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Sydney, Feb 13: With new pet ownership on the rise across Australia, pet parents are encouraged to pay close attention to their furry friends, as new data shows the unexpected events or mishaps that lead to vet visits – whether that’s ingestion of foreign bodies, gastrointestinal issues, or even snake bites.
GapOnly – an innovative payment solution powered by PetSure has identified four key pet personas including – Munchers, Opportunists, Daredevils and Wranglers, each with its unique set of potential health conditions and mishaps that pet parents can look out for.
Munchers are the kind of pet that you can’t leave alone at a family BBQ. From erasers to socks and human medication, their love of food could land them at the vet for treatment for ingestion of foreign bodies, ingestion of toxins or even diabetes over the long-term. The average case amount for claims related to the Muncher was $1,196 with an average benefit reimbursed of $843 or 71 per cent. In some cases, claims related to Munchers were as high as $33,334 for dogs.
Opportunists are cousin to the Muncher – also food-driven, they are cheeky and clever and they know how to work a room to get what they want. Making up 11 per cent of annual cases, claims related to Opportunists include ingestion of foreign bodies, pancreatic disease and gastrointestinal conditions. The average size of a claim related to Opportunists was $842, while the largest claim amount for the Opportunist archetype for dogs was over $40,000.
Daredevils are bold and courageous, but could head to the vet for claims related to bone fractures, tissue damage or traumatic injury and musculoskeletal conditions. The average size of a claim for conditions related to Daredevils was $659, and in some cases it was as high as $38,000.
Wranglers are keen to get off the beaten track, and likely to encounter not so friendly critters on their way. Snake bites, insect bites and tissue damage or traumatic injury are potential conditions for these pets, with claims related to Wranglers representing eight per cent of annual cases. The average case for conditions related to the Wrangler was $562 while the largest amount claimed for dogs was also as high as $38,000.
The research comes as pet ownership booms in Australia, with 69 per cent of households having a pet, and nearly half (45 per cent) of current pet owners being categorised as ‘less experienced’ having purchased a pet during the pandemic (up from 39 per cent in 2021).
Dr Maria Neale, Veterinarian and General Manager at GapOnly, said summer is a peak season for pet purchasing and adoption, meaning many people are currently navigating a new pet parent role.
“Researching your breed and speaking to your local vet about your pet’s behavioural tendencies is key to being a responsible pet owner.
“First-time pet owners simply may not be aware of the unexpected mishaps that can occur, and the costs associated with veterinary care.
“If you’ve got a pup who is a Muncher, avoid feeding them leftovers from your barbecue as this could lead to a trip to the vet, a stay in hospital or even surgery. The average claim value for ingestion of a foreign body in 2022 was $1,520.”
Dr Neale said pets can be unpredictable, so having measures in place to protect them in the event that they get injured or fall sick is vital – no matter what age or breed your pet is.
“Despite the higher rates of pet ownership and an annual increase in claims, just 17 per cent of dog owners and 12 per cent of cat owners hold a pet insurance policy.
“And in fact, research shows 35 per cent of dog owners haven’t looked into or don’t know pet insurance is available in the first place!
“However, many policies pay a benefit of up to 80 per cent of eligible bills up to the value of $30,000 or more² and with GapOnly customers can claim on the spot, simply paying the gap between the vet’s invoice and the insurance claim benefit.
“We see the value of pet insurance in clinics everyday, empowering customers to make decisions quickly, so they can focus on pursuing the recommended course of treatment for their pet without worrying about having to make a difficult decision based on cost,” she said.
To learn more about GapOnly, and for the full list of pet personas and true stories, visit here.
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