Australians’ love of pets has grown to such an extent that our pet population (at 24 million) has almost reached our human population. Now, new research has found that nearly 1 in 2 pet owners are willing to try allied health services or alternative therapies to improve their pet’s health and wellbeing.
The findings come from an independent, nationally representative survey of 1003 pet owners, commissioned by leading financial comparison site comparethemarket.com.au. Respondents were asked whether they have used, or would use, any of the following nine services to improve their pet’s health: homeopathic remedies, laser therapy, physiotherapy, physical therapy, chiropractic services, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, osteopathy and herbal medicine.
Interestingly, 44 per cent of pet owners have used, or would use, any of the above treatments for their pets. Among these, nearly half (45 per cent) have or would use physiotherapy, almost a third (29 per cent) chose homeopathic remedies in the survey and 28 per cent opted for physical therapy (such as massage, heat treatment and exercise routines) in the survey.
Twenty-seven (27) per cent nominated hydrotherapy (using water to treat different conditions), a further quarter (25 per cent) selected acupuncture and herbal medicine, and 24 per cent would or have used chiropractic services.
Fifteen (15) per cent would even use, or have used, laser therapy to treat pain, swelling and inflammation and 12 per cent would or have looked to osteopathy.
The survey revealed that the older the pet owner, the less likely they are to use allied health services or alternative therapy for their pet. Across the age groups, 54 per cent of under 35s, 47 per cent of those aged 35-44, 39 per cent of 45-64s, and 31 per cent of over-65s stated they have or would consider alternative therapies for their furry friend.
Women pet owners are also more likely than men to consider such treatments – at a ratio of 48 per cent to 39 per cent respectively.
Many pet owners may be surprised to find out that allied health services and alternative therapies are often covered under most comprehensive pet insurance policies. When your pet is unwell or injured, most pet owners want to know that they have tried everything they can to help them. Occasionally, this means trialling different treatments pet owners wouldn’t normally consider.
Many comprehensive pet policies can offer annual benefits when you purchase extras cover with comprehensive cover. One example is ‘Routine Care’, which gives you certain benefit amounts for a range of treatments, including alternative therapies.
When comparing pet policies, it is essential to find cover that not only suits your pet’s needs but also your budget. Comparison services such as comparethemarket.com.au can help individuals looking to find an appropriate level of cover that provides pet owners with the maximum benefits and the shortest waiting periods so that their pet can recover quickly.
Consumers have the option to purchase additional routine care treatments too, which may include a wider range of alternative therapies such as physiotherapy and chiropractic services. Make sure you always check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see what is and isn’t covered within your policy.
|Types of alternative therapies people would consider for their pets||% of respondents|