'Pet spending' adds major boost to the economy

Australians are spending much more on their pets than they were five years ago, new research shows.

A report by the Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC) has found that pet ownership contributed $6.02 billion to the Australian economy last year, up considerably on the $4.62 billion spent in 2005.

The study revealed that while the number of cats and dogs, fish and birds, horses, rabbits and reptiles remained mostly stable, humans are now spending more per animal.

Pet owners feeling the pinch could opt to compare credit cards in search of the best spending tools. Last year, owners spent $1.83 billion on pet food alone while $111 million went towards kitty litter.

For ACAC president Dr Kersti Seksel, the cost is very much worth it.

“Pets provide significant psychological and physiological benefits to owners,” she said. “They help our children learn about caring and being responsible, they improve feelings of safety and help build social bridges in our communities.”

Meanwhile, a report by News Limited recently suggested that consumers may be able to find more reliable home products by using price as a strong indicator of quality.

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