74 percent of pet parents are concerned about the rising cost of pet healthcare and their ability to properly care for their pets as a result, according to the Pet Healthonomics Survey conducted by PetCareRx this summer. Over 440 pet households nationwide participated in the study which explored major issues including trends in pet healthcare costs and the impact these are having on pet parent lifestyles, pet care decisions and approaches.
Pet Care Costs Increasing While Income Decreasing
It’s no wonder 3 out of 4 pet parents are worried about making pet healthcare ends meet. Over the past five years, the annual costs for caring for a dog have increased 15% to $1649 while cat care costs have jumped 28% to $1271 per year, according to the American Pet Products Association. During this same period, median US household income declined 7.5% to $51,400. Based on these figures, an average pet parent could be spending 5% of their net income per pet. Given these rising costs, 2 out of 3 pet households surveyed are opting to own fewer pets due to the costs.
Households Sacrificing to Pay for Pet Healthcare
“I would consider paying almost any amount of money to keep my pet healthy,” agreed 82% of pet parents polled. These dedicated pet parents are willing to make a number of lifestyle sacrifices to fund care for a sick pet.
• 87 percent of respondents would be willing to cut back on eating out or going out to provide better healthcare for their pets
• 76 percent would tighten their belts to be more frugal on other household expenses
• 71 percent would skip a vacation
• 7 percent would be willing to move from their current home!
How Pet Parents are Managing Costs
Pet parents are employing a variety of tactics to manage the costs of their pets’ healthcare.
Making Do With Less/ Doing Without: Many are making difficult choices to cut back their spending in key healthcare areas including vet visits, flea and tick and heartworm preventatives, vaccinations, and medications. 27 percent of pet parents admit to going to the vet less to save money. While 21 percent of dog-only parents have dialed back their vet visits due to cost, a full 35 percent of cat parents have made this tradeoff. In fact, 43 percent of cat-only parents surveyed say they only go to the vet when there is an active health issue; a notable 67 percent do not take their cats in for a yearly checkup.
Discovering Savvier Options to Save: In today’s environment, pet parents are highly motivated to make the most of every healthcare dollar and find smarter ways to get more value. Buying pet medications online is a popular way to save money, with many respondents purchasing flea and tick protection, heartworm protection, and other prescriptions online. Opting for generic medications is another way many pet parents are saving money in that area. In addition, an encouraging 37 percent report they have saved by learning more about preventative health and wellness.
Enter Protection Plus, 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, make a big difference in pet parents’ financial health, with no cost to their pets’ physical health. That win-win thinking is the spirit of Protection Plus.
Protection Plus, 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 ProtectionPlusCard.com.
Postscript – Don’t Miss Us at BarkWorld…
PetCareRx CEO, Jonathan Shapiro, and SVP & GM of The PetCareRx Network, Laura Fortner, are presenting “The Price We Pay for Healthy Pets” at BarkWorld, with findings from the Pet Healthonomics report. We’ll also be tweeting, Instagramming and Facebooking the event live, plus stay tuned for an even wrap-up next week. Look for hashtags #barkworld and #pcrxbw13.
…And Help Us Continue Our Healthonomics Study!
Are you a blogger with an audience of pet parents who are also feeling the rising costs of pet care? In mid-September, we’ll have a follow up survey to continue this important conversation here: http://bit.ly/PetHealthSurvey.
Stay tuned, or contact ksherbo [at] petcarerx [dot] com if you’re interested in learning more!
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