Pet owners hard put to pay costs as vet bills mount


Mounting veterinary costs are causing many people to forego vaccinations and other treatment for their pets, prompting local councils to call for financial aid, the Financieele Dagblad reported at the weekend.

One of the reasons for the mounting costs is that some clinics have been taken over by private equity parties which have been pushing up prices, the paper said.

‘A growing number of pet owners are unable to pay for treatments, particularly in the west of the country, vet Victor Meijer told the paper. Meijer runs clinics at pet shops and garden centres offering, he says, a ‘cheap and efficient’ vaccination service.

The Netherlands is home to 33.4 million pets, of which 350,000 are living with people on a minimum income. This has prompted local councils to come up with schemes to help them and more food banks for pets are also being set up, the FD said.

The measures are necessary, said Lillianne van Doorn of pet welfare charity SBH. ‘Rates are going up by leaps and bounds, sometimes as much as €20 per treatment, and for people with little money that is disastrous,’ she said.

‘But other income groups are seeing their costs mount too,’ she told the paper.  ‘We are getting requests for help on a daily basis.’

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