Whether you have a cat or dog, Aussies treat their pets as if they were part of the family. But how far do we go when it comes to spoiling our pet pals and assimilating them into our everyday lives?
Leading pet insurance comparison service comparethemarket.com.au commissioned an independent survey of a nationally representative panel of 1,000 pet owners to gauge how “animal mad” we really are and what we splash our money on.
Abigail Koch, household savings expert at comparethemarket.com.au, says: “Pets are fantastic companions, guaranteeing fun, relaxation, physical activity and responsibility, so it’s no wonder that Australia has one of the highest household rates of pet ownership in the world. In 2016, around 5.7 million households had a pet, with many having more than one dog, cat, fish, bird, reptile or other type of animal. This number is continually growing and with the amount of love we have for our furry friends, we tend to go a little crazy with the types of products we splurge on, making sure they are always happy and up-to-date on the latest pet trends.”
When it comes to tech, we aren’t afraid to indulge in some flashy equipment for our pets. Over a quarter (28 per cent) of Aussies would consider or already have a pet water fountain, 24 per cent have thought about or already own an automatic pet feeder and a further 23 per cent have a smart dog collar (including GPS) or are thinking about getting one.
We can’t bear the thought of being away from our animal bestie either, with a fifth (19 per cent) of respondents considering or already having pet cameras installed around the house. We don’t want our pets to be lonely, so almost one third of Aussie pet owners (30 per cent) have opted to buy another pet to keep their existing fur baby company.
“We love our pets so much that many of us are happy to splash out to guarantee their comfort, whether it’s ensuring they always have fresh oxygenated water through a pet water fountain or a smart dog collar so we know where they are 24/7. Some of us proud pet parents also go the extra mile to show off our little loved one, with 28 per cent of pet owners admitting they have a social media account for their pet or know someone who does,” Abigail explains.
As well as pampering our pets with the latest devices, we are a sucker for making them look as pretty as possible too. Over a third of pet owners (36 per cent) have bought a jumper or jacket for their pet and nearly a fifth (16 per cent) have gotten a costume for Halloween, Christmas etc.
Our routines also revolve around our canine/feline friends, with 27 per cent of Aussie pet owners either going or thinking about taking their pet pal to pet-friendly cafes. A further 26 per cent are also keen to get their pet involved in their exercise routine too.
“We’re also prepared to spend big sums should our pet fall ill or have an accident. A quarter of us (23 per cent) would pay $1,500 – $3,000 for our pet’s wellbeing and a further 13 per cent would be happy to pay over $9,000 to keep our furry friend healthy,” Abigail says.
“To avoid forking out thousands of dollars for your beloved animal, or having to make a very difficult decision, pet insurance can give you peace of mind that your little one will have access to the best care. The price can vary depending on your pet, but insurance can cost as little as $20 per month for accident only cover.”
“Pet owners should look for a policy that is affordable month-on-month, and can cover significant expenses in the event of an accident or illness. We also recommend having a think about whether or not you’re happy to pay a little extra to get subsided benefits such as routine care,” Abigail explains.
Comparethemarket.com.au is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that best suits their needs and their back pocket. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make buying decisions with greater trust, knowledge and savings. We’ve got your back, simples.
 Animal Medicines Australia: Pet Ownership in Australia, 2016: http://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/AMA_Pet-Ownership-in-Australia-2016-Report_sml.pdf
 Monthly average sourced from ASIC (2016, December 13th). Pet insurance. moneysmart.gov.au/insurance/pet-insurance