Revealed: The true costs of keeping a pet

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New analysis from Direct Line Pet Insurance reveals the top five most common conditions dog owners claimed for in 2016. According to last year’s data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average cost for owners who had dogs that required veterinary treatment was £768. This new claims data2 illustrates the importance of pets being covered for any illnesses they can develop, so owners are not faced with large vet bills.

The most common claimed-for condition was tumours/growths/warts and cysts, with 10,000 claims in 2016. The average cost to treat this ailment was around £700. The second most common claim last year was for musculoskeletal disorders such as sprains and arthritis.

Accounting for nearly a quarter of all claims for dog-related conditions last year were wounds (11 per cent) and gastro intestinal disorders (12 per cent), both of which cost over £500 on average to treat. The table below shows the top five most common pet claims that Direct Line dealt with in 2016.

Top five most common claims in 2016

RankType of conditionPercentage of all claims related to dog illnesses in 2016
1Tumours/growths/warts/cysts20 per cent
2Musculoskeletal disorders – for example strains and sprains, arthritis, conditions associated with abnormal joint development such as hip dysplasia17 per cent
3Gastro-intestinal disorders -  for example gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhoea), pancreatitis, parasite infections12 per cent
4Wounds – for example cuts, grazes, and puncture wounds11 per cent
5Poisoning/physical disorders – for example toxic ingestion, chocolate, grapes, bones etcFive per cent

Source: Direct Line Pet Insurance 2017

In some situations, owners can end up paying thousands of pounds in vet costs to treat certain conditions and disorders. Treatment can sometimes take years, meaning the total amount can be in the tens of thousands.

In addition to this, as new methods of treatment and improved technologies are developed, such as more accurate scans and prosthetic limbs, treatments become even more expensive. Direct Line’s most expensive vet fee claims last year were for blood disorders, with 80 per cent settled for between £200 and £4000.

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