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Sarah Gaul The Secret Life of Australian Pet Owners Interview

Sarah Gaul name The Secret Life of Australian Pet Owners Interview

Research released from Pawshake has revealed that being a pet owner can have a significant impact on life choices and behaviours from home living and the local community to social lives and relationships.

Pets vs. Home – real estate agents take note
In addition to Australia facing soaring housing prices and rising rent making it difficult to look for a place to live, it has been revealed Australians are still willing to factor in one other priority – their pets. A survey released today by pet-sitting community Pawshake, has found that 87.5 per cent of Australians wouldn't rent or buy their dream home if it didn't allow their beloved pets.

Pet vs. Family – watch out kids
Revealing Australia's love for our furry friends, the survey also looks into the habits of pet owners in the context of family life at home. Surprisingly, two thirds (67 per cent) of Australians would choose a pet over a child if they could only afford one or the other.

Australians also seem to be more forgiving of their pet than their child, with 77.5 per cent admitting they would be more angry at their child than their pet for ruining a piece of furniture at home. More than half (59 per cent) also admitted they would feel guiltier if they forgot to feed their pet than their child.

Pets vs. Neighbours – knock knock, who's there?
The love for pets doesn't stop there with 74.9 per cent of Australians saying they would recognise a neighbours' pet before they would their neighbour and seven in ten (70.3 per cent) going on to say there are pets in their neighbourhood whose name they know and who's owner's name they don't know.

Not only are pets included as part of the neighbourhood, they're also included in life's milestones, with 67.7 per cent of pet owners signing greeting cards on behalf of their pet and over half (57.7 per cent) going as far as imagining their dog's voice!

Pets vs. Health – are you calling my pet fat?
It seems that pet owners care for their pets so much that almost nine in ten (87.7 per cent) take their pet to the vet more than they would take themselves to the doctor. This care for their pets' wellbeing is further evident when it comes to how their pets look, with half (50.5 per cent) of pet owners admitting they are sensitive to any comments other people make about the weight of their pet.

Pets vs. Social Life – it not you, it's my dog
The influence of one's pet is also prevalent in pet owners' social lives with almost all (95.9 per cent) willing to sacrifice treating themselves in favour of treating their pets, from a meal to a night out and from a haircut to new clothes if needed. 78.5 per cent also admitted they would put their pet before their love life and stop dating someone if they discovered they weren't a pet lover.

However the influence of pets on the lives of Australian's does stop at the haircut. Contrary to popular stereotyping (and to our disappointment), only 8.6 per cent of people have admitted they have had or currently have a similar hairstyle to their pet.

Interview with Sarah Gaul, Community Manager from Pawshake

Question: Can you tell us about the Pawshake research?

Sarah Gaul: Last year, we conducted a wide-ranging survey to find out just how much being a pet owner affects our user's holiday plans - so this year we decided to take it a step further and find out how pet ownership affects the lifestyles of fur parents. We found that the majority of respondents would prefer to have a pet over a child, and also are more concerned for their pet's health rather than their own!

Question: Why did Pawshake conduct this research?

Sarah Gaul: We know that Australians are crazy about our pets - we wanted to find out just how much pet owners sacrifice for their fur children! Our love of pets is something that connects us and is a wonderful aspect of Australian life to celebrate in the lead-up to Christmas.

Question: What surprised you about the results?

Sarah Gaul: I was shocked about how many people would prefer pets over children - I mean, they are slightly lower maintenance and a little cheaper, but it still shocked me!

Question: What didn't surprise you about the Pawshake research?

Sarah Gaul: I was not at all surprised to find that pet owners aren't interested in dating pet lovers - seriously, if you don't love my dog it's a deal breaker!

Question: How does being a pet owner have significant impact on life choices?

Sarah Gaul: A pet is as much part of the family as the human members, so it makes sense that they are considered in practical life decisions like housing. If a property doesn't accept pets, we found that users would much rather make other plans than sacrifice their fur child. People are willing to be flexible to work around their pets, which is so fantastic.

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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