According to Pets in Australia: A national survey of pets and people there are almost 29 million pets in Australia today – more than the estimated human population of 25 million. With three in five households owning a pet, Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world. This says a lot about Australians’ relationship with pets, and the value they place on having a pet in the household.
So, how has our relationship with our pets changed, and how do pets benefit our lives?
Most pet owners consider their pet a member of the family
Most pet owners describe their pet as being a close companion or a beloved member of the family. In fact, 63% of dog owners refer to their pet as a member of the family, and many pet owners have adopted ‘pet parenting’ behaviours that mimic traditional parent-child relationships. Around two-thirds speak to their ‘fur babies’ as though they understand the words being spoken.
Pets positively impact our physical health
In the results outlined in Pets in Australia, respondents described pet ownership as benefitting both their physical and mental health. This is also a benefit now accepted as fact, due to academic research that has shown pet ownership improves cardiovascular health, physical fitness, immune system development and child development.
Pets positively impact our mental health
In addition to the physical benefits of owning a pet, many respondents in the survey noted their pet have a calming effect, promotes a feeling of optimism, and can also bring a sense of purpose to their lives. Many commented that their pets have helped with depression and anxiety.
We are spending more on our pets The American Pet Products Association estimates that between 1994 and 2017, the amount we spent on our pets increased by 400 per cent. As PetMD notes, this increase in spend and commitment to our pets suggests just how invested pet parents are in taking care of their beloved animals.
In 2016 Australians spent $2.6 billion on veterinary services, according to Pets in Australia, and expenditure at veterinary clinics has risen by 19% in the past three years. In the same period, pet insurance boomed by 56%.
Pet healthcare products such as flea treatments account for 11% of all on-going spending by pet owners – representing an estimated $1.4 billion. However, this is a cost that could decrease dramatically, helping the bank accounts of all pet owners, if worming tablets were no longer used as a preventative measure, and only when the pet parent had a certainty that their pet had a parasitic infection that required treatment. OvaCyte™ provides this flexibility, by bringing parasite diagnostics to the point of care.
Find out more about OvaCyte™ for companion animals here.