Animals

Canadians complain about vet bills but don’t buy pet insurance

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Many Canadians have opened their homes to pets during the pandemic, but are hesitant at the cost of keeping the animals healthy.

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A new Angus-Reid poll shows Canadians love and value their vets — the vast majority report good or excellent service — but find them too expensive.

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At least three in five Canadians who have brought their pet for a checkup, dental procedure, treatment for an illness or emergency visit say they feel the price they paid for that service was too high.

For context, Angus Reid notes that only 16% of Canadian pet owners have pet insurance.

(Of those 16%, a third appreciate having it but feel they don’t need it all the time, another third say it didn’t help them when they needed it, 22% said it was a life saver and 10% thought it was useless.)

Other highlights of the new poll included information that 80% of dog owners say their pet is like a member of the family.

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Nearly a third of all current pet owners have adopted a pet during the pandemic. Upon returning to the office, half of those pet owners say they (26%) or their pet (19%) suffer from separation anxiety.

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Canadians seem to be animal lovers. About 35% of Canadians own a dog and 31% own a cat. Those are the most popular pets, but 60% of households have some kind of pet.

Pet ownership is related to socioeconomic status. About 65% of high-earning households own a pet, while only half of households with an annual income of less than $50,000 own one.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey of 1,618 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum from October 11-13, 2022. A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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