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Hard-up Brits gamble pets' health

Friday May 21st 2010

Cash-strapped pet owners in Britain have admitted to cutting back on visits to the vet, potentially risking their four-legged friends' health for expenses that can be covered by .

More than half (60%) said they had reduced the amount they spent on their pets, with one in six admitting they had been forced to deny veterinary treatment or struggled to pay for upkeep. The statistics have fuelled concerns from animal charities that pets are being abandoned as owners struggle to make ends meet.

Almost a third of those surveyed said they had compromised on the quality of dog food they purchased, as owners lowered the quality of meals they were purchasing for themselves and their trusted friends.

James Pickering, managing director of Petguard, said: "It is concerning that a small proportion of people could be jeopardizing the health of their pets by cutting back on visits to the vet.

"At a time when household budgets are being stretched, it seems pet owners are becoming more risk adverse and we have actually seen a rise in pet owners opting to take out insurance. With one in 10 people surveyed having paid over £500 on a single vet bill, it makes sense to have that peace of mind."

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Copyright © Press Association 2010

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