2017 Pet Owners Survey

Ireland is a nation of pet lovers and our 2017 Pet Owners Survey showed just how much we love our pets and the lengths we go to to make sure they are well cared for and feel part of the family.

1500 Cat and Dog Owners in Ireland were surveyed* as part of our annual survey, answering questions about the number of pets they own, what they spend on their pets, whether they let them sleep in the bed and what they truly think about Pet Insurance.

Infographic for use with full results can be found at the bottom of this article 

2017 Irish Pet Owners Survey Results

Question 1 – How Many Pets Do You Have?

We know that people love their pets and our survey showed that 21% of those surveyed had 4 pets or more, nearly a quarter of those surveyed.

34% have 1 pet

29% have 2 pets

16% have 3 pets

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

We’ll see the number of multi-pet households increase, with a significant % increase in households with 4 pets or more.

Question 2 – Do You Let Your Pets Sleep In Your Bed?

Whether pets should be allowed in the bed is a topic that people usually feel quite strongly about, with some loving the idea of snuggling up with their pets and others completely against it.

61% of respondents allow their pets to sleep in their bed.

Those that don’t allow their pets in the bed cited reasons including

  • They have their own bed (55%)
  • Not hygienic (14%)
  • They keep me awake (13%)
  • They are too big (9%)


  • Too much pet hair
  • My Partner doesn’t allow it

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

There is always a clear divide in whether pets should sleep in the bed and we don’t anticipate %’s changing too much here.

Pet Sleep in Bed

Question 3 – What Type Of Food Do You Feed Your Pets?

Ireland offers a huge range of pet foods and for a pet owner is can be a daunting task deciding what to feed your cat or dog.

With many respondents using a mix of food types Pet Store Brands such as Royal Canin, Iams, Red Mills were the clear favourite amongst respondents with 40% of respondents stating they choose a Pet Store Brand.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

4% of people are feeding their pets a raw food diet and it’s likely we will see an increase in this number in 2018 as people start to understand the potential benefits of a raw food diet in more detail. We will also see a rise in people opting for homemade food.

Irish Pet Food Brands

Question 4 – Do You Have Pet Insurance?

Pet Insurance is there to cover you when your pets need to go the vets. We have reviewed the Best Pet Insurance Companies in Ireland previously on the blog, but our survey clearly highlighted that a lot of people surveyed did not have Pet Insurance.

With a large proportion of our survey respondents having 4 pets or more it’s not surprising that 53% of people cited the reason for not getting Pet Insurance is cost.

Of the 12% of respondents that felt Pet Insurance was a waste of money, they cited that they felt cover was not available when you needed it or certain breeds/illnesses were not covered.

Surprisingly 5% of respondents had never thought about getting insurance, some even commenting that they didn’t realise you could get insurance for pets.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

Unless the cost decreases for Pet Insurance in multi-pet households we don’t anticipate a rise in the number of respondents having Pet Insurance.

Pet Insurance

Question 5 – If You Do Have Pet Insurance, Why Do You Have it?

It’s not surprising that 76% of Pet Owners take out Pet Insurance for peace of mind. If your pet is sick then vet’s bills can be costly and not all Pet Owners would have funds available to cover the high bills.

By having Pet Insurance you have the Peace of Mind that you only need to worry about covering your policy excess.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

Peace of mind is always going to be a leading factor in getting Pet Insurance for pet owners. We don’t anticipate that changing.

Pet Insurance In IrelandQuestion 6 – If You Do Have Pet Insurance, Who Is It With?

Of the 1500 Pet Owners surveyed that had Pet Insurance 75% of them had insurance with Allianz.

These were the clear favourite of respondents of the survey, with Pet Insure being second favourite at 14%, followed by 123.ie at 7%.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

Allianz is clearly at the forefront of the Industry. The only thing we see changing this is an Insurance company offering better deals for multi-pet households, older dogs and certain breeds.

Question 7 – How Much Does Your Pet Insurance Cost (Per Pet) each month?

46% of respondents are paying between 11-20 euro (per pet) for pet insurance. While this seems an affordable amount for the cover on offer, when respondents have more than one pet the cost per year can become very high for multi-pet households.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

Generally speaking Insurance costs are increasing every year so we don’t anticipate any decrease in the per pet rate of pet insurance.

Cost Of Pet Insurance

Question 8 – Do You Take Your Pets To The Vets Each Year For Their Annual Vaccinations?

It’s clear that respondents are committed to the ongoing health care of their pets, with 87% of them taking their pets to the vet for their annual vaccinations.

Annual vaccinations are a requirement for Pet Insurance and so the 28% of respondents that have Pet Insurance will be required to get annual vaccinations for their policy to be valid.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

If the number of pet owners taking out Pet Insurance increases then we would anticipate the number of pet owners taking their pets to the vet for their annual injections would increase also.

Irish Vet

Question 9 – On Average How much Do You Spend (Per Pet) Each MONTH On Treats?

70% of respondents are spending 1-20 euro per month on treats for their pets. With more treats on the market it’s not surprising that this is the average spend.

10% of respondents are spending more than 30 euro on treats per month. It’s likely that these pet owners are subscribing to treat subscription services or opting for diet specific treats that would typically be more expensive.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

We anticipate the amount being spent on treats to remain under 20 euro per month as more people look for better value and homemade options.

Pet Treat Spend

Question 10 – On Average How much Do You Spend (Per Pet) Each MONTH On Toys?

20% of respondents are not spending anything on toys for their pets. It’s likely that their pets take care of their toys and they don’t replace them very often.

51% of people spend less than 10 euro and in this case, it’s likely that they are taking advantage of special offers or purchasing toys every other month.

The 3% of respondents spending more than 30 euro a month on toys likely have very active (or destructive) pets that need robust, and therefore costly, toys from brands such as Kong.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

We don’t anticipate a significant shift in spending on toys as more durable and long lasting toys come onto the market.

Pet Toy Spend

Question 11 – How much Do You Spend (Per Pet) Each YEAR On Clothes and Accessories (Collars, Leads etc)?

There is a definite rise in accessories available online for your pets and so it’s not surprising that 55% of people are spending 1-50 euro per year on accessories.

The 8% of people spending more than 101 euro per year are likely purchasing clothing for their pets – jumpers, t-shirts etc.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

It’s likely spending on accessories will increase as more pet owners look for clothing and collars for their pets and more manufacturers produce items to meet this demand.

Question 12 – How Much Do You Spend on Your Pets Birthday?

45% of respondents choose not to spend anything on their pets on their birthday, but with 40% of respondents spending 1-20 euro per month on treats for their pets it’s clear they are given treats all year round.

Overall 55% of respondents are purchasing a gift for their pets on their birthday.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

As more pet gifts, cakes and treats become available for pets we expect the spend per pet to increase on their birthday.

Average Spend Per Pet At Birthday

Question 13 – Have You Ever Had A Birthday Party For Your Pet?

You can get birthday cards for your pets and cakes for them – so why not hold a birthday party for your cat or your dog? With pets taking centre stage in many households it’s not surprising 21% of respondents have birthday parties for their pets.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

Birthday parties for pets will be increasingly popular as pet owners celebrate their birthday like they would any other member of the family.

Birthday Parties For Pets

Question 14 – How Much Do You Spend on Your Pet At Christmas?

58% of respondents spend between 1- 20 euro at Christmas on their pets with 16% spending more than 30 euro on each pet.

Overall 87% of respondents are purchasing their pet a gift at Christmas, which is more than the 55% of respondents purchasing a gift for their pet on their birthday.

Pet Sitters Ireland 2018 Prediction

Spending on pets at Christmas is already at 87%, although we would anticipate an increase in the amount spent as more Christmas themed items become available for pets.

Average Spend Per Pet At Christmas

2017 Pet Owners Survey Infographic

Pet Owners Survey Infographic

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Survey Details

  • Independent Survey carried out by Pet Sitters Ireland.
  • 1500 Pet Owners surveyed in Ireland.
  • Results may be reproduced with credit given to Pet Sitters Ireland.