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From Angus Reid Institute

Pet owners praise veterinarian care but say it costs too much

Canadian pet owners who have insurance give the service mixed reviews

November 17, 2022 – Thousands of Canadian households welcomed furry friends into their homes during the pandemic but the end of social distancing means there is less time to spend together – and the rise of inflation means Canadians are hissing and growling at the costs of keeping them healthy.

The latest survey from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that while a majority of pet owners value the quality of service and care veterinarians provide, these professionals are seen to be charging too much to take care of their non-human patients.

At least three-in-five Canadians who have taken their dog, cat, or other pet for a routine checkup, dental procedure, treatment for an illness, or emergency visit say they believe the price they paid for that service was too expensive.

These views come against the backdrop of low uptake of pet insurance. Few Canadian pet owners (16%) avail themselves of this method of cost mitigation.

Those who do insure their pets give the service mixed reviews. Among this group, one-in-five (22%) say it has been a “total life saver”, while a third (34%) say they haven’t always needed insurance but it is nice to have. Two-in-five say their insurance didn’t help them when they’ve needed it (30%) or it was totally useless (10%).

When it comes to the cost, would you say the amount you pay is... (among those who have taken a pet to the vet for purposes specified below)

More Key Findings

We love vets

Pet owners give veterinarians glowing reviews. At least four-in-five say they received ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ service from their vet when their pet required a routine checkup (88%), dental procedure (85%), urgent care (80%) or treatment for a less urgent illness (85%).

Members of the family

Four-in-five (80%) dog owners describe their pet as a member of the family. Fewer, but still a majority (68%), of cat owners do the same.

Pandemic pets

Three-in-ten (28%) current pet owners adopted a pet during the pandemic. Half who added a pandemic pet say either they (26%) or their pet (19%) are experiencing separation anxiety.

Survey Methodology

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Oct. 11-13, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 1,618 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.

For detailed results by type of pet owned, click here.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

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From the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research.

For detailed breakdown of the results, visit angusreid.org

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