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13th December 2010

Man's best friend? Just ask your vet.

Research from Petplan insurance shows that owners consider a vet their friend

Despite dogs traditionally being considered 'man's best friend', it would appear that for pet lovers, their best friend is actually their vet. New research from Petplan, the UK's biggest pet insurer, shows that a quarter of owners would call their vet a 'good friend'. Like police, doctors and fire-fighters, these results suggest that vets could actually be the unofficial 4th emergency service in times of dire need.

With Petplan receiving an average of over 10,000 claims each week; 11 million British households owning at least one pet and a further 62 per cent of owners being registered to a veterinary practice, vets are busier than ever before and are fast becoming pet owner's new best friends. Further research from Petplan, shows that 42 per cent of owners refer to their vet by their first name and a 47 per cent have his/her mobile saved on their speed dial. And whilst vets aren't normally considered to be sexy; bizarrely 9 per cent of us have admitted to having a crush on their vet.

98 per cent of Petplan customers have said that they trust their vet; with many saying that they are more trustworthy than police officers - coming second only to doctors. 16 per cent of pet owners have also said that they feel more comfortable talking to a vet rather than a police officer.

Alison Andrew, Petplan's Marketing Manager commented: "Vets are like the unsung hero of a community. Pet's effect people's lives in such a positive way, so their well-being can be just as important as a family member."

She continued: "Every year we search the UK for Petplan's Vet of the Year to make sure that these members of society who make a real difference receive the recognition they deserve."

Brian Faulkner, a Petplan Vet of the Year winner commented: "Vets have always been considered part of the community with 70% of veterinary practices within 3 miles of their patients while over a third of pet owners stay with the same vet for more than five years. We often live in the same village or town as our clients and patients and we're often recognised in our local town or village when out and about, even when off duty and we're often asked to help out in a moment of crisis."

If you have a story about your vet, veterinary nurse or veterinary practice and if you think they deserve special acknowledgement for their efforts, why not nominate them for the Petplan 2011 Veterinary Awards, in association with Veterinary Times. Making a nomination couldn't be easier. Just visit http://www.petplan.co.uk/vetawards/ and tell us who you think deserves a "Veterinary Oscar" before February 4th 2011. The winners will be announced on 31st March 2011.

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit: