One of Canadian television’s most popular documentary series is shining a light on the growing costs — and rapid advances — of pet health care in North America.
On Thursday, March 31, “The Nature of Things”, which airs on CBC-TV and is hosted by world-renowned geneticist and environmentalist David Suzuki, featured an in-depth look at the increasingly sophisticated pet health industry in Canada.
Pets, Vets and Debts
“Pets, Vets and Debts” takes the viewer inside the vet clinic to witness cutting-edge technology being used to treat pets. It explores the business of veterinary care and the latest medical advancements for animals, from stem-cell transplants to heart stents and 3D-printed prosthetics.
The advances are significant — so are the costs. Without pet health insurance, it often comes down to a dire decision: take on massive debt, or euthanize your pet.
The documentary sparked some passionate online comments from viewers, and points to a larger trend in pet ownership.
Some people argue, why spend so much money on pets? They are, after all, animals. However, most pet owners (certainly those interviewed in the documentary) disagree. Many refer to themselves as “pet parents” and their pets as “fur babies”, indicating the central place pets have begun to occupy in many households.
The program raises an important question for all pet owners: Is it time to take a different view of pet health insurance? Some see it as one more premium that could end up being more than what they’d end up paying in vet bills. Others view it the same as health insurance for people, or even for our homes and property, i.e. it’s part of being a responsible owner. In other words, the investment is worth the peace of mind.
In the end, the documentary is an invitation for North Americans to take a closer look at the changing relationship of people and their pets, and the growing trend among responsible pet owners to turn to pet health insurance to protect themselves, and their pets.
Where is Pet Health Insurance Today?
According to recent statistics, awareness among pet owners of the importance of pet health insurance has been on the rise in recent years, and shows no sign of letting up. North America’s pet health insurance sector posted record growth last year, with combined total premiums hitting $660.5 million in 2014, and the total number of pets insured reaching 1.4 million, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s State of the Industry Report. This represents a 12.8 percent hike in gross written premiums over 2013, on 10.6 percent more pets.
Indeed, the increase seems to reveal that pets are increasingly become ‘part of the family’ and that as the human/pet bond continues to grow, so will interest in pet health insurance.
If you are interested in finding out more about responsible pet ownership, check out NAPHIA’s informative guide to pet health insurance.