Did you know that 3 in 5 households in Australia own a pet? 38% of us are dog owners, 29% have a cat, 12% fish, 12% birds and 9% some other animal like reptiles, bunnies (not for Queenslanders!) or guinea pigs.
Mostly, we love our furry friends for the companionship they give us – that undying love and having someone who actually wants to see us waiting at home every night! Others buy to teach the kids responsibility and some to keep them fit and active.
But there’s plenty of good reasons why we don’t own pets as well! Some don’t want the responsibility, others don’t have a home that’s suitable or aren’t allowed by their body corp. But a very large reason comes down to cost!
Have you every had to weigh up the average cost of pet ownership to see if it’s for you, or don’t know where to start?
According to one source, the average cost of owing a dog annually is around $1,475 and a cat around $1,029. Fish would be lucky to set us back $50, depending on how luxurious our tank is, and a bird around $115 per year.
Pet insurance is still in its infancy with only one in four dog owners having cover (costing approx. $293 p/a) and one in five cat owners taking out cover (approx. $246 p/a.)
Pet insurance isn’t always available if your furry friend is getting on in years and some breeds are dearer than others to insure. You’ll also need to check what’s covered as some routine check-ups, desexing and dental may not be insured events.
Having three pets, I’d decided against pet insurance, but when my English Staffy did her patella in last year, needed medication and X-rays and then emergency desexing, the average costs went out the window! Having said that, it certainly paid to shop around with one vet offering a service for $4,000 that another did for $1,200 – and very well thankfully!
The kids were not prepared to let their beloved dog suffer or be put down and were happy to pitch in to cover the costs.
So, if you’re counting the pennies, it’s definitely worth weighing up the costs before taking the plunge into being the resident human for your new fur love. But if you adore your fur babies more than anything, cost is hardly likely to be a factor in your pet ownership adventures.
Sources: Pet Ownership in Australia 2016 (Animal Medicines Australia) and Pet Insurance Australia, 2015.