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The Aussie pet obsession creates a new breed of pet ownership

Frontline Plus research finds Australians go to great lengths to pamper their pets, but many aren't getting the basics of pet care right

Sydney Australia – 24 August 2014: New research released today shows that a furkids' phenomenon is on the rise as Australians prove that they are pet obsessed, with almost half
(48 per cent) of Aussies admitting to treating them like their child. The research from Frontline Plus highlights that Australians' devotion to their pets is remarkable, to the point where owners are buying their furry friends Christmas gifts, letting them sit at the dinner table and even keeping up their oral hygiene by brushing their teeth.

With 63% of Australian households home to pets (one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world1), they are intrinsically woven into the social fabric of our lives, and it is more evident than ever that pets share and shape our lives. As such, in our digitally connected society, more than one in three pets feature on social media, and 395,000 Australian pets star in their own social media profile.  According to the research, one in five owners consider using specialist treatments for their pets such as massage, dietician or naturopathy, and a third of owners admit to speaking to their doted on darlings in baby talk. As an integral member of the family, it is not surprising that 679,000 owners would include their pet as a beneficiary of their will, and 693,000 owners have booked their pet a flight so they can join the family on holiday.

However, further Frontline Plus research also reveals that although Aussie pet owners spoil their cats and dogs, many aren't getting the basics of pet care right such and tick and flea prevention.  Dog trainer and behaviour specialist, and Frontline Plus spokesperson, Amy Smith says, "I see owners getting obsessive about their 'furkids' every day. I've seen matching outfits, and dedicated Instagram and Facebook profiles, not to mention prams and handbags.

"But it's important to remember that our pets are part of the family and we must be responsible for their wellbeing. It's our responsibility to know what we need to do and make sure it gets done when it comes to the basics of pet healthcare," says Smith.Frontline Plus research has found that only 48 per cent of dog owners treat their pets regularly enough to prevent a flea infestation on their pet or in their home. More worryingly, 82 per cent of dog owners who live in paralysis tick zones are not treating correctly to protect their dogs from the deadly paralysis tick, which is found along the coast in New South Wales, Queensland and in some parts of Victoria.

"The problem is that many owners just aren't aware that they live in tick zones, but we know that paralysis ticks are deadly to dogs and cats. Sadly, a third of dog owners who live in a tick zone have had their dog, or a dog owned by someone they know, die from a paralysis tick," says Smith.

Frontline Plus is the leading brand for protecting cats and dogs against fleas when applied monthly and it is effective at preventing paralysis ticks on dogs when applied fortnightly. Dog owners who live near the coast in New South Wales, Queensland and some parts of Victoria need to treat every two weeks to effectively protect against paralysis ticks. Cat owners in these areas should use Frontline Spray every 3 weeks to protect against paralysis ticks. Pet owners not living in paralysis tick zones should treat monthly to manage fleas and other types of ticks. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian.

"Protecting your beloved pet from fleas and ticks is vital for its health and happiness. Once you've got the basics of caring for your pet sorted, then by all means, pamper them as much as you like!" concludes Smith.For more information on how to protect your dog or cat from ticks and fleas please visit Download the PET CHECK App to keep track of all your pet's important information, reminders and vet appointments.

For images, interviews and more information, please contact:

Frances Wills
Zing Australia
02 8303 6464

 Kristoff Clark
Zing Australia
02 8303 6464

About the research

Pet Obsession
The research was conducted by respected marketing research house, Galaxy Research via an online survey of 1,005 pet owners aged 18-64 years to determine how obsessed Australians are with their pets. The sample was drawn in proportion to the population by age and gender within state from an online panel of over 300,000 Australians.  The data has been weighted to the latest ABS population estimates.

Tick and Flea Treatment
Merial, the maker of Frontline Plus, commissioned market research through IPSOS ASI to determine how cat and dog owners are treating their pets and if they are doing it correctly. The research was conducted in February 2014 among 746 Australians aged 25-70 years who own a dog or cat, which they have treated for fleas or ticks in the past 12 months.

About Merial
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 6,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2013 sales were $2 billion. For more information, please visit  

Merial is a Sanofi company. 

1 Animal Health Alliance's Pet Ownership in Australia research (see


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