the cost of keeping man’s best friend

Australians love their pets, but as the cost of living continues to rise, many are reconsidering their pet related expenses. According to research commissioned by health fund HCF, 4 in 5 pet owners are worried about the cost of pet care.  

PetSure’s 2024 Pet Health Monitor reveals that over 50% of pet parents are changing their approach to pet healthcare. With costs increasing, anecdotal data indicates that around 22% of pet parents have reduced the frequency of routine check-ups and preventative care. Additionally, over 20% have delayed taking their pet to the vet. However, these actions could lead to more significant and costly issues in the long run if not addressed early.   

Over the last 12 months, pet healthcare expenses have continued to rise, mirroring inflation and other living expenses. Pet parents are spending an average of $3,218 on their dog annually, and $1,715 on their cat, according to Animal Medicines Australia. Beyond general care, pet owners must also be ready for unexpected expenses. PetSure research shows that most pet owners would struggle to cover an unexpected pet health expense exceeding $3,000, a concern since common accidents and illnesses can cost much more.  

Dogs are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t, and many pet owners are faced with the challenge of managing such incidents. PetSure data suggests that the average treatment cost for a dog ingesting a foreign object and requiring surgery is $5,067, with some procedures costing up to $41,671.  

No pet owner wants to make the tough decision of giving up their furry companion, so many are finding ways to manage pet expenses. One-third of pet owners are sacrificing personal pleasures like dining out and shopping, while 46% are buying pet food in bulk and 43% are grooming their pets at home to keep costs manageable (HCF).  

Despite the rising cost of living, it’s clear that Australians are committed to keeping their pets safe, happy, and healthy. Thankfully, 97% of Australian pet owners say they are dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of their pets, finding solutions to keep both themselves and their furry companions in good shape without breaking the bank. 

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Get in touch with Fifth Quadrant if you are interested in finding out more or have an animal health brief to share.