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Australian's love their pets! Here's some interesting facts about Australian pet obsession.

Sydney Lifestyle Blog

by Deb Carr

We recently had some fun on Sydney Chic by promoting a competition called Dog Fashionista. Viewers had to vote on the cutest dog and our winner was the lovely and chic, Jai pictured above.

The competition was to bring awareness to a serious problem that many dog owners face. Ticks! One of the things to do in Sydney for many pet owners is take their dogs for a walk and in some suburbs there is a lot of bushland with ticks, so protecting your pet is paramount.

From personal experience I know how devastating a tick bite can be for a dog, our very own little “Pocket” suffered terribly after being bitten by one. I gave him a new nickname after that ‘$1,000 dog” because that’s how much the vet fees cost at the time. Unfortunately, Pocket was never the same after that tick bite and it was a very sad day when we said goodbye to him at the vet when he had to be euthanized.

Many Australian are totally obsessed by their pets. Here are some facts:

  • More than one in three pets feature on social media, with 395,000 pets having their own social media channel

  • Over half of pet owners buy their pet a Christmas present

  • Nearly half of pet owners let their pet sleep on the bed

  • A third speak to their pet in baby talk

  • 56% cut their pet’s food into smaller portions so it is easier for them to eat

  • Over a third have cooked a meal for their pet

  • 15% have brushed their pet’s teeth

  • 26% have bought clothing or accessories for their pet

  • 22% of pet owners have considered or used specialist treatments, such as massage, dietitian, naturopathy, psychologists and/or yoga

And…it seems that pets are very much considered as part of the family.

  • 57% of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family

  • 48% treat their pet like a child (higher among those with no children at home)

  • Among people who are obsessed with their pet, 80% treat them like a child

  • 33% of pets are considered in a family decision of where to go for a holiday

  • A third of pet owners have their pet as a screen saver

  • 679,000 pet owners would include their pet in their will

  • 43% of pet owners would spare no expense if their pet was injured or ill (49% of women say this, compared to 36% of men)

  • On average pet owners spend $74 on their pet per month (including food, toys, vet bills, medication, grooming)

  • 693,000 pets have travelled by plane to be with their owner on holiday

Pet ownership in Australia

  • Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world*

  • 63% of Australian households own a pet*

  • 4.2 million dogs in Australia*

  • 3.3 million cats in Australia*

  • 18% of dog owners have pet insurance* with the younger generations more likely to invest than older generations

So now we know that Australian’s are pet crazy let’s talk about keeping your dog free from Ticks!

  • 82% of dog owners who live in a paralysis tick area are not treating correctly to protect their pets against deadly paralysis ticks

  • So only 1 in 8 dogs get fortnightly tick protection

  • 23% do not use a tick protection product

  • 65% are using a tick product but are using it incorrectly, leaving their pet vulnerable

  • However, worryingly 65% of pet owners living in a paralysis tick area think they are treating frequently enough

  • 60% of dog owners who live in a paralysis tick area are actually not aware that they live in a danger zone for their pet

  • More than one in three dog owners who live in a tick zone know of a dog (including their own) that has died from tick paralysis

  • There is a lot of confusion amongst pet owners around which products prevent ticks. 57% of dog owners who have used flea prevention brands in the last 12 months believe they are also effective against ticks so thousands of dogs mistakenly get flea protection tablets as tick protection.

  • Only 48% of dog owners are treating their pets regularly enough to prevent a flea infestation on their pet on in their home

Now we know little Jai will be safe from Ticks with prize of Frontline Plus for dogs. This prize was kindly donated to us to giveaway to our lucky winner by Frontline Plus. Thank you.

Frontline for Dogs

About the research

Pet Obsession

The research was conducted by respected marketing research house, Galaxy Research via an online survey of 1,005 pet owners aged 18-64 years to determine how obsessed Australians are with their pets.

The sample was drawn in proportion to the population by age and gender within state from an online panel of over 300,000 Australians. The data has been weighted to the latest ABS population estimates.

Tick Treatment

Merial, parent company of the Frontline Plus brand, commissioned market research through IPSOS ASI to determine how cat and dog owners are treating their pets and if they are doing it correctly.

The research was conducted in February 2014 among 746 Australians aged 25-70 years who own a dog or cat, which they have treated for fleas or ticks in the past 12 months.

* Animal Health Alliance’s Pet Ownership in Australia research

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