6 Shocking Pet Health Statistics

3 min read
Feb 07, 2022

Though we love our pets dearly, accidents happen. Check out these 6 shocking pet health stats you may need to know as a pet owner.

1. Vet Bills can be Expensive

According to NBC, every 6 seconds a pet owner is faced with a vet bill of more than $1,000!  That's a big number- but it can be mitigated with the right pet insurance policy.Check out how affordable MetLife Pet Insurance 2 really is.

2. Cost of Pet Health Care Triples Cost of Food Each Year

According to the American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, pet owners spend over 3 times more on routine and surgical vet visits than they do on food.  

3. Need for Emergency Medical Care Happens Often

It’s hard to believe, but a pet receives emergency medical care every 2.5 seconds in the U.S. In fact, 1-in-3 pets need emergency veterinary treatment every year1  These statistics are a sad part of owning a pet, and can put a tremendous strain on pet parents’ budgets.   

4. 95% of Americans Consider Pets to be Family members 

According to a survey by Nielsen , over 95% of those surveyed indicated they consider their pets to be part of the family.  This re-in forces a notion we know to be true: Americans love our pets!

5. Pet Ownership is Rising at a Drastic Rate

The first US pet ownership study was conducted over 30 years ago; it showed 56% of US households owned a pet. Today, that rate is 67%.  This figure is roughly equivalent to 84.9 million American households.2

6. Pet Insurance Sales in North America are Growing.  Quickly.

 According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) the U.S. pet health insurance sector yielded gross written premiums of nearly $2 billion in 2020. This figure represents a near 28% rise from $1.56 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, it is reported that the pet insurance market rose at an average annual growth rate of nearly 24% from 2016 to 2020. A figure that has continued through 2021.3

Common Pet Health Problems 

Emergency care isn’t the only surprise expense for your pet’s health.  According to Pet Life Today, both dogs and cats have a few top issues that rank highest (see full infographic here.)  

Some of the the most common health problems for dogs are: skin allergies, ear infections, non-cancerous skin mass, skin infections and arthritis. Some of the most common health problems for cats are: bladder/urinary tract disease, dental disease, chronic kidney disease, vomiting and excessive thyroid hormone. 4

Consider Investing in Pet Insurance

Looking for more ways to keep your pets happy and healthy? Consider investing in a pet insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1  We offer dog insurance and cat insurance policies for your furry family members.  Get your free quote today.


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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC. 

2 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MGIC”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MGIC’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MGIC to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 

Pet Insurance, Carroll Hospital Center 

The State of Pet Healthcare 2021, Pet Life Today, Cynthia L. Olson, 2021 

NAPHIA - About the Industry - State of the Industry Report 2021, North American Pet Health Insurance Association 

The State of Pet Healthcare 2021, Pet Life Today, Cynthia L. Olson, 2021