Fewer than 20% of dogs and cats are covered by pet insurance in the UK - which could mean an uninsured injury or sudden illness for a pet-away dog or a home-alone cat during a family summer holiday break may cost a small fortune.
"Whether it's a UK or foreign trip for a family that takes their dog with them or who leave their cat at home, the potential for veterinary treatment is increased: dogs on unfamiliar territory can be more prone to injury through simply running into unfamiliar hazards, and cats left home-alone to fend for themselves can get in fights or suffer injuries which aren't discovered for days," said Mark Effenberg, Chief Executive of Healthy-Pets.co.uk, the country's leading independent pet insurer.
"Broken bones in both cats and dogs can cost anything between hundreds and thousands of pounds to fix depending upon the breed, age and severity. If it happens to a dog abroad there is inevitably more complication about the process, and if a neighbour is feeding a home-alone cat that needs the vet, and they cant get in touch with the family, then they're probably just going to take that cat in to the vet."
Cat owner Lisa Warnes from Altrincham, Cheshire, came home after just three days away to find her cat Purdu had suffered an injury to her tail which eventually resulted in Purdu having to have her tail amputated.
"The cost of treatment - which we didn't hesitate to have done - cost more than the price of our weekend away. Purdu is now insured."
Healthy Pets Insurance , the UK's biggest independent cat and dog insurer, believes around half of pets taken on holiday may be travelling without pet insurance or owners believing they have cover.
"Veterinary care in Europe is at least as good, sometimes better than in the UK - but, like the UK, it costs if your pet needs treatment while abroad," said Mark Effenberg.
"Most UK-based pet insurers provide foreign treatment or accident cover, as well but it is worth checking for certain before travelling."
Healthy Pets Insurance is quite possibly the original online pet insurer, launched in 1996, and which sold its first policies online in 1997, a year before Google was founded. It now has tens of thousands of customers, and policy purchases increasing fast. Healthy Pets is an award-winning online insurer, and is the biggest independent pet insurance provider in the UK, focussing exclusively on cat insurance and dog insurance. It consistently offers the most competitive prices, and has amongst the highest customer satisfaction ratings.