Furry family members! Aussies spending more on pets’ health than ever before

Aug 24, 2020
The research found eight in 10 Aussie dog owners would prioritise their dog's health over appearance. Source: Getty.

New research has found Aussie dog owners are changing the way they care for their four-legged friends due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the majority now spending more on their pet’s health.

The research, conducted by NexGard Spectra, found eight in 10 Australians would prioritise their dog’s health over their pup’s appearance, which is a big shift from recent years. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Animal Medicines Australia found Aussie pet owners spent over $700 million on pet grooming in 2019 alone.

Meanwhile, the research also found almost seven in 10 (69 per cent) dog owners felt that the health of their dog is just as important as the health of a family member, and nearly two thirds (65 per cent) admitted they’ll be spending more on their dog’s physical health as a result of the pandemic, with the younger generation most likely to fork out more (78 per cent of Gen Z and 73 per cent of Millennials).

On the other hand, the research also found four in 10 dog owners said their dog is their top pick over their partner for a holiday companion and over half (52 per cent) will be looking for dog-friendly holidays for their next trip when restrictions ease. While almost three-quarters of dog owners (74 per cent) said if there was a second lockdown, they couldn’t survive without their dog.

It’s no secret Aussies love their furry friends and as it turns out owning one can be good for your health as well. A previous study found having a dog in your life not only benefits your soul, but can also improve your heart health.

The study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic, uncovered a link between dog ownership and good heart health, after examining a mixed group of dog owners and those without pets, all with no previous history of heart disease.

The researchers looked at a group of 1,769 subjects who were scored based on ideal health behaviours and factors outlined by the American Heart Association including body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, blood glucose and total cholesterol. A researcher with the International Clinical Research Centre, Dr Andrea Maugeri said those who owned dogs specifically were more likely to live healthier lives.

“In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet and blood sugar at ideal level,” she said at the time. “The greatest benefits from having a pet were for those who owned a dog, independent of their age, sex and education level.”

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