Pet parents are no less worried about their companion animals' well-being, many say, than parents of actual children. In fact, spending on pets is up so much, not just on toys, clothes (yes, clothes — remember those adorable dog and cat Halloween costumes you looked at last month?) and high-grade organic food, but also on vet bills. With this in mind, employers are offering pet insurance as an employee benefit.

This is a good strategy, when you consider how much the cost of veterinarians' care has risen — it may not be quite on a scale with the increases in human medical treatment, but it's bad enough that, according to the Healthy Paws Foundation, 26 percent of rehoming instances were the result of a pet parent's inability to pay for their pet's medical care.

"Simply put," says the "Cost of Pet Care 2016" from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, "as advanced veterinary care grows more expensive, fewer pet parents are able to afford it."

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