Pets are a part of many Italian lives. During the lockdown, when we all experienced long-term isolation, the number of animals in our home reached 62.1 million by 2021 (thus far exceeding the Italian population of 59.55 million inhabitants). Altroconsumo interviewed a sample of 1,058 citizens between the ages of 18 and 74, between September and October 2021, to understand the Italians’ relationship with their pets and to assess their level of satisfaction with the services provided by veterinarians, all owners owning at least one pet.
The survey found that many of those interviewed had multiple animals: more than half (56 percent) of respondents owned a cat, 62 percent a dog, 10 percent a fish, 8 percent a tortoise, and only 3 percent owned them. Rabbits In addition, those who live with a cat or a dog improve their quality of life thanks to the bonding of affection between humans and animals; It is of particular concern to adults and children. In fact, about 80% of the children interviewed felt better, more serene and peaceful for the presence of a cat in the house. The percentage is even higher among adults who have declared that living with a dog (67%) and a cat (77%) has improved their quality of life.
Eighty-one percent of respondents to the survey, 8 out of 10, declared themselves very satisfied with their veterinarian, deeming him appropriate and able to relate to both them and the animal. The rate for veterinary services, on the other hand, is the lowest acclaimed aspect among humans with animals, in fact 7 out of 10 people declare themselves satisfied with the cost of this service. The most frequent visits to veterinarians among pet owners are, in fact, in the last 12 months, 88% of dogs have been accompanied by annual checkups and 82% have been vaccinated. In the case of cats, the percentage decreases slightly: 73% of cats have been checked up and 52% have been vaccinated. The health of older animals is the most vulnerable, especially in diseases where they suffer the most from ear infections in dogs (21%) and toothache in 20% of dogs and 16% of cats. In puppies, however, the most serious problems come from intestinal parasites.
Older cats, on the other hand, have problems with internal organs (25%) and, more commonly, geriatric problems (36%). The survey shows that a dog spends an average of 1,562 euros a year, of which 341 are medical expenses. For cats, the cost is lower, with owners spending an average of 1,208 euros a year, of which 194 are for treatment.
The cost of food for pets is the highest, actually an average of 880 euros for dogs and 779 euros for cats. The cost for hygiene products is 216 euros for cats and 208 euros for dogs. Medicines are only purchased at pharmacies while food and hygiene products are purchased at supermarkets, pet stores and online channels. Finally, 49% of respondents took out insurance for dogs, but only a few included reimbursement for veterinary expenses.
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