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Veterinarian laws are changing in S. Korea to give more protection to pet owners Updated: 2022-07-06 11:46:25 KST

A set of legal guidelines have been put into place here in the country to make trips to the vet for our furry friends a more transparent experience.
Kim Yeon-seung has details.

This is Choux, a pomeranian.
Choux's guardian says their vet had completely made up a nonexistent health problem a few years back to rack up their medical bill.

The vet put Choux in intensive care, saying that they might have pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis. For the two days, I had to pay about 400 dollars."

After a series of tests, the vet later said that Choux was in fact completely healthy.
But Choux's guardian wouldn't be alone in feeling as if her pet had been taken advantage of.
According to a survey from last year, one of the biggest complaints consumers had about vets were that they overcharged or overtreated their pets.
It was also hard to find the best treatment with costs differing drastically from place to place.
Research from last year shows that price gaps of the same services could be as much as 80 times higher.
But less than a fifth of vets were found to have notified pet owners of prices beforehand, while about only a quarter provided a breakdown of the medical expenses.
But the government-led changes are aimed at preventing these kinds of issues from happening in the future.
Starting from this Tuesday, vets need to outline in detail the risks of the surgery and what it actually entails.
They then need to get written consent from the owner beforehand.

"If pet owners or guardians had any misunderstandings about vets, these changes would help resolve that, and help build more trust."

Also starting from next January, vets need to list the exact prices for the medical services they provide, so that pet owners can choose the service in line with their price point.

"And when the new laws are in place, pet owners will be able take their furry best friends to see the vet with their minds more at ease.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News"
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