Aussies are changing their lifestyles to fit around their pets, shunning social events, exercise and even work, says new research from pet insurance comparison service comparethemarket.com.au.
The findings, which come from a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1000 Australian pet owners, found 27 per cent of respondents have missed social engagements and 26 per cent have taken time off work to be with their pet.
Cats have a lot to answer for with 30 per cent of owners dodging work in order to spend time with their furry friend, and a whopping 37 per cent saying they go out less now they have a cat.
Pets are such an important part of people’s lives that nearly two-thirds of respondents (59 per cent) said that their pet influences their moods significantly. It’s not just people’s moods that are affected, with 30 per cent of dog owners admitting that they plan their exercise routine around their fur-child.
Pet owners have also changed their lifestyle outside of the home to better suit their pets’ needs, with a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) choosing social activities that enable them to include their pet. Dog owners admitted to going the extra mile, with one in five (19 per cent) saying they now choose pet-friendly holidays.
Abigail Koch, spokesperson for comparethemarket.com.au says, “This research demonstrates the lengths Aussies are willing to go to in order to make their pets feel loved. The financial cost of having a pet is well-known, but it seems we’re just as willing for our social lives to take a hit if it means keeping our pets happy.”
When comparing the different age groups, the 24 – 35 year olds seem to shape their life around their pet the most. Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of respondents said that their pet influences their mood. Some 30 per cent have missed social occasions, and another 39 per cent admitting to taking time off of work to be with their pet.
However, it was the 45 – 54 year old age group who said they prefer to stay at home with their pet rather than go to social engagements (41 per cent).
“Aussies sacrifice so much, both socially and financially, to ensure their pets are well-looked after. The Australian Veterinary Association estimates that we spend $12.2 billion each year on our pets, with $2.2 billion going towards veterinary services. This huge sum is hardly surprising given just over a quarter of Australian pet owners (26 per cent) have insurance to protect their pet’s health[i].”
“It’s an upsetting time when your pet is ill or injured, without having to make difficult decisions based on money concerns. Pet insurance, which starts at as little as $20 a month, can give you peace of mind that you’ll be able to give your pet the support they need to get them back on their feet (or rather paws),” said Abigail.
‘Pet mad’ case studies
Zoe Edwards (23) lives in Chapel Hill, Brisbane with her family. She is obsessed with her 4 year old Cavoodle, Barney. They sleep together every night and her favourite pastime is to cuddle up with him in front of the TV. She values his opinion so much that she even decided to dump her old boyfriend because Barney didn’t trust him!
Rachel McHugh (29) lives in Stafford Heights with her two South African Boerboels, Buster and Lola. She no longer socialises with her work mates on a Friday night as she just wants to get home to her dogs. She used to have a buzzing social life, but now her favourite way to spend her weekends is organising ‘doggy play dates’ at the beach. Her dogs have had such a huge influence on her life – she bought a house with a yard so she could get the dogs in the first place and now has had to buy a bigger car so the dogs can travel in style.
For interviews and more information, please contact:
Hannah Twiggs | 07 3377 8879 | 0431 511 362 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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