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15 women told me what they don’t like people knowing: the ways they spoil their pet most. I was… surprised.

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Thanks to our brand partner, ING

In my house, there's no doubt that we think of our pets as humans. If I counted the number of times I spoil our dog, Sadie, and cat, Banjo, in a week... I would quickly lose track.             

As I write this, Sadie is laying next to me on the lounge (that she is not supposed to be on), and keeps looking at me with puppy eyes asking for a pat.  

I give in. Every time. Just look at those eyes.

Thankfully, I'm not the only one who is obsessed with their pets. 

ING ran their own YouGov Pet Study this year by surveying 1,058 Aussies with their own cats and dogs*. They found that an incredible 57 per cent of respondents say their connection with their pet is so strong, they would put them before their friends, family and anything else. Even 34 per cent said they consider their pet as their ‘first born’ or their child. 

And frankly, I couldn't relate to a stat more.

I regularly buy special treats for both Sadie and Banjo, and often find myself planning my day around them. It's not uncommon to hear me call them our "children" and I love them so much more than I ever thought possible. They are quite literally family members, factored into birthdays, Christmas and family holidays. My partner sometimes jokes that the animals come first and second and he comes third...

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Yes... and?

There actually isn't anything I wouldn't do for them.

Having a reason to get outside and go for a walk, or have a little fur baby curled up next to you on a sad day is like no other feeling.

ING’s YouGov Pet Study found that close to 85 per cent of Aussies say their pets help improve their mental wellbeing. I couldn't agree more!

Six in ten (62 per cent) Aussie pet owners agree their pet gives them happiness and unconditional love, while 54 per cent say their pet provides them with a calming effect.

I know for me, after a stressy day I just need a cuddle, pat or play with one or both of my fur babies to instantly feel more content and calmed. These stats are eerily accurate to me too!

And yes, that is my dedicated pet Instagram.

I started posting so many dog and cat photos on my personal account that I thought people got a bit sick of it... so decided I needed a separate account to flood with Sadie and Banjo spam, but also maybe make them famous? They definitely deserve to be, look at those faces. Who knows. One day.

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Anyone else have their pet as their phone background, featured on their fridge and framed around their house?

Guilty.

I'm not alone on this one either. ING’s YouGov Pet Study found that 30 per cent of respondents said they have more photos of their pet than they do of family and friends, and a third of them even went as far to say that their pet is their closest companion.

To find out whether other people spoil their dogs and cats as much as I do, I asked 15 other women to share the weird, unique and sometimes surprising ways they spoil their pet. 

Lucy

"My dogs gets a McDonalds Burger every year on her birthday, she's 16 now and still bloody loves it."

Mikayla

"My dog has a masseuse and gets acupuncture. We don't tend to tell people this now after one too many funny looks..."

Charlie

"I bought my dog a $300 orthopedic bed. I contemplate for months if I want to spend that amount on myself on a single item, but for my dog? I don't blink an eye."

Image: Supplied.

Splurging on your pet is quite common too: ING found that 40 per cent of Australians agree they spend more on their pet than they do themselves. 

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Jessie

"We have two wheat bags. Chilli chooses which one she feels like. Also a very special toy bone that costs way too much for a single treat, but tastes like lamb."

The wheat bag in question. Image: Supplied.

Susannah

"We bought my one dog his own dog because he was a bit down one day. Best decision ever."

Hannah

"Ruby is allowed to have her “day bed” on the outdoor table because the ground is too cold in winter. She also sleeps inside at night."

Image: Supplied.

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Gia

"We treat our dogs with lick mats with peanut butter."

Madeleine

"My dog only likes a certain brand of tennis ball and they have to be pink and orange and squeak so I have to replace them every month."

Image: Supplied.

Bella

"Vinnie needs to be involved with everything, so that's exactly what we do then to accommodate. Including the renovations and is loving his new job. Loves a photo op!"

Image: Supplied.

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Emmeline

"My doggy sleeps tucked in between my partner and I in bed. I also made my partner do a professional photoshoot with the dog."

Image: Supplied.

Renny

"I bought her a $60 blanket/towel. Like, in what world is that okay... but still, I'd do it again."

Image: Indie Boho.

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Emma

"My mum is the queen of spoiling our dog Scout, particularly with clothing and costumes. Scout is literally Batman and mum is Robin." 

Gemma

"Polly has her own little golf jacket for the chillier nights."

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Image: Supplied. 

Kate

"My dad leaves the TV on when he goes out to dinner so the dogs have entertainment. He says he’s 'leaving it on for the kids' every time, and also leaves the heater on too."

Leah

"For Percy’s 1st birthday… I wrapped his presents and then unwrapped them for him. He also got dog donuts and a special double cheeseburger for dinner."

Image: Supplied.

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Karen

"Lockdown birthdays aren't just for people. This is Bailey, my sister's pup, that we all spoil. Here he is celebrating his 2nd birthday with a slab of meat (it's now tradition)."

Image: Supplied.

You're absolutely welcome for all the adorable dog pictures.

Calling all two to four-legged friends! Mamamia, sponsored by ING, is giving the pawrents of Australia the chance to WIN a Photoshoot for you and your pet!

As if we weren’t already dedicated enough to our fur children, here's a photoshoot on the cards to spoil your fluffer with!

The Major Prize is valued at $5,500 includes:

  • A 2-hour Professional Pet photoshoot with your fur child

  • High resolution digital pack (10-20 shots)

  • 3x Print Images

I'm officially obsessed with this prize, and know that Sadie and Banjo (read: me) will be excited about entering them too.

To enter, click here to upload a photo of your pet to suppawt us on the hunt to find Australia’s favourite fur-baby! We are looking for the most original, creative and fun photo of your cat or dog that truly shows their personality.

T&Cs apply. The information is current as at publication.
Prize is inclusive of GST, non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash.

This article was sponsored by ING (ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292 and written by Mamamia. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and affiliates and do not represent ING Bank.”
*Research was undertaken by YouGov, commissioned by ING in Australia in April 2021. Total sample size was 1,058. The figures are representative of Australian cat and dog owners aged 18 years and older. Find more information here. 
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This article is written by Mamamia and is sponsored by ING- Personal and Business Banking. Do your thing.