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Your money or your pet? 17% of Australians would spend $10k to save their dog


Australians would be willing to spend thousands before considering putting their dog or cat down, according to new research from Finder.

The nationally representative survey of 1,011 respondents found that dog owners would be willing to fork out $3,532 to save their furry friend, while cat owners would spend almost $1,000 less on average at $2,618.

For pooch parents, that's the equivalent of more than two weeks' worth of the average Aussie's salary.

The research found 17% of dog owners would cough up more than $10,000, while 6% would spend more than $15,000.

In comparison, just 10% of cat owners would pay more than $10,000, with 4% willing to spend more than $15,000.

However, the survey revealed not all pet owners are willing to shell out for their companions – 43% of dog owners and 48% of cat owners wouldn't spend more than $500 to save their pet.

RSPCA research shows that in 2019 there were more than 29 million pets in Australia, with owners spending an estimated $13 billion that year alone.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said it wasn't surprising that some pet owners were willing to spend thousands of dollars.

"Loving your pet shouldn't mean you need to go broke to keep them healthy.

"Even if your pet swallows something they shouldn't, an emergency trip to the vet can end up costing a small fortune.

"That's why pet insurance is so important," she said.

Finder research shows that surgery for a swallowed sock can range from $982 all the way to $22,919.

"A comprehensive policy can protect you from having to decide between your savings and your furry friend if the worst happens."

Finder's research revealed that women were willing to devote 105% more than men before considering putting their dog down ($4,725 to $2,307 respectively).

For the nation's cat owners, women were willing to shell out 164% more than men ($3,845 compared to $1,454).

Gen X would spend the least to save their cat ($1,950) or dog ($3,080), while gen Z would spend the most.

While the average Aussie pet owner is willing to spend more on their dog, gen Z are willing to fork out $5,326 for their cat, compared to $4,827 for their dog.

If your pet was sick or injured, how much would you pay before considering putting it down?

GenerationCat ($ average)Dog ($ average)
Baby boomers$2,182$3,390
Gen X$1,950$3,080
Gen Y$1,959$3,138
Gen Z$5,326$4,827

Interested in pet insurance? Learn more about the average costs, and compare policies with our simple guide.

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