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Paws-itively pricey: Aussies forking out $2.9 billion on vet checkups

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Australians are splashing billions of dollars on vet checkups every year, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 637 pet owners revealed 70% have taken their pet to the vet at least once in the last 12 months, up from 64% in 2022, while 1 in 2 (53%) have taken their pet to the vet once or twice.

Nearly 1 in 5 pet owners (17%) have taken their pet to the vet three or more times in the last year, while almost 1 in 3 (30%) haven't taken their pet to the vet at all in the last 12 months.

Gary Ross Hunter, insurance expert at Finder, said the cost of owning a pet can add up quickly.

"From food to vet checkups, vaccinations and grooming, there are plenty of expenses that come with having a pet.

"If you're considering getting a pet, it's important to understand the potential costs involved."

On average, pet owners reported spending $609 on vet checkups – up from $597 in 2022.

That's equivalent to $2.9 billion spent per year on vet checkups alone.

To help Australians make better financial decisions while having peace of mind that their furry friend is protected, Finder has today announced the winners of its Pet Insurance Awards for 2023.

Finder compared 25+ policies, 190+ features and reviewed over 700 quotes to help Australian pet owners find the best pet insurance products.

Knose Pet Insurance stood out as this year's Finder Award for Best Pet Insurance – Value as it covers 90% of eligible vet bills, allows you to claim up to $25,000 per year and it comes with no sub-limits on specific conditions – that's more generous overall than almost any other pet insurance provider in Australia.

Brands to be highly commended in the Values category included Petsy Top Cover and PIA Major Medical Cover.

Knose Pet Insurance also won this year's Finder Award for Best Pet Insurance – Comprehensive.

Petsy Top Cover was also highly commended in the Comprehensive category, along with RSPCA Ultimate Plus Accident and Illness Cover.

Hunter said routine checkups, vaccinations, and preventative care can accumulate, and unexpected emergencies can be even more expensive, running into the thousands of dollars..

"From as little as $40 a month, pet insurance can give you peace of mind for any unexpected bills your furry pal might incur or just to cover regular vet visits.

"It's important to weigh up the pros and cons and decide whether pet insurance is right for you and your pet," Hunter said.

1 in 3 (28%) reported their pet insurance premium has gone up in the last 12 months.

Almost 1 in 5 (19%) said their premium went up by 5% more, while 5% said it went up by 10% more.

A further 4% said it went up by over 10% in the past year.

Finder analysis reveals the average pet insurance policy costs $1,219 per year.

The average policy for a dog is $1,524. The average policy for a cat costs almost 40% less at $909 per year.

How many times have you taken your pet to the vet in the past 12 months?
3 times8%
4 times4%
5 times1%
More than 5 times4%
Source: Finder survey of 637 pet owners, March 2023
Has your annual pet insurance premium gone up in the past 12 months? If so, by how much?
Yes, about 5% more19%
Yes, about 10% more5%
Yes, over 10% more4%
No, it's stayed about the same72%
Source: Finder survey of 637 pet owners, March 2023

For more information on Finder's Pet Insurance Awards for 2023, go to

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