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Whisker watch: 1 in 5 pet owners spy on their animals

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Millions of pet owners watch their animal over a video camera while they're out of the house, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,062 respondents – 570 of whom are pet owners – revealed 1 in 5 (22%) spy on their pets.

That's 1.4 million households that have pet cameras installed to monitor what their cats and dogs get up to when they're not home.

A further 7% of pet parents plan on installing cameras to keep an eye on their beloved fur babies while they're out.

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, with an estimated 28.7 million pets in Australia today, and 69% of households owning pets, up from 61% in 2019.

Millennials are most likely to have installed pet cams – with almost 1 in 3 (28%) admitting they have, compared to only 20% of gen X.

Gary Ross Hunter, insurance expert at Finder, said pet cameras have become a security blanket for obsessed pet owners.

"Millions of Aussies can't stand to be separated from their pets and are flocking to the tech to keep a watchful eye on their four-legged friends.

"Some of these set-ups even have voice and treat delivery capability.

"The Big Brother tactics let them catch their animals when they're up to no good or simply ease separation anxiety."

Worryingly only 16% of Aussie pet owners have pet insurance, according to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.

Hunter said furry friends have become members of the family but pet cameras don't protect them from unexpected incidents or illness.

"If you love your pet enough to watch them when you are away, you don't want to have to decide between your savings or their wellbeing if they get sick or injured.

"When money is tight, insurance can seem like an unnecessary burden, but it could be the difference between life and death if an animal becomes unwell.

"According to 2023 Finder Awards research, there's a difference of more than $1,000 a year between the cheapest and most expensive pet insurance policy. Now is the best time to shop around and find a better deal," Hunter said.

Do you use cameras to monitor your pets?
Yes22%
No, but I'm planning on installing cameras7%
No71%
Source: Finder survey of 570 Australian pet owners, October 2023

Take a look at Finder's best pet insurance picks for 2024.

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