Saving on pets: No thanks!

Survey: How do crises and inflation affect pet ownership?

Hanover. Many people are suffering from the ongoing global crises. Wars, climate change and persistent inflation are making people afraid. We have long felt that this tense social situation is affecting our daily lives. But are these crises also affecting pet ownership? Are pet owners saving more on their animals or spending less time with them because they have to work more for financial reasons? Or are pet owners, on the contrary, more “advantaged” because they enjoy the support of their four-legged friends in these uncertain times? Agila Pet Insurance got to the bottom of these questions with an exclusive, representative survey of 660 pet and non-pet owners.

AGILA infographic cost increaseThe good news: According to the survey, people save the least on their own pets – and this is across all income groups. The majority of survey participants say that they are strongly affected by the current social situation and complain about rising costs for their animals. The respondents report increased costs, especially for the animals' health care, food and diets, but also for animal care and supervision. Nevertheless, only 7 percent of those surveyed are saving on their pet expenses. Restaurant visits, leisure activities or vacations are more likely to be cut. “It is of course very gratifying that most people take good care of their pets even in these difficult times. But I also think another result of our survey is very important: four out of five people find their pets to be a great support in these times of crisis,” says Agila expert Franziska Obert. 64 percent of those surveyed even agree with the statement that their pets make them more balanced and better able to deal with the stressful situation. The fact that dogs and cats provide emotional support for many people is nothing new, but “the fact that people prefer to restrict themselves rather than their pets in times of crisis shows all the more how important animals are to us today as full family members,” says Obert. This is also consistent with the result of the question as to whether an animal has ever had to be given away due to the overall social situation. 96 percent of those surveyed answered no, and only one in five would not consider acquiring another animal in view of the crisis situation.

As pleasing as these survey results may be for our four-legged friends, there are of course also negative effects of the global crises on pet ownership: For example, one fifth of those surveyed say they have less time to look after their animals. This figure falls among families with children (with 30 percent) and among younger people (16 to 29 years: 38 percent) even higher. Just over a third (35 percent) of the survey participants limit visits to the essentials. And more than half of those surveyed now consider keeping a dog or cat to be an expensive hobby (55 percent). Among people with low incomes, 64 percent even hold this view. This is why some pet owners develop a variety of strategies to be able to provide the best possible care for their pets despite tight financial and time constraints. They become creative, make toys themselves, for example, or pay more attention to the sustainable use of toys and accessories. In addition, a relatively large number of (over a third) According to the survey, pet owners regularly spend money on the health care of their pets. “Another option to ensure the best veterinary care for your beloved four-legged friend, despite the increased costs in all areas, is to take out pet health insurance. Because in the end, what counts is that all family members, whether two-legged or four-legged, are well,” says Obert.