Sunday, 9 March 2014: New research from Woolworths Insurance has found Australians are using pets to practice their parenting skills ahead of having children.
More than half (53%) see a pet as a good practice run for looking after kids and 39 per cent think pet ownership is a great way to test a couple’s compatibility. However, just five per cent of all pet owners have pet insurance.
Chris Cramond, Head of Woolworths Insurance said, “The results encouragingly show we take the subject of pet ownership very seriously. Woolworths Insurance wants all relationships, including those with your pets, to be long and stress-free, so as soon as your pet walks through the door, remember to get them covered.
“Any new addition to the family, including a pet, is incredibly exciting and a moment you’ll never forget. However, in all the excitement some may overlook the importance of financially protecting themselves from accident or illness.
“Pet Insurance is an easy way to ensure you are prepared for unforseen vet bills and goes some way to helping maintain a happy home.”
Pets versus children
The research reveals that couples see pets and children in similar ways. Two thirds (66%) per cent of those surveyed agree that kids and pets both make a mess, 81 per cent think the two are highly dependent, and 31 per cent said they both keep you up at night.
However, many believe the mess and sleepless nights are worth it. Fifty six per cent of dog and cat owners agree both kids and pets give unconditional love, while 65 per cent already consider their pet to be one of their children and treat it accordingly.
How ready are we?
Many view pet ownership to be an easier option than all-out parenthood and the Woolworths Insurance results show some respondents thinks it’s a good trial run:
• 61 per cent agree if couples can’t care for a pet, they probably aren’t ready to be parents
• 40 per cent think the responsibility of being a pet owner can expose the weak points in a relationship
• Nine per cent of respondents admit they can’t look after themselves, let alone another dependant
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