Latest News

Australian Pet Owners Overlook At-Home Pet Health Checks

Playtime & pampering: 90% of Aussie pet parents overlook at-home pet health checks

  • Just one in 10 (10%) pet owners provide at-home pet health checks like brushing their pet’s teeth or checking for flea and ticks.
  • Despite cost-of-living pressures, 82% spend money spoiling their pets each month, with younger owners more likely to spoil.
  • Coinciding with World Vet Day (29 April)PetSure is calling on the nation to prioritise proactive at-home checks for better pet healthcare outcomes.
  • PetSure’s MEOWS [1] tips remind Aussies of common pet health conditions.

Aussie pet owners are missing a trick when it comes to ensuring the health and happiness of their furry loved ones, as new research from PetSure, Australia’s leading pet insurance underwriter, reveals just one in 10 (10%) prioritise regular at-home pet health checks or routines.

The research, released alongside PetSure’s Pet Health Monitor 2023 report, comes ahead of this year’s World Vet Day (29 April). With the data presenting a worrying view of the current landscape, with pet parents prioritising pampering over proactive pet health checks, PetSure is calling on pet parents to do their due diligence - not just for their pets, but for vets across Australia.

With $3 billion spent every year on pet toys and accessories in Australia, pet owners don’t hold back on splashing the cash when it comes to their furry friends.

[1] PetSure research reveals 82% of owners spoil their pets with human food, gifts, clothes and toys each month, while a third (34%) of those who pamper their pets with spa or beauty, spend up to $500 monthly.

Of those who pamper their pets, one in five (20%) devote up to 5 hours a week to pampering. By contrast, 65% of pet parents that have an at-home health routine, only spend up to an hour a week on pet health checks.

Despite cost-of-living pressures, of respondents who spoil with pet tech one in five (21%) spend up to $500 monthly on specialty tech including pet fit-bits, automated ball throwers and pet cameras, with one in 10 (9%) pet parents spending $2,000 a month.

Younger pet owners are twice as likely to embrace pampering and spoiling compared to older generations, with half (50%) of 18-35-year-olds buying clothes, toys and accessories in a given month, compared with just a quarter (26%) of 56+ year olds.

The Pet Health Monitor 2023 report analyses PetSure claims data to reveal key pet health trends including insights from the veterinary field, common health conditions for dogs and cats, and tips for proactive pet healthcare.

Dr Betty ChanVet Advisor at PetSure said: “Like many pet owners, vets are animal lovers and they want the best for your fur baby, but pet parents need to do their due diligence. 
While pampering can provide enrichment for pets, it’s simple things like regularly brushing your dog’s teeth or checking for fleas and ticks that pet parents should prioritise.

Being proactive with a regular at-home health routine could help detect and address issues early on, resulting in better pet healthcare outcomes. 

In some cases, this could mean a health condition is less complex and costly to treat - leading to a more positive experience for pets, their owners and vets.

Being financially prepared for pet healthcare costs, such as having a pet insurance policy or savings can be important too, as it means you’ll be empowered to follow the recommended course of treatment and manage veterinary expenses next time you’re at the clinic,” she said.

Affection Into Action

The research shows just a third (38%) of respondents can spot signs of stomach or gut issues in their pets, despite gastrointestinal tract infections cited as one of the top five health conditions for both cats and dogs, according to the Pet Health Monitor 2023 report.

Less than a third (28%) of pet parents brush their pet’s teeth each week, despite it being an important way to avoid dental disease and o
nly 36% of Aussie pet parents clean their pets’ ears.

Given there were over 15,000 claims among PetSure customers alone for ear infections last year, knowledge like this is important for all pet owners to have.

In response, PetSure published its MEOWS* tips in the Pet Health Monitor 2023 report to remind Aussies of common health issues and tips for proactive healthcare and early detection. Dr Chan urges pet parents to remember MEOWS* = Mishaps, Ears, Oral Hygiene, Weight and Skin.

Health area / condition




Mishaps can include broken legs - in 2022, the average cost of a broken rear leg for a cat was $3,805**.

  • Ensure your pet is socialised from an early age to prevent fights and bite injuries
  • Secure your property to avoid escapes, and secure balconies and windows to avoid any accidental falls

Ear infections

Ear infections were one of the top five health conditions experienced by dogs**. 

  • Remember to clean the ears every week
  • Keep an eye out for signs of an ear infection - if you see your dog shaking their head, scratching their ears or if you notice any discharge, seek advice from your local veterinarian

Oral hygiene 

(dental disease) 

For cats aged 3 years, the average claimed amount per case for dental disease was $833***.

  • Regularly brush your pet’s teeth
  • Consider feeding your pet dental chews as these can help prevent build up of plaque, and help maintain healthy teeth and gums


Being overweight can predispose pets to a variety of diseases, including arthritis, cruciate disease and diabetes. In 2022, the average claim cost for cruciate ligament disease was $2,408.****

  • Keep up daily exercise, including walks and at-home play
  • Feed your pet a balanced breed-specific diet - follow the feeding guidelines on packaging


Skin allergies were the top health condition for 2022 experienced by dogs, with an average cost of $520 for treatment.**

  • Stay up to date with flea and tick preventatives 
  • Regularly brush your pet’s coat and check their skin to identify problems early

To learn about pet health trends and proactive healthcare, download the Pet Health Monitor 2023 report:

Pet Health Monitor 2023 Report:

PetSure’s 2023 Pet Health Monitor Report reveals key pet health trends and insights from the industry and veterinary field to provide an overview of the issues and themes impacting pet health in Australia.
Drawing on PetSure’s claims data for the 2022 calendar year, our flagship report features useful insights, tips and expert commentary to provide pet parents with a resource to better understand the ailments pets may experience, and how they can help.

Survey definitions:

At-home pet healthcare: Any health checks or behaviours you perform on your pet at home, including activities such as cleaning your pets ears, brushing their teeth, weighing them, checking for parasites like ticks/fleas/mites, providing internal and external parasite preventative medication, checking your home for dangerous toxins

Pet pampering: Making your pet feel comfortable by doing things for them over and above healthcare and animal welfare, or giving them expensive or luxurious things such as buying toys and gadgets.

Consumer survey:

PetSure surveyed 1,000 dog and cat owners nationwide across Australia from 14 to 17 April 2023. Research supplied by PureProfile.


* Animal Medicines Australia, Pets in Australia: A national survey of pets and people, 2022
** PetSure claims data for the 2022 calendar year
*** Dental illness treatment by age. PetSure claims data for the 2022 calendar year, average claimed amount per case.
**** According to PetSure claims data 2022, some conditions with increased risk of occurring in overweight dogs and their costs.

About PetSure:

PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (“PetSure”) a leading pet health company and industry leader as an insurance underwriter, administering pet insurance products across Australia and New Zealand.
For over 20 years, PetSure has been the market leader in both size and innovation. PetSure administers the pet insurance policies of 28 partner brands.

As the category leader, and in close collaboration with members of the veterinary industry, PetSure continually seeks to extend coverage, keep pace with modern veterinary practices, provide policies that are transparent and operate with the highest levels of integrity. In March 2023, PetSure obtained its own APRA general insurance licence, making it the first general insurer in Australia that’s fully dedicated to pet insurance. PetSure is committed to the long-term growth and sustainability of the pet insurance category.

 PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Meet our partners at

MEDIA RELEASE, 29 April 2023

Related Stories:


No comments

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.