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As of July 2022, there’s estimated to be more than 28 million pets in Australia.2 That’s a lot of best friends and companions. So how much does a pet actually cost?
Following an increase in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic, cats and dogs still lead the way as the new residents in people’s homes.3 The next most popular pets are fish, birds, reptiles, and small mammals (rabbits and guinea pigs).4
And it’s clear they’re very special to us. Almost half of Australian humans let their furry friends sleep in the main bed, around 30% refer to themselves as their ‘parents’ and a small 6% have worn matching outfits with their pets.5
Love and affection for our animals is infinite, but our money isn’t. It’s estimated around $33 billion is spent every year on pet food, health care and accessories across Australia.6 So, what does that mean for someone who wants to get a new animal friend?
Depending on the type of pet you’re after, upfront costs can vary, and some have increased significantly over the last few years. For example, the cost of getting a dog or cat has roughly doubled since before the pre-pandemic times of March 2020.7
These days, you could pay anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars. A rescue cat, a couple of chickens or a designer breed doggie vastly changes the initial price. But there’s also a few more costs to consider:
While you can save up for your first payment to get a pet, planning for the ongoing costs to maintain their healthy lifestyle is also crucial. In 2022, the average annual cost of having a dog or cat was between $1,700 and $3,200. This includes food, vet appointments and grooming.10
Another expense to consider is healthcare such as treatments for worming, fleas, ticks, and dietary supplements. That’s just to keep your pet fit and healthy. If any injuries, illnesses, or emergency situations occur, more costs can happen unexpectedly.
Covering emergency costs is the most common claim of Australians who have pet insurance. As of July 2022, one in two dog owners made an insurance claim while two in three cat owners did the same. Cat owners especially, made an increased number of visits to after-hours emergency.11
Having medical care for your pet can cover sudden costs and give you peace of mind when stressful events disrupt your life.
We’ve partnered with Choosi so you can start comparing a range of pet insurance policies and providers* right here.
1 Animal Medicines Australia - Pets in Australia 2022: A national survey of pets and people (page 4)
2 Animal Medicines Australia - Pets in Australia
3 Animal Medicines Australia - Pets in Australia 2022: A national survey of pets and people (page 6)
4 As above (page 6)
5 As above (page 19)
6 As above (page 30)
7 As above (page 4)
8 As above (page 45)
9 As above (page 33)
10 As above (page 33)
11 As above (page 48)