Their Ability to Care for Their Pets in the Face of Rising Costs
Over 1,100 pet households nationwide participated in the expanded study by PetCareRx this October. This summer’s initial findings held true: 3 out of 4 pet parents are concerned about the rising costs of pet healthcare and their ability to afford care for their pets. And it’s no wonder -- over the past five years, the 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, according to the American Pet Products Association. During this same time, median US household income declined 7.5%. Given these competing trends, more than half of the pet households surveyed are opting to own fewer pets due to the costs.
What Households Sacrifice to Pay for Pet Healthcare
“I would consider paying almost any amount of money to keep my pet healthy,” agreed 73% of pet parents polled. Dedicated pet parents are willing to make a number of lifestyle sacrifices to fund care for a sick pet.
• 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
• 8% would be willing to move from their current home!
How Pet Parents Are Managing with Less and Doing Without
Pet parents are employing a variety of tactics to manage the costs of their pets’ healthcare – some of them dangerous, despite intentions to provide the best care for their pets. The most common cost that pet parents are cutting is veterinary visits – 35% of pet parents are cutting back on or skipping recommended vet visits in order to save money. Flea and tick protection, vaccinations, prescription medications, and heartworm protection are other areas pet parents are choosing to cut back on, potentially exposing their pets to dangers – and large health care bills -- down the line.
A Concerning Trend: Skipping Recommended Medications to Save Money
12% of pet parents have taken one of these potentially dangerous cost-cutting steps: delayed buying a recommended prescription, split pills or used less of a prescription than recommended, or declined to buy a prescription their pet was prescribed.
Pet Healthcare Costs Increase 53% when Pet Has a Chronic Condition
Just how much do the bills go up when a pet is diagnosed with a chronic condition? The study found that on average, pet parents spend $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.
Pet owners whose pets have a chronic condition spend an average of $935 per year per pet on healthcare expenses. That's a 53% increase over the average, and some pet parents are paying much, much more -- into five figures for pets with very serious conditions like cancer.
(Chronic conditions surveyed were Addison's disease, arthritis, cancer, Cushing's disease, diabetes, heart disease, hip dysplasia, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, and urinary incontinence.)
Savvier Ways to Save
Facing the growing costs of pet healthcare, pet parents are highly motivated to make the most of every dollar and to find smarter ways to get more value.
An encouraging 41% report they have saved by learning more about preventative health and wellness. 22% of pet parents surveyed reported taking steps with their veterinarian to invest in preventative methods.
Buying pet medications online is a popular way to save money – 38% of pet households surveyed take advantage of the lower prices online. In an age of information proliferation, 76% Google their pet health related questions to find answers and guidance online. When they land on PetCareRx.com, pet parents can find over one thousand veterinarian- and expert-verified articles and medication guides, all available to help them learn more about caring for their pet.
Enter PetPlus, the First-Ever Prescription Card for Pets
Most pet parents are concerned about the cost of pet healthcare. Many are taking action to lower costs. Some of these actions – skipping vet visits, declining prescriptions – are dangerous. Others, like buying medications from reputable online pharmacies and learning more about preventative health, make a big difference in pet parents’ financial situation, and are also poised to improve their pets’ physical health. That win-win thinking is the spirit of PetPlus.
PetPlus, the new prescription card plan for pets from PetCareRx, offers savings of up to 75% on prescriptions, and additional savings on vet visits, vaccinations, and more. To learn more about this new way to manage the cost of pet healthcare, visit PetPlus.com.
Plus... Don't Miss Us on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy!
Tune in at 11am this Saturday, October 26 to catch PetCareRx CEO Jonathan Shapiro on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy, where 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.
A Special Thank You to Our Blogger Partners!
The Pet Healthonomics study wouldn't have been possible without the help of these dedicated pet bloggers. Thank you for spreading the word about our study!
The Tiniest Tiger - ConservationCubClub.com
Gizmo's Terrier Torrent
Contact ksherbo [at] petcarerx [dot] com with any questions or if you’re interested in learning more!
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