ING Newsroom

Pets preferred: 1 in 3 Australians love their pets more than family

Published on 19/05/2021

New research commissioned by ING in Australia uncovers the nation’s bond with dogs and cats is so strong that over half of those surveyed (57%) would put their pet before anything else.

19 May 2021 – Pets are the priority for 1 in 3 Aussies who say they love their dogs and cats more than family members, and another third (34%) consider their pet their child, according to research released today by ING.

The research of over 1,000 Australian dog and cat owners shines the spotlight on the impact pets have on the wellbeing of Aussies, with:

  • over a third (34%) saying their mental health has improved since owning a pet
  • over half (54%) saying their pet has a calming effect on them
  • one in five (21%) believing their dog or cat make them more motivated to do their thing in life.

Dogs and cats have become such an integral part of Aussie life that owners are, on average, investing a full working day (8.5 hours) each week caring and up keeping their fur babies, the research found. This includes grooming, shopping, feeding, exercising and entertaining.

The research also reveals that one in four pet owners would end a relationship if a partner didn’t like their pet and 40% spend more on their pets than themselves.

Dina Kotsopoulos, Head of Wealth at ING, said:

“It’s clear from the research that our furry friends help us with our overall wellbeing and happiness, encouraging us to feel less stressed with life and helping us to focus on the things that matter most.”

“It’s not surprising then that so many Aussies are prioritising their pets above everything else and dedicating a full working day each week to look after them.”

“However, despite our undeniable love for our dogs and cats, only 18% of Aussies have pet insurance. This is why we’ve decided to launch ING Pet Insurance, to help owners with some of the unexpected expenses in treating their much loved furry friends for accidents and sickness.”

Additional key findings from the ING Pet Insurance research:  

  • Cats and dogs come first: Almost a third (31%) would risk their lives for their pet, and three in 10 have more photos of their fur-baby than they do of family and friends.
  • Pet positives on our wellbeing: Almost half (47%) say their pet makes them feel less lonely and comforts them / makes them feel better when sad or stressed. One in five (22%) feel more support through life with their furry-friend by their side.
  • Fur-st choice: With pets providing owners with happiness and unconditional love (62%), a third of Aussies (33%) have declared their pet as their closest companion, while one in four admit they’d rather stay in with their pet than go out with friends (26%).
  • Aussies love to pamper their pets: More than one in ten (13%) admit they’ve spent more on their pet’s birthday than for a family member or friend’s.

For information on how you could protect your fur-baby with ING Pet Insurance, visit


Notes to editors

Research was undertaken by YouGov in April 2021. Total sample size was 1,058. The figures are representative of Australian cat and dog owners aged 18 years and older.

For more information contact Megan Landauro on 0413 317 225 or

About ING

ING changed the way Australians bank 21 years ago by launching the country’s first branchless bank. ING now offers Australians award winning home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending, insurance and wholesale banking services.

ING is Australia’s most recommended bank according to RFi XPRT Survey, August 2020 – January 2021 (n = 31,512) when compared to customers of 20 other banks operating in Australia. It is also Australia’s fifth largest main financial institution (MFI) with 6% of market share according to RFi XPRT Survey, August 2020 – January 2021 (n=31,512). MFI is defined as the bank that the consumer says is their main financial institution.

About ING Pet Insurance

Information contained in this media release is correct as at date of publication.

ING Pet Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL 285571(AGIC) as insurer (Insurer). It is administered by Pet Health Insurance Services Pty Ltd ABN 59 638 910 675 as authorised representative 1282153 of AGIC. It is distributed by AGIC and by ING Bank (Australia) Ltd ABN 24 000 893 292 as Authorised Representative 1247634 of AGIC. ING is a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Ltd (IBAL). An ING Insurance policy issued does not represent a deposit with or liability of, and is not guaranteed or otherwise supported by, ING or its related bodies corporate. ING will receive a commission from AGIC for each policy purchased which is a percentage of the base premium. For further details see the Financial Services Guide.

ING Pet Insurance is subject to AGIC’s underwriting criteria and ING’s Customer Eligibility and Name-Screening Assessment.

This is general information only, and does not take into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you having regard to these factors before acting on it. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Financial Services Guide and the ING Customer Eligibility and Name-Screening document available at and consider if an ING Pet Insurance product is right for you before deciding to purchase or continue to hold the product.




Media Enquiries

David Breen
Head of Corporate Affairs
0412 933 060

Megan Landauro
Public Relations Manager
0413 317 225

60 Margaret Street
Sydney NSW 2000

© Copyright 2021 ING.
ING is a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292 AFSL/ACL 229823.
ING’s colour orange is a trade mark of ING and the ING Group of companies.