Press release

Paws for a moment, vet fees double in last three years

Tuesday 9 March 2010

  • Average annual UK vet bill £598 – double that of 2006 and increased at double the rate of inflation since 2008
  • Vets fees in the North West most expensive in the UK

The UK’s over 50s are avid animal lovers with one in five* (21%) owning a cat or a dog. However, if you live in the North West and your pet is poorly, you’re more likely to suffer the steepest vet bills in the UK. The average annual bill in this region is £646; 53% more than Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, the cheapest regions at £421.

Claims data** from Saga Pet Insurance has identified average vet bills in the UK among the over 50s have increased by 11% since 2008. This is more than double the annual rate of inflation, which has only increased by 5%***over the same period. Even more staggering is annual vet fees have increased by 53% since 2007 (from £391) and 101% since 2006 (from £298).

Andrew Goodsell, Executive Chairman, Saga Group Ltd, said: “As vet bills are vastly surpassing inflation, pet insurance is therefore a vital tool to help owners budget for unforeseen costs of care for their cat or dog, that may arise in the future, especially for those aged over 50 whose income is already being squeezed a both ends in the current climate.”

Regionally, the North East has seen the biggest increase in vet costs since 2008. For cats, bills have risen by 29% from £324 to a staggering £417. Dog owners in this region still bear the brunt of heftier costs, but the increase is slightly less at 17%, from £561 to £656.

Among the bills that aren’t as pressing on the purse, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands provide the cheapest care for both cats (£298) and dogs (£452). Therefore, where you live could dramatically affect the amount you pay should you be faced with a pooch in peril or a cat-astrophe.

Goodsell continued: “As a nation we consider pets as members of the family. Without the appropriate insurance, owners could be faced with the prospect of being unable to afford care because it’s simply too expensive, a situation no one would voluntarily put themselves in.”

Saga Pet Insurance provides up to £2,000 to cover treatment for injury, accident, illness or disease at a chosen veterinary surgery and has produced a free booklet that focuses on aspects of keeping your cat or dog in good health. It provides information on preventing illness and the requirements of food, exercise and healthcare. For a free copy or more information on Saga Pet Insurance please call 0800 056 5096 or visit


Notes to Editors-

Notes to Editors-

* GB TGI 2009 Q4 (JUNE 2008-JUNE 2009)

** Saga internal claims data – 2008 to 2009

***Bank of England CPI

For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.



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