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Australian Pet Cost Of Living Survey 2024

Written by: Tom Sadler



Time to read 3 min

  • 76 % of Australian Pet Owners Are Worried About the Cost of Vet Medical Bills
  • Only 37% pet owners say they will spend less on their pet in 2023 than 2024
  • 69% of surveyed pets were uninsured

A new study has revealed that over 76% of pet owners in Australia are worried about being able to afford their pets vet bills despite only 31% of pets being insured.

Online Pet Shop Fur King surveyed they customers to see how the current Australian cost of living crisis is affecting peoples spend on their pets.

They were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with several statements including “you are worried about being able to afford vet medical bills” and “is your pet insured?”

1. You Are Worried About Being Able to Afford Pet Medical Bills

77% of customers agreed with this statement with 40% of them strongly agreeing. Only 3% of customers surveyed strongly disagreed. 

Queenslanders were the most worried about vet bills with 85% of people surveyed agreeing. The least worried state was WA with only 63% of customers worried about pet medical bills.

2. Do One Or More of Your Pets Have Pet Insurance?

69% of customers did not have at least one pet insured. This is concerning when considering that 77% of customers are worried about being able to afford vet bills. 

47% of customers in the South Australia have insurance. The least insured state was Victoria with 79% of customers uninsured.

3. You Are Worried About Being Able to Afford Pet Food

40% of customers are worried about being able to afford to feed their pet. Multiple customers commented that they have moved to a cheaper dog food brand or were buying their dog less treats..

4. You Will Spend Less on Your Pet In 2024 Than 2023?

Only 37% of customers agreed or strongly agreed with this statement. Several customers commented that they would rather go without then spend less money on their pet.

Veterinarian Dr Leigh Davidson from Your Vet Online said “I have been seeing a significant uptake in people not turning up for vet appointments. Unlike other service providers, most vets don’t charge a deposit for a booking, and we are seeing up to 20% appointments being no shows.”

“There has been a trend of customers putting off initial screenings such as blood tests. Whilst these can cost around $200-300, it allows for early diagnosis and treatment that can often prevent a much higher bill in the future. My worry is the next thing to suffer will be dog dental hygiene which not only causes significant oral disease, but can predispose to expensive long term health problems, not to mention the welfare implications.”

Dr Moss Siddle, veterinarian founder of Medechat noted “There are more pet owners enquiring about payment plans and wellness plans where the cost of routine veterinary care can be spread out over 12 monthly payments. Costs of veterinary care has escalated more than the inflation with drugs and wages increasing around 30% over the past 12 months. Insurance is often perceived as not being worth it but it is a good way of being able to pay for the big expense items should they arise.”

Veterinarian Surgeon Dr Evan Shaw of Flea Mail says “One of the first things that people stop buying, buy the cheaper, less effective versions of or only give during "seasons" (seasons is in no way true at all and is marketing spin) is parasite protection. A lot of these can be mitigated by simply providing the right protection at the right time, consistently.

With a lot of pets only requiring around $20 a month to cover all their parasite needs, prevention is certainly far cheaper than the cure, with just one of those parasites, paralysis tick, having their treatments costing up to $25,000 for intervention.”

The Bottom Line

Fur King General Manager Tom Sadler commented 

“Cost of living pressure are affecting all areas of discretionary spending including pets. Despite this we have found that many customers will put their pets need before their own. There have been multiple instances where customer have told us that they have cut back on spending on their own food to be able to feed their pet or pay a pets medical bill.”

The Author: Tom Sadler

Tom Sadler is a dedicated pet pawrent. He enjoys sharing the latest news from the pet world.

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