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Let sleeping dogs lie in – alarming number of Aussies share their bed with pets

Reviewed by Executive General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor
5 min read
8 Jul 2024
a brown Labrador lying on the bed

Most people like a good lie in bed, but according to recent Compare the Market research, so do our pets.

The pet insurance comparison site found that close to one in two pet owners (48.7%) let their pets sleep with them, which will undoubtedly cause arguments for couples nationwide.* To add to the pile (in the bed), this year’s figures are a significant increase from last year, when Compare the Market found that 41.4% of pet owners sleep with their furry friends.

This year’s figures also reveal that every three in five Gen Z cat or dog owners (60.9%) let their pet under the soft doona covers, which should come as no surprise as previous Compare the Market research found this generation was the most likely to say that a pet is or would be as equally important as a child.

And while Millennials may have coined the term ‘fur baby,’ the survey found that they were the least likely of all generations to let their pooch or kitten snuggle up in bed with them. Just over 42% of Millennial pet owners would still share their side of the bed, which is below the average.

Generation% of pet owners who let their pet sleep with them
Gen Z60.9%
Gen X47.9%
Baby Boomers49.1%
Australian average48.7%

Speaking on wanting the best for our four-legged friends, Compare the Market’s Executive General Manager for General Insurance and pet insurance expert Adrian Taylor said that we shouldn’t just offer our pets creature comforts for a lavish lifestyle.

“It’s a ‘tail’ as old as time and while it’s one of the most debatable topics across Aussie households, it appears that half of us really do think pets belong in bed with us,” Mr Taylor said. “While some argue that letting your canine or puss sleep in bed causes health issues, disrupted sleep and arguments between partners, others say it makes them feel safe and loved.”

“Regardless, no matter how we look at it, there are some seriously spoiled animals across Australia! We give them the best food that money can buy and we buy them all the treats and toys we can to ensure that they’re entertained, but it’s important never to forget their health,” Mr Taylor said.

“Skipping a general health check-up for your pup may seem non-consequential, but it can have a detrimental effect down the line. Think about these visits the same way you view your yearly GP visit. It’s just good sense to have someone check over you to catch any ailments. The same should go for your pet.

“Another thing that many people may forget to get for their pet, no matter how much they love them, is pet insurance. We know cats and dogs of all sizes are quite curious and adventurous, so an emergency vet visit is not out of the question for a pet of any age.

“These visits could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, which can be hard to come by in an instant in the current cost-of-living crisis.

“However, if costs for these sorts of emergencies are a concern, then pet insurance may be able to help by covering a part of the overall cost of these treatments, depending on the level of coverage people take out for their four-legged family member.

“Pet insurance policies offer many different levels of cover, which is why pet parents need to compare their options and shop around to find the best policies for themselves and their pets.

“Furthermore, some policies out there also cover some of the costs associated with routine check-ups or even vaccinations as an optional extra, which is just another reason not to skip out on their pet’s annual check-up.”

Adrian Taylor’s top tips for people considering pet insurance:

  1. Be sure to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to understand the limits of the cover you are looking to buy. There may be a difference in the levels of reimbursement depending on the level of cover you’re looking at as well as between brands. A variety of products cover between 70% and 90% of vet bills. However, some products cover less and others cover more. For most claims, you will also need to contribute to the policy excess.
  2. Insure your pet when they are young. Your pet insurance premiums will be lower than if you were to insure your pet at a later stage, as the older they are, the more likely they are to have pre-existing conditions that could drive up the cost to be covered.
  3. When reviewing your pet insurance options, also consider if there are any types of extras that you would like your policy to include. Depending on your level of cover, you may be able to add on extras such as dental cover, routine care or even behavioural training, though this may increase the premiums that you will need to pay.

*Compare the Market surveyed 1,010 Australian adults aged 18 and over in April 2024


For interviews and more information, please contact:

Noémi Hadnagy | m: 0433 377 252 | e: [email protected]    

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, energy, and home loans products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.

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avatar of author: Noémi Hadnagy

Written by Noémi Hadnagy

As a Media and Comms Advisor, Noémi works closely with a variety of expert teams at Compare the Market to create compelling and informative pieces to help Australians make better financial decisions. Noémi holds a Bachelor of Business - International majoring in Public Relations from Queensland University of Technology as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration specialising in International Business from BI Norwegian Business School. In her spare time, you can find her reading a book or planning her next international holiday.

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