Costs of pet ownership

96 per cent of Australians regard their dog to be part of the family according to a 2010 survey.

The Family Pooch Index has revealed that over the average lifespan of a dog, owners will spend on average more than $25,000 per animal.

In 2009 owners spent $6.02 billion on pets, pet care products and service (Australian Companion Animal Council).

In the battle of the states, New South Wales spends the most on pets and West Australia the least.

While the survey showed that on average dog owners will spend around $450 on veterinary costs per year, the bulk of spending goes towards feeding, treats and pampering.

For those seeking a cheaper option, the popularity of fish and birds is on the rise with pet fish costing around $610 a year and pet birds slightly more expensive at $810. A cat will set then average Australian back around $1,722 per annum.

They also found that 50 per cent of dog owners buy their dogs gifts for special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.

When asked “Why do you own a dog?” under a range of options love for dogs ranked highest at 83 per cent keep closely followed by companionship, security and exercise.

Generation Y is likely to spend the most on their pets, however many rely on their parents to contributing to the upkeep.

The Family Pooch Index is based on a survey of 735 Australian pet owners and was carried out in March 2010.

(This information was collected as part of the 2010 Social Indicator Series from Bankwest)

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