4 October, 2016: Millions of Australia’s pampered pooches and fluffy felines are undergoing humanlike health procedures as their owners strive to keep them happy and healthy.
According to PetSure, Australia’s leading pet insurance specialist, our pets are being increasingly humanised, with more owners treating their pets like a member of the family.
As we stop to appreciate the health and happiness of our pets this World Animal Day, Dr Magdoline Awad, PetSure’s Chief Veterinary Officer, and former Chief Veterinarian of the RSPCA NSW, weighs
in on our evolving approach to pet health and wellbeing.
"With 63% of Australian households owning a pet, it’s no doubt we love our animals. But more than ever, Australia’s pets are becoming an integral part of the family unit, and the health procedures
being performed on our pets certainly prove that," said Dr Awad.
Dr Awad said pet owners are increasingly adopting the latest technologies and procedures for their pets.
"PetSure have seen the claimed amount for diabetes increase 600% since 2010. This shows that Australian pet owners now have a more holistic approach to pet wellness and are more open to
managing chronic conditions with ongoing treatment," said Dr Awad.
"We are seeing more pet owners focusing on their pets’ health needs and opting for human-like procedures for their pets, such as MRIs and CT scans. These latest diagnostics are now commonplace
in veterinary referral hospitals," said Dr Awad.
According to PetSure, claims for MRIs have increased from a value of $180,000 in 2010 to $680,000 in 2015. CT scans for pets have also grown more popular, increasing from a value of $200,000 in
2010 to $1,350,000 in 2015.
The uptake of preventative healthcare for pets has also increased, with total claims for tick paralysis approximately 30% less than forecast.
"We have been pleased to see Australia’s pet owners are being more diligent when it comes to preventative care for their pets, such as flea and tick prevention. There are a number of new, effective preventative products available in the market, and it appears they are making a significant difference. These products are on their way to making a serious and life threatening disease such as tick paralysis, almost entirely preventable. This is great for animal welfare," said Dr Awad.
When it comes to living and sleeping arrangements, many of Australia’s pet owners are swapping outdoor kennels for indoor comforts.
"The number of claims relating to outdoor injuries have seen a significant decline over the last three-four years, with motor vehicle incidents decreasing by almost 20% from 2011 to 2015.
"Pet owners are becoming more and more socially responsible by microchipping their pets and confining their dogs to their premises, as well as keeping their cats indoors, especially at night. The
increase in the number of dog friendly parks and outdoors areas have also given pet parents greater options for exercise with their pets," said Dr Awad.
Whether your pet sleeps at the foot of your bed or on the back deck, Dr Awad said the most important thing is to ensure that we continue care for our pets and their health.
"It’s not about pampering our pets. It’s about feeding them nutritious food, providing opportunities to exercise and taking them for regular vet checkups. World Animal Day is a great reminder that if
you put the time and effort into caring for your pet, they will be happier and healthier in the long run," said Dr Awad.