Bankwest family pooch index

financial indicator series

05 May 2010

The latest in Bankwest's on-going Social Indicator Series has revealed that a dog's life certainly isn't cheap anymore, with Australian families spending more than $25,000 on their pet dog over its life-time.

The latest Bankwest Social Indicator Survey, the 'Family Pooch Index', revealed the average Australian family outlays $2,452 per year for the care of their canine, on top of their initial purchase of the pup of $585. Over the average life span of a dog, ten years, this equates to more than $25,000.

Not surprisingly, pet food and other gourmet doggy treats gobble up the bulk of the annual cost - $1200. This was followed by veterinary costs, at $450 per year, and additional dog care, such as grooming, dog walking, dog dietician and a dog trainer at $405 each per year.

The research also revealed what many of us have suspected for a long time, namely that half of Aussie pet owners consider their pet to be equally important as their kids. An overwhelming 96 per cent of respondents consider their pet as a member of their family.

"The old saying that a dog's life is cheap certainly doesn't ring true for most Australians," Bankwest Retail CEO Vittoria Shortt said.

"This research shows that the average Australian family is prepared to pay in excess of $25,000 over the average life time of their family dog.

"This is for just one dog, many people have more than one dog so they are paying out even more.

"Given this is such a large amount of money, it's not surprising that 96 per cent of respondents said they consider their pet as a member of their family."

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative for a family pet, it seems a fish and then pet bird are the way to go. Respondents that own a pet fish said yearly costs run at $610 to care for the pet. Birds however, are slightly more expensive in their upkeep - costing an Aussie family $810 each year. Cats cost, on average, $1,772 per year.

Download a copy of the full report and a breakdown on each state below:

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