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New survey investigates how we view our pets

Are our pets seen as equally as important as human children and other loved ones?

  • New Compare the Market survey reveals roughly half of all pet owners say their pet is just as important as human children and loved ones.
  • Almost one-in-two pet owners call their pets ‘fur-babies’.
  • Women and younger generations are more likely to call their pets fur-babies and view them as equally as important as human loved ones.

Pets are often seen as part of the family, and a new survey shows such sentiment is only growing as younger generations become pet owners.

According to Compare the Market, roughly half of pet owners in Australia, Canada and the USA view their pets as equally as important as their own human children.

This was highest in America, where 55.5% of pet parents agreed with this statement. Canadian pet owners followed at 49.6%, and slightly less Australians agreed at 48.2%.

Perhaps shockingly, almost one-in-ten pet owners said their pets were more important than their own children or other loved ones.

Women with pets were more likely than men to say that their pets were equally as important as children and loved ones. Younger generations were also more likely to agree with this statement than older generations – except in America where every generation agreed with the statement that pets are equally as important as human loved ones.

Pet parent is an increasingly apt term. Just under 50% of pet owners use/have used this term to refer to their own beloved pets. This was most common in Canada, where 48.9% of pet owners use the endearing phrase, followed by 47.6% of American pet owners and 42.1% of Australian pet owners.

As before, female pet owners were more likely to use the phrase fur-baby than male pet owners, and younger pet owners were more likely to use the term than older pet owners. Both of these trends were seen in all three nations surveyed.

While most pet owners didn’t have pet insurance for their pets, those who call their pets fur-babies or think their pets are more important than their children or loved ones are most likely to have cover.

Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor, explains how pet insurance can help pet owners look after the wellbeing of their furry family members, noting that vet bills can be very expensive.

“Pet insurance can help cover a significant proportion of a vet bill, reducing the amount you’ll be charged if you need to take your cat or dog to the vet for urgent care,” Mr Taylor says.

“Top of the range pet insurance policies also cover routine care like vaccinations, check-ups, deworming, microchipping and even behaviour classes. This helps add a lot of value for owners and can help improve the wellness of our pets.”

To view the full range of data tables and breakdowns, visit:

MEDIA RELEASE, 30th May 2023

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