Attitudes to preventative healthcare for cats and dogs in Aotearoa / New Zealand in 20–30-year-olds

Thumbnail Image
Other Title
Scott, Mikayla
Harvey, Laura
Cameron, Kristie
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
cats (Felis catus)
dogs (Canis familiaris)
preventive health
veterinary visits
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Scott, M., Harvey, L. C., & Cameron, K. (2023). Attitudes to preventative healthcare for cats and dogs in Aotearoa / New Zealand in 20–30-year-olds. Perspectives in Animal Health and Welfare, 2(1), 44–62.
Pet ownership has increased in Aotearoa / New Zealand over the last decade, with the largest jump in dog ownership attributed to 18–34-year-olds. With the transitional nature of this age group, considering the increase in independence and responsibility, this survey aimed to measure the attitudes of 20–30-year olds to preventative healthcare of their pets. A survey was disseminated through social media; respondents self-selected their participation and were asked questions about their living situation and management of components of preventative care in their animals, including vaccinations, parasite control and veterinary check-ups. There were 93 usable responses. The findings revealed that most pet owners were renting or were homeowners, with the number of cats owned and the incidence of dog ownership higher than expected in rented homes. Most respondents had knowledge about worm transmission, with living situation and number and type of pets affecting knowledge of worm and flea infestations. The responsibility of health management was assumed by those that made decisions about what types of preventative care was given and who paid for services and treatment. Overall, owners tended to know more about, and provided preventative care and treatment for, parasites that directly affect humans, such as worms, and two thirds of respondents would deworm the household, including pets and humans. Fewer respondents were aware of the effect of fleas, with a variety of treatments used. Knowledge of preventative care, in line with the standards of animal care in Aotearoa / New Zealand, by this age group is reassuring but there could be further compliance with increased awareness of the effects of worms and flea infestations on humans.
Unitec ePress, Te Pūkenga
Copyright holder
Copyright notice
CC BY-NC Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Copyright license
Available online at