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Pet or pay? Aussies would fork out more than $6K to save their furry friend

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Pet at the vet_Canva_1800x1000

Australian pet owners would fork out an eye-watering amount before considering putting their pet down, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,061 respondents – 602 of whom are pet owners – revealed 94% would spend money on their pet before considering other options.

Of the Australians willing to spend, the average amount they would fork out is $6,219 to save their furry friend.

Almost 1 in 4 (23%) would spend up to $500, while 17% would spend between $501 and $1,000.

A third (34%) would spend between $1,001 and $5,000 to save their companion.

More than 1 in 10 (12%) would hand over between $5,001 and $10,000 to save their pet's life, while a whopping 8% – equivalent to 925,000 people – would spend beyond $10,000 to prevent euthanasia.

Gary Ross Hunter, insurance expert at Finder, said it's no surprise that some pet owners would go to incredible lengths to save their furry friends.

"Many pet owners consider their companions as members of the family – leading them to make incredible sacrifices, even emptying savings accounts, or taking on debt, to save their pet's life.

"Unexpected medical emergencies can lead to difficult decisions. Knowing your limits and considering pet insurance beforehand can help navigate these situations."

Finder's research found 6% wouldn't pay a cent on their dog or cat in the event they were sick or injured before considering putting them down.

That's equivalent to almost 770,000 people who wouldn't go as far as a vet visit to save their pet's life.

On average, pet owners report spending $826 at the vet in the last 12 months – up from $609 in 2023.

That's equivalent to $3.9 billion coughed up a year on vet visits.

To help Australians make better financial decisions and care for their furry friends, Finder has announced the winners of its Pet Insurance Awards for 2024.

Finder compared 24 policies, 160+ features and got over 140 quotes to help Australian pet owners find the best pet insurance products.

Bow Wow Meow's Ultimate Care pet insurance policy was awarded Best Pet Insurance – Value. The policy provides a similar level of cover to other insurers but at a lower price. You get a lot more for your money compared to other providers, including a claim limit of $20,000 a year and 80% back on vet bills.

Highly commended for the Values category included petinsurance.com.au and Coles Pet Insurance.

Petinsurance.com.au's Platinum Cover won top spot for Best Pet Insurance – Comprehensive because it covers more than other insurers but is still a comparatively cheap policy.

Coles Pet Insurance was also highly commended in the Comprehensive category, along with Pet Insurance Australia.

Hunter said caring for your pet doesn't have to break the bank.

"Having pet insurance means you won't be forced to choose between draining your savings and giving your furry friend the care they need.

"There are even policies that cover 100% of costs, as long as they don't exceed the annual limit.

"Pets come in all shapes, sizes, and with varying health needs, so a one-size-fits-all approach won't work.

"By comparing plans from different providers, you can find a policy that offers the specific coverage you need for your pet's breed, age, and potential health concerns," Hunter said.

Gen Z ($7,624) would fork out the most on average to save their furry friend, compared to baby boomers ($2,743).

If your pet was sick or injured, how much would you pay before considering putting it down?
$06%
$1 – $50023%
$501 – $1,00017%
$1,001 – $5,00034%
$5,001 – $10,00012%
$10,001 +8%
Average pet owner$6,218
Source: Finder survey of 602 pet owners, March 2024
How much have you spent at the vet in the past 12 months?
Gen Z$1,184
Gen Y$733
Gen X$740
Baby Boomers$505
Average pet owner$826
Source: Finder survey of 614 pet owners, March 2024

To find out more about Finder's Pet Insurance Awards for 2024, go to https://www.finder.com.au/finder-awards/product-awards/pet-insurance-awards.

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