An independent survey has revealed that pet owners maybe wasting millions of pounds each year on unnecessarily prescription-only treatment.
Online pet retailer, VetUK, carried out a survey of more than 200 vets to work out the average price pet owners payed for flea and tick treatment. The retailer discovered that veterinary surgeries often have their own ‘preferred treatment’ which they automatically recommend to patients.
Prescription-only treatment combats rare parasites such as lungworm and heartworm in addition to the more common flea and tick and so is often more expensive than over the counter products.
Iain Booth, Doctor of Medicine at VetUK, said: “Many pet owners are unaware they’re paying a premium to repel such worms even when their pets may not necessarily need it.” – branding the extra protection potentially ‘unnecessary’
Paying for these vet recommended prescription-only treatments can push the cost of flea and tick treatment up to an average of £139 annually however owners could get effective protection for their pets for just £30 a year by shopping savvy, VetUK claims.
According to recent research, there’s an estimated 20 million cat and dog owners, combined, in the UK. Around 30 per cent of them regularly take their pet to visit a vet.
The survey revealed that vets were recommending flea and tick treatments such as Simparica, Bravecto, Broadline and Stronghold that cost an average of £126 a year for cats and £139 for medium sized dogs.
However, budget flea and tick treatments that still contain the active ingredient fipronil don’t require a prescription and can be purchased for as little as £2.99 per monthly dose for dogs – around £35.97 annually, or £23.40 annually for cats.
Pet owners could be looking at potential combined savings of more than £600 million if they chose over the counter treatments.
Mr Booth is calling for better clarity for pet owners in order to prevent them from purchasing unnecessary treatments that their pets don’t need. He also urges owners to ask for their pet’s prescription, so they can shop around for medications and treatments.
He added: “There has to be some kind of clarity or requirement for vets to tell pet owners exactly what the treatment they are recommending is used for.”