Poll: 8 in 10 pet owners visited vet in last year

By SUE MANNING | November 29, 2011 | 3:10 AM EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new poll shows that eight in 10 pet owners across the country took their animals to a vet in the past year, spending over $500 on average.

The AP-Petside.com poll shows dogs made more trips — 85 percent of dog owners took their pets to the vet, while 79 percent of cat owners took them in.

According to the poll, dog owners spent an average of $537. For cat owners, it was $558.

The poll also shows that 16 percent — that's one in six owners — had to deal with a serious pet illness during the year and they spent an average of $1,092 on vet care.

For those whose pets did not face a serious illness, the average bill was $358.