Pandemic pet regret: pet owners under financial stress
A third (33%) of Australians say their pet is causing them financial stress
28 April 2022
- Around a quarter (26%) of people surveyed purchased a pet during the pandemic with 35% searching for companionship during lockdowns and 26% hoping a pet would help to relieve stress.
- 71% of pet owners have had to pay an unexpected pet bill, with a quarter (24%) being left to fork out more than $1000
- 41% of pet owners are concerned about leaving their pets home alone once returning to the office, with almost a quarter (23%) expecting their pet to suffer from separation anxiety
While the pandemic was the perfect time for many Aussies to welcome a new furry friend to the family, new research from Mozo has revealed a third (33%) of pet owners are feeling financial stress from unexpected vet bills and the other costs.
“Although pets can provide a lot of comfort and are much-loved members of the family, it's no secret that welcoming a furry friend into the family can be a costly decision,” says Tom Godfrey, Mozo spokesperson.
Mozo’s research found that 71% of pet owners have had to pay an unexpected pet bill, with a quarter (24%) being left to fork out more than $1000. It also found only 31% had taken out pet insurance to help manage the costs.
“The companionship of a pet is invaluable but it always pays to do some research on the cost of caring for your particular pet and start budgeting for the various regular expenses. When it comes to vet bills, insurance can be a useful tool but it’s important to ensure your pet when they’re young,” Godfrey says.
Of the pet owners surveyed, around a quarter (26%) of pet owners said they purchased their fur-ever friend during the pandemic, with just over a third (35%) doing so in search of companionship during lockdowns and around a quarter (26%) to help deal with stress.
Mozo’s research also found 41% of those surveyed said they were concerned about leaving their pet home alone once returning to the office, with almost a quarter (23%) expecting their pet to suffer from separation anxiety.
“Many families are now feeling the pinch of the rising cost of living, and when you add unexpected pet costs such as doggy daycare and anxiety treatments to the mix, the bite out of your hip pocket can feel more significant.”
Tips for managing the costs of pet ownership:
- Start a pet emergency fund. Deposit $10 a week, and by the end of the year, you will have $520 tucked away for those unexpected vet bills.
- Shop around and compare pet insurance policies. If you don’t need comprehensive cover, consider opting for accident only or accident and illness cover. Knose was named the Pet Insurance Provider of the year in the 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for its good value cover.
- Check existing insurance. Some home and content policies may also offer pet insurance as an optional extra which might be a cheaper option than taking out standalone cover.
- Ditch expensive pet toys. If your pet needs some extra entertainment while you’re at work, visit your local op shop to see if you could snag a bargain on used toys.
- Stay up to date on vaccinations. keep up to date with regular check-ups and vaccinations for your pet as preventative care might save you from fronting up major costs down the line
- Buy your pet food in bulk. Consider buying food and pet supplies in bulk from wholesalers to maximise savings