While we already know that Australia is a national of pet lovers, a recent Compare the Market pet survey shows we might love our pets even more than first thought, with many Australian pet owners saying pets are as important as kids.
With about 29 million pets living in Australia, it’s fair to say we are a nation of pet lovers.
Yet, this love may be stronger than people originally thought, with pet research from Compare the Market showing almost one in two owners consider their family pet just as important as children.
And, one in twenty say their pets are more important than children.
Compare the Market recently released the revealing stats, after breaking the numbers down by generations.
The results found that younger people were more likely to consider pets as equally, if not more important, than children than their elder counterparts.
The only deviation from this trend was Baby Boomers, who were the second most likely cohort to say that their pets are, or would be, more important as children.
There was also a big difference between the states, with Victorians being the most likely to consider their four-legged friends more important than children.
New South Welshmen were almost on par with the national average.
While Queenslanders, South Australians, and Western Australians were in decreasing favour of putting pets on such high pedestals!
The Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Tasmania have been excluded from the above detailing who think a pet is, or would be more important than children due to lower sampling. However, those responses have been included in all other breakdowns in the media release.
Compare the Market’s General Manager for General Insurance and pet insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, says loving a pet is only half the battle in ensuring they have a happy and healthy life.
“Clearly the love for our pets is boundless, but it’s not the only thing that we need to give them to keep them happy and safe,” Adrian says.
“People should make sure that their pets are getting enough exercise relevant for their breed, the right amount of nutrition, as well as the socialisation they deserve.
“All of these factors are important aspects of keeping a happy and healthy pet with you for years to come.
Adrian says those wanting a pet must consider their lifestyle and look to match a pet to that rather than getting a pet based on its popularity.
“You wouldn’t want to get a Blue Heeler while you’re living in an apartment or a Burmese if you’re always away from home,” says Adrian.
Another important factor to consider, he says, is pet insurance.
“Purchasing cover while your pet is young can be easier than waiting until they are older.
“Obtaining cover for a pet that has a pre-existing medical condition can be difficult and may be more costly.”
Adrian also warned pet parents that despite the number of people saying that they would value pets equal to or above children, recent research by Compare the Market also found that 73% of pet owners don’t have pet insurance.
“While people may do everything right, there may still be unexpected events that will lead to their pet needing to go to the vet.
“Yet, we found that almost three-quarters of pet owners don’t have pet insurance, which is alarming to say the least,” he says.
“A simple visit to the vet can easily cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on the sort of trouble your pet got into.
“By taking pre-emptive measures to get a pet insurance policy in place, you may be able to ease the financial burden that an unexpected trip to the vet can have on your finances.
“Furthermore, depending on the level of cover people take out, pet insurance could also cover some costs associated with the likes of puppy training classes, routine check-ups and even dental care!”
* Compare the Market surveyed 1,005 Australian adults aged 18 and over in October 2023