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.

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