Debit card customers spending more on pets

Aussies are increasingly willing to spend money on their debit cards to ensure their pets remain healthy and happy, new data from IBISWorld indicates.

While economists have observed that Aussies are increasingly opting to save cash rather than spend it, new figures suggest that debit card holders are shelling out a growing amount of money to keep their pets healthy and happy.

Figures from IBISWorld revealed that in 2010-11, the amount spent on pet products and accessories rose to $780 million, while the cost of clipping, training, boarding and walking soared to $1.1 billion.

Karen Dobie, a spokesperson for the market research firm, remarked: "More Australians are outsourcing elements of pet care and the proliferation of animal health programs on television and radio has increased consumer awareness of animal health issues."

On average, Aussies spend about $1,500 each year on their pets, which is higher than the amount that leaves their bank accounts for electricity, alcohol and public transport.

Next year, the amount spent on accessories for pooches and other creature comforts is forecast to rise to $810 million.

This comes after a study conducted as part of the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment survey revealed that one-third of respondents believe their wages will increase by up to four per cent next year.

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