Winning from losing
PET owners are spending a small fortune on furry friends – sometimes more than they spend on themselves.
The new Choosi Pet Report has revealed that one in four pet owners are using between 10 and 30 per cent of their disposable income on their dogs and cats.
Food and medical expenses take the biggest hit on the hip pocket. On average, owners are spending about $ 115 per month to look after their furry friends.
Dog and cat owner Jason Hudson has a house full of pets, including five cats and a dog, which cost him more than $ 100 to look after.
“I spend about $ 70 per week on cat food, $ 20 on kitty litter, $ 10 a week on toys for them and about $ 20 a week on dog food,’’ he said.
“A couple of the cats had teeth issues and that cost about $ 1200 in vet fees. If they need anything they will get it: they are a great group of animals but it can be expensive if there’s an issue.”
Choosi spokeswoman Katrina Foster said the report showed many pet owners did not mind splashing out on their pets, and food and medicine were the biggest costs.
“Just under 50 per cent of pet owners do recognise that it is a financial burden but equally they want to spend more on their pets,’’ she said.
“Dog owners typically spend more than cat owners, so when deciding what pet to buy this is an important consideration as well as the breed.”
The report found the average cost of buying a pet is $ 492.
Australian Veterinary Association CEO Graham Catt said there were many social, physical and mental health benefits to consider as well as the costs before making a pet part of your household.
“There is no Medicare or Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for pets so anyone thinking about getting a pet needs to take veterinary costs into consideration,’’ he said.
“It takes more than food and shelter to look after a pet properly.”
He also suggested signing up to pet insurance and having dedicated savings plans for your pet.