2016 Petplan Pet Census: Health

March 23rd, 2017

petplan insurance pet census

In 2016, Petplan created a Pet Census that ran over a couple of months in order to gather data about pet ownership in Australia. Over the next few weeks, we will explore this data in the form of their categories. This week’s topic is on Pet Health.


Food quantities are generally carefully controlled by the owners and they understand that illnesses and obesity can come portion sizes. In line with this, only 18.7% of respondents worried that they were over feeding their pets, possibly leading to signs of an unhealthy pet.

This overfeeding can be due to a number of reasons including the pet seeking extra snacks, not being educated on the amount you should feed a pet of their size, or due to feeding by packaging sizes which can differ from each company. We asked the respondents what food they normally fed their pets with 87.2% saying along with other things, they fed their pet commercial pet food. There were also a large amount of owners (30.6%) who also fed their pet???s homemade food and there are a fair few of respondents (27.5%) who fed their pets a raw diet as well.

With the option for multiple answers, the most popular place to buy pet food was from a Pet Store with 60% of owners agreeing. This was followed with almost 40% of people buying it from a supermarket and 27.6% visiting the vet to buy their food.?? Quite surprisingly, 26.5% of respondents made their pets food at home with 1 in 10 owners choosing ???other??? as an option for where they get their pet food from.


Illness and obesity

With obesity within Australia on the rise in the last couple of years, we wanted to know if it was a problem with the pet world. Astonishingly, we found out that over 3 quarters of respondents had someone comment that their pet was overweight. Most commonly, obesity in pets can be related to overfeeding or other causes such as illnesses or injuries.

In saying this, almost two thirds of owners said that an illness wasn???t related to their cat or dog being overweight. The other one third of owners were split as they believed a range of illnesses have led to obesity in their pets, which include:


Alone Time

Whether it be going to work or getting groceries, there is a point where we all have to leave our pet home alone. It???s in these minutes or hours where the dog or cat can get up to some serious mischief and possibly wreak havoc. Although 44.2% or respondents said they had nothing occur when they left their pet alone, many owners had experienced the worst outcomes, which included:

  • The most common was having your pet chew or scratch furniture which had 29.1% of all respondents
  • 7% had their furry friend leave a present in the house in the form of a wee or poo
  • Not only is inside a problem, 22.1% of owners had their dog dig up the garden when left alone
  • A group of owners (13.7%) said that they had heard excess barking, howling, or meowing when leaving
  • 7% of pets had tried to escape
  • Only 1.8% of respondents had witnessed aggressive or unusual behaviour from their pet upon leaving them alone

Typically, a lot of pets are left alone for extended periods of time due to their owners work commitments. Although, we found that it was pretty even across the board for the amount they spend alone. The most responses (30.6%) said they left their pet alone between 5 and 8 hours a day, closely followed by 28.2% who were less than 2 hours and 28% who left them alone for 2 to 5 hours a day. there was still a substantial amount (13.1%) who left their pets alone for more than 8 hours a day, allowing ample time for their four legged friend to get up to mischief.


Click the links below to read the other Pet Census sections:

Part 2: Finance

Part 3: Social Relations

Part 4: Family


Comments are closed.