New figures have revealed that more and more people in the UK are insuring their pets - and it seems that dogs come out on top when it comes to the likelihood of being insured.
Approximately 26 per cent of dogs in the UK are insured, according to data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which might not sound like much, but only 15 per cent of pet cats enjoy the luxury of insurance.
General insurance manager at the ABI Mark Shepherd commented that it's encouraging to see that more people are insuring their pets. Indeed, the figures showed that more than 3.5 million of the nation's furry (and fur-free!) friends are now protected by a cover plan.
However, he also highlighted that it is a concern that so many pets remain uninsured.
With the ABI's figures revealing that insurers paid out a total of £602 million in 2014 to take care of the UK's pets and the average cost of a claim having risen seven per cent on the previous year, Mr Shepherd's concerns certainly seem valid.
"The cost of getting quality veterinary treatment for your pet can quickly reach into thousands of pounds, particularly if they have to have surgery or need chemotherapy to tackle cancer.
"Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that you won't have to deny your pet life-saving treatment because the veterinary bills are too expensive," he explained.
If you don't already possess pet insurance for your pooch, there are several things to keep in mind when picking a policy. These include your breed of dog, as different breeds carry more risk of needing certain treatments - your vet should be able to advise you if you're unsure.
You should also bear in mind that buying insurance does not mean you will never need to pay for any pet treatment again. Standard treatments such as annual vaccinations won't be included, for instance, and depending on the policy you buy, there are likely to be other exclusions too. So, always check any plan you're considering carefully before going ahead.
Written by: Hannah Dyball