Poor own­ers pay so pets won’t ruff it

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

PAM­PERED pets are send­ing their own­ers broke but Aus­tralians say their fluff balls are “worth ev­ery penny”.

A na­tional sur­vey has re­vealed that Aus­tralians are spend­ing three times as much on their four- legged friends com­pared to items for them­selves such as clothes, tech­nol­ogy and en­ter­tain­ment.

One in four Aus­tralians spend up to 30 per cent of their dis­pos­able in­come on pets, with more than 46 per cent of those sur­veyed ad­mit­ting their pet was a fi­nan­cial bur­den.

Half of re­spon­dents also ad­mit­ted they didn’t want their pooches “ruff­ing” it and were more likely to buy ex­pen­sive food brands for their pets than for them­selves.

Aus­tralia has among the high­est pet own­er­ship rates in the world and find­ings from the Choosi Pet Re­port re­veal close to 97 per cent of own­ers be­lieve their dog or cat is just as much a part of the fam­ily as other, hu­man fam­ily mem­bers.

La Trobe Univer­sity’s As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Pauleen Ben­nett spe­cialises in hu­manan­i­mal re­la­tion­ships. She said the study showed pets were more than just com­pan­ions.

The study also high­lighted the health ben­e­fits as­so­ci­ated with pet own­er­ship. More than 90 per cent of peo­ple said own­ing a pet was good for their men­tal and phys­i­cal health.

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