In homes in Italy, dogs, cats and other pets exceed Italians: there are over 62 million.

Pets are a part of life for many Italians. During the shutdown, when we all experienced a long period of isolation, the animals in our homes rose to reach 62.1 million by 2021 (which far exceeds the Italian population, which stands at 59.55 million inhabitants). Altroconsumo, to understand the Italians’ relationship with their pets and verify their degree of satisfaction with the service provided by veterinarians, interviewed between September and October 2021 a sample of 1,058 citizens between the ages of 18 and 74, all owners of at least one pet.

The survey showed that many of the interviewees have more than one animal: more than half (56 percent) of the respondents own a cat, 62 percent a dog, 10 percent of the fish, 8 percent of the turtles. and only 3 percent of them own rabbits. Furthermore, the quality of life for those living with a cat or a dog is enhanced, thanks to the love bond created between human and animal; this particularly concerns the elderly and children. In fact, as many as 80% of the children interviewed felt better, more peaceful and peaceful thanks to the presence of a cat in the house. The proportion is also very high among the elderly, who stated that they had an improvement in quality of life with a dog (67%) and with a cat (77%) to keep them company.

81% of the respondents in the survey, ie 8 out of 10 people, declare themselves very satisfied with their veterinarian, they consider him competent and able to relate to both them and the animal. The tariffs for the veterinary service, on the other hand, are the least valued aspect among people with animals, in fact only 7 out of 10 declare themselves satisfied with the service. Visits to the vet are very frequent among pet owners, in fact 88% of the dogs in the last 12 months have been accompanied for the annual inspection and 82% for vaccinations. In cats, the percentages fall slightly: 73% of felines have been checked and 52% vaccinated. It is the older animals that have the most delicate health, especially the diseases they suffer the most from, are ear infections (21%) in dogs and toothache in 20% in dogs and 16% in 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 generally problems related to aging (36%). The study shows that an average of 1,562 euros are spent on a year for a dog, of which 341 for medical expenses. For cats, the cost is lower, in one year the owners spend an average of 1,208 euros, of which 194 for medical treatment.

The cost of food is the highest for pet owners, in fact, an average of 880 euros is spent for dogs and 779 euros for cats. The cost of hygiene products is 216 euros for the cat and 208 euros for the dog. Medicines are only bought in pharmacies, while food and hygiene products are bought in supermarkets, pet stores and online channels. Finally, 49% of the respondents took out insurance for the dog, but only a few included reimbursement of veterinary expenses.

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