Almost Half Of Pet Homeowners Would Contemplate Euthanizing Their Pet When Going through Excessive Vet Payments (NEW STUDY)


A sad dog owner crying because of a bad diagnosis of her sick old Cocker Spaniel at the vet hospital.

The price of vet care is quickly growing, placing pet dad and mom in an exceptionally agonizing state of affairs of selecting between their funds and their canine’s well being – and even ending their pet’s lives prematurely in lots of circumstances. 

Canine Journal’s new examine concludes that getting pet insurance coverage can lead to fewer pets being euthanized resulting from monetary hurdles. Learn how a lot canine dad and mom spend on health-related prices and find out how to keep away from going into debt to pay for pet care.

6 Key Survey Findings

  • 48% of respondents would contemplate euthanizing their pets in the event that they had been identified with a situation requiring expensive remedy that was troublesome for them to pay.
  • 36% stated probably the most they’d be prepared to spend on their canine’s medical must keep away from euthanasia is $1,000. In the meantime, 17% stated there isn’t a restrict to how a lot cash they’d spend to avoid wasting their canine’s life.
  • 55% of pet homeowners would contemplate pointless euthanasia as a substitute of paying $2,500 for vet care.
  • 18% of respondents are unlikely to spend cash on expensive medical remedy for a canine (lower than 5 years previous).
  • 41% of respondents have gone into debt to pay for his or her canine’s non-routine vet care
  • 55% of respondents want they’d pet insurance coverage prior to now to assist cowl surprising vet prices.

Do Excessive Remedy Prices Lead To Pointless Euthanasia?

Pet dad and mom generally point out that the price of vet care is a serious concern they wrestle with. The truth is, 48% of respondents stated they’d contemplate euthanizing their pet in the event that they had been identified with a situation requiring expensive remedy that was financially troublesome for them to pay. Sadly, financial euthanasia is a typical dilemma within the veterinary neighborhood, which weighs closely on not solely pet homeowners but additionally veterinarians and their employees.

A pie chart showing if people would consider euthanizing your pet if costly medical treatment were needed and difficult for you to afford.

Different Elements That Lead To A Determination To Euthanize Pets

In accordance with our survey outcomes, 18% stated the price of medical remedy their canine required attributed to their determination to euthanize their canine. Total, pet dad and mom prioritize their pet’s ache as the first consider electing for euthanasia — almost 2 in 5 pet homeowners (38%) reported this as one of many main components of their determination to euthanize their final pet. This was adopted by 36% saying there was nothing they may do to lengthen the canine’s life and 35% saying the pet’s general well being standing.

A bar chart showing what were the main factors in the decision to euthanize last pet.

How A lot Are Pet Homeowners Prepared To Spend To Keep away from Euthanasia?

Our information revealed that 36% could be prepared to spend as much as $1,000 on their canine’s medical must keep away from euthanasia. The identical proportion (36%) of respondents have spent greater than $1,000 for non-routine vet care for his or her canine.

In the meantime, 17% stated there’s no restrict to how a lot cash they’d spend to avoid wasting their canine’s life.

A bar chart showing how much people would you spend on dogs medical needs to avoid euthanasia.

What’s alarming about these outcomes is that 55% of respondents stated that they wouldn’t be prepared to spend greater than $2,500 to keep away from euthanasia. The price to deal with many diseases and emergencies is far higher than $2,500. Let’s play out a state of affairs.

Gastrointestinal (abdomen) points are among the many commonest causes canine require emergency vet care. This may fluctuate from ingesting one thing harmful (e.g., bones, toys, particular human meals poisonous to canine, rubbish, and extra) to a extreme sickness.

Let’s say a canine eats rooster bones and begins exhibiting GI points (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, lack of urge for food, bloating, stomach ache, refusal to drink, and so on.). Bones pose an immense danger for canine as a result of they’ll develop into lodged within the esophagus, splinter and tear the GI tract, and trigger different harmful well being issues for canine. Happily, in lots of conditions, international physique ingestion is treatable with medical intervention. Nonetheless, the canine could have a potential obstruction or inner bleeding because of the bone ingestion, which may be very painful for the pup. In conditions like this, the pet mother or father ought to search speedy vet care for the canine.

The canine is taken to the vet. After the emergency examination price, blood work, diagnostic checks, anesthesia, exploratory surgical procedure, hospital keep, prescription medicines, intravenous fluids, and different vet care are carried out, the canine is on the mend and anticipated to make a full restoration. Sadly, the pet mother or father faces a vet invoice starting from $800 to $7,000.

In accordance with our survey outcomes, 64% of pet homeowners would probably go for pointless euthanasia as a substitute of paying hundreds of {dollars} to deal with their canine’s international physique ingestion. This is only one instance of how one small factor can rapidly develop into an enormous price for pet dad and mom.

Many different frequent canine well being points can simply attain or exceed $2,500 in vet prices. Some embody:

Many of those situations are treatable and might result in a canine residing an extended, pleased life with the correct vet care. In these situations, the place vet remedy prices exceed $2,500, solely 45% could be prepared to spend the cash. Moreover, solely 29% could be prepared to pay greater than $5,000.

Is A Canine’s Age A Issue In Euthanasia?

Accidents and diseases usually tend to pop up as a canine ages. In accordance with our survey outcomes, 31% of respondents stated their pet’s age was a contributing issue to their determination to euthanize their canine. Notably, 18% would possible not spend cash on expensive medical remedy for a canine who’s lower than 5 years previous.

The vast majority of these surveyed (44%) reported that their canine’s age wouldn’t be an element till 14 years or older. Nonetheless, virtually 2 in 5 would decide out of expensive medical procedures for his or her lower than 5-year-old canine.

A bar chart showing at what age would people would not spend on a costly non routine medical procedure for dog.

What does this imply for the canine of these pet homeowners who fall inside that 18%? Homeowners could go for palliative take care of ache administration, symptom management, and high quality of life till euthanasia is extra of a final resort because of the canine being in ache, a veterinarian’s suggestion, or different causes.

Nonetheless, palliative care bills can add up rapidly and should lead to canine being euthanized because of the lack of funds for symptom management and high quality of life. It’s an unlucky determination both manner.

Instance Of Age vs Value Concerns

Breed impacts a canine’s lifespan. As an example, Nice Danes stay 6-8 years on common, whereas Australian Shepherds can stay a mean of 12-18 years. The anticipated lifespan of some pet proprietor’s breed or mixture of breeds impacts their determination on whether or not or not they spend cash on expensive medical remedy for his or her canine.

Right here’s an instance of how this might play out in actual life for a pet proprietor who has a canine with most cancers, which is without doubt one of the commonest well being points for canine. Somebody with a 4-year-old Nice Dane could decide in opposition to costly most cancers remedy for his or her canine. In the meantime, one other particular person with a 4-year-old Australian Shepherd could approve extra or all of the surgical and medical most cancers therapies accessible for his or her canine.

Many components can lead a pet proprietor to this determination. Nonetheless, one that’s typically attributed is that the Australian Shepherd may nonetheless stay 14 extra years whereas the Nice Dane may stay solely 2 to 4 extra years. The potential lifespan for the breed could make it troublesome for the pet proprietor to spend $6,000 to $10,000 on surgical procedure, chemo, and radiation (the precise price of most cancers remedy can exceed $10,000 for some circumstances) if the canine breed’s anticipated lifetime isn’t for much longer.

What Are Dad and mom Paying For Non-Routine Vet Care?

Sudden journeys to the vet can rapidly rack as much as a whole bunch and even hundreds of {dollars}, relying in your pet’s ailment. Over one-third of respondents (36%) have spent greater than $1,000 for non-routine veterinary care for his or her canine resulting from an sickness, harm, or a continual well being situation.

Non-routine veterinary care consists of surprising accidents and diseases that require medical remedy. Issues like annual exams, vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm therapies, and different objects associated to preventative care are excluded and fall beneath routine vet care.

A pie chart showing how much people have spent on non routine vet care due to an illness or injury.

Are Pet Homeowners Prepared To Go Into Debt For Their Pet?

One of the best factor you are able to do to keep away from going into debt in your pet is to arrange for emergencies and routine bills. In accordance with our survey, 41% of respondents have gone into debt to pay for his or her canine’s non-routine vet care. One strategy to put together for these surprising vet bills is by signing up for pet insurance coverage.

A pie chart showing how people have paid for non routine vet treatment in the past.

Is Pet Insurance coverage Value It?

Pet insurance coverage is the pet equal of human medical insurance. Relying on the plan, surprising accidents (e.g., damaged bones, torn ligaments, international physique ingestion, and so on.) and diseases (e.g., most cancers, allergic reactions, arthritis, vomiting, diarrhea, and so on.) could also be eligible for protection. Routine bills, like vaccines, deworming, wellness exams, and so on., are excluded from pet insurance coverage protection.

Of these surveyed, 37% had pet insurance coverage, and 55% wished they’d pet insurance coverage prior to now to assist cowl an surprising vet price.

A bar chart showing if people have pet insurance or wish they had it.

Pet insurance coverage permits you to make the perfect determination in your pet when an emergency arises as a substitute of the least costly one. Your canine’s well being emergencies can price hundreds of {dollars}, and understanding when they may happen is inconceivable. Realizing your pet may have entry to medical care, whatever the price, could make it value having pet insurance coverage.

“It’s evident from Canine Journal’s new examine that the hovering prices of veterinary care are forcing pet dad and mom into heartbreaking selections between their funds and their pets’ well-being,” stated Amber Batteiger, Spokesperson for Embrace Pet Insurance coverage. “This case, exacerbated by inflation, illustrates why pet insurance coverage is not non-compulsory, however important. This survey’s findings reveals that it’s heartbreaking to acknowledge that many pets may have lived longer if not for these monetary burdens. Guaranteeing pets stay a part of their households with out monetary hardship is paramount. These troublesome selections don’t replicate an absence of affection however the harsh realities many face. Pet insurance coverage emerges as a important software for protecting our cherished pets wholesome and by our sides longer.”

Instance The place Pet Insurance coverage Is Worthwhile

My senior canine, Daisy, is 12 years previous and going by way of a most cancers analysis. We don’t have insurance coverage on her and can’t get her protection at this late stage in her life. After I adopted her, pet insurance coverage was one thing I didn’t know a lot about and didn’t really feel was a worthwhile funding. The truth is, I had been advised by various those that it was a rip-off. I do know higher now.

Daisy has a few medical points that led the vet to imagine she has most cancers. These embody a number of exhausting bumps (over 10) on her physique and a sore on her leg that won’t heal. After attempting a number of completely different therapies, we had been confronted with the advanced and heart-wrenching actuality that one thing was occurring along with her that we could not be capable to deal with.

For Daisy, there are only a couple of choices: expensive remedy like surgical procedure and chemotherapy or cheaper consolation care. Surgical procedure and chemo may give her slightly extra time with us however add an enormous monetary weight on us. Consolation care would enable her to stay out her life, nonetheless lengthy she has, with remedy to handle her ache, however not deal with the most cancers. Even going by way of a most cancers analysis with out insurance coverage has a price ticket of a number of thousand {dollars}.

As her canine mother, it’s a heartbreaking place to be. I don’t need her in ache, and naturally, I need to hold her alive so long as I can. Whereas having insurance coverage may not save her life, it will actually make extra remedy choices accessible by aiding with the monetary duty. As an alternative, we’re grappling with the choice to maneuver ahead with costly remedy that might hold her alive longer or transfer ahead with less expensive consolation care choices that may lead to much less time along with her.

Danielle DeGroot, mother or father to a Pitbull Lab combine

What About Routine Bills?

Wellness plans will not be pet insurance coverage merchandise and are at all times non-compulsory. They cowl preventative care, comparable to annual examination charges, spay/neuter procedures, routine blood panels, heartworm testing, and vaccines.

About one-third of survey respondents (34%) have gone into debt to pay for his or her canine’s routine vet care. One strategy to keep away from debt in your pet’s annual vet bills is by including a wellness plan to your pet insurance coverage coverage.

A pie chart showing how people have paid for routine vet care in the past.

How A lot Does Pet Insurance coverage Value?

In accordance with NAPHIA (North American Pet Well being Insurance coverage Affiliation), the common month-to-month premium for an accident and sickness canine insurance coverage coverage within the U.S. is $53.34 ($32.25 for cats).

Nonetheless, the worth varies primarily based in your pet’s particular particulars (breed, age, location, and so on.) and the pet insurance coverage supplier you choose. Use our fast, free quote kind beneath to get a value in your canine, and skim our pet insurance coverage comparability to be taught extra about the perfect firms.

Our Examine Methodology

Canine Journal commissioned Pollfish on December 5, 2023, to conduct a web-based survey of 1,000 pet homeowners in america (U.S.). Of the pet homeowners surveyed, 100% at the moment had a canine or had one prior to now 5 years and had been requested to reply questions primarily based on one canine who has skilled medical remedy prior to now.

The survey was created to higher perceive how uninsured pets are in danger for financial euthanasia and the way insuring pets could lead to more healthy pets who stay longer.

Word: Figures represented in percentages had been rounded to the closest entire quantity.

Why Belief Canine Journal?

Canine Journal is an business authority on pet insurance coverage, writing concerning the subject since 2013, nicely earlier than different conglomerates found the rising recognition of well being take care of our pets. Lots of our authors have private expertise with pet insurance coverage, together with Kimberly Alt, who spends numerous hours analyzing survey information to ship insights to our viewers. Kimberly is Canine Journal’s go-to knowledgeable for pet insurance coverage masking almost each attainable side associated to pet insurance coverage for greater than a decade. Kimberly is aware of the topic so nicely that she will reply a breadth and depth of pet insurance coverage questions instantly. And on the uncommon event she doesn’t know the reply off the highest of her head, she will discover it inside minutes resulting from her intensive listing of assets. Michelle Schenker, a licensed insurance coverage agent, affords further experience and authority in Canine Journal’s potential to precisely write about and help readers in buying insurance policies.

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