The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has said that a survey revealed almost all (99%) of vets across the UK have seen pets in the last year that should have been brought in for treatment earlier.

The national body for veterinary surgeons said vets have raised concerns as the figures are an increase of almost 20% since 2018 and equates to one in five pets not receiving timely treatment.

The BVA and the vets surveyed believe this is due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. The BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey revealed that 91% of vets believe financial reasons are the main factor in pets not receiving timely treatment.

More than half of vets (52%) said the number of clients reporting difficulty covering the cost of preventative veterinary care for their animal had increased compared to 2021.

This figure rose to 70% when it came to covering the cost of diagnostic care and treatment.

Speaking on the survey’s findings, BVA president Malcolm Morley said it’s important to acknowledge the difficulties that many pet owners are facing in relation to meeting the “basic costs of caring for their animals”.

“It’s particularly concerning that vets in practice are seeing increasing numbers of animals with issues that could have been prevented or minimised if treatment had been sought sooner,” he said.

“Regular vet check-ups and preventative care may seem costly for many families in the current financial climate, but taking steps now rather than later is the best way to catch any health issues early and keep medical costs to a minimum.”

Morley said the BVA is urging all pet owners to talk to their vet for advice on simple and affordable steps they can take to keep their animals healthy.

“These include neutering, keeping up to date on vaccinations, daily teeth cleaning, keeping weight in check, and plenty of exercise,” he said.

“The British Veterinary Association encourages pet owners to speak to their vet sooner rather than later if you’re struggling to cover the costs.

“Vets will always prioritise the welfare of your animal and work closely with clients to make treatment plans tailored to individual circumstances.”