Dogs are not only loving and loyal, they also have a positive impact on our health. And research backs up most of what we already knew – they make us feel happier too, and they’re considered a very important part of the family. In this short clip, Lara Shannon catches up with HIF Executive Manager Anne Humphrey to discuss how the HIF Dog 'n' Health Games helps to highlight the health benefits of owning a dog.
Presenter - Lara Shannon: Dogs are not only loving and loyal, they also have a positive impact on our health. And research backs up most of what we already knew – they make us feel happier too, and they’re considered a very important part of the family. So to help highlight the health benefits of owning a dog, the dog’s refuge home here in WA created the HIF Dog and Health Games
Lara: Why did HIF decide to support the Dog and Health Games?
Anne Humphrey: Well the HIF Dog and Health Games are a great way of promoting health activity for both humans and their pets. And we’ve seen that there is quite a link between health of the human and the health of the pet. HIF – we’re a health insurer so we’re really interested in the health of our members. So we asked them about their experiences with their pets and they told us that 99% of them felt happier as a result of having a pet, and 85% said they felt physically healthier as a result of pet ownership.
Lara: And is that why you decided to launch pet insurance?
Anne: Yeah absolutely, because 99% of our members firstly told us that their pet was a really important member of their family, and 41% of our members said that they’re looking to adopt a pet within the next 12 months.
Lara: And what else are you guys doing to support pet rescue, and people adopting a pet?
Anne: Well we’re featuring rescue dogs in all our advertising and in that way we can show everyone that rescue pets can be just as cute as cuddly and as clever as a dog sourced form any other means.
Lara: A fun day out for the whole family- owners can register themselves and their dog to complete the Dog and Health circuit. There’s lots of fun activities for the kids, information and merchandise stalls, not to mention – plenty of yummy food for everyone.
Lara: There’s even a celebrity challenge, so Zala and I get to give it a go! I just hope I don’t let her down.
Lara: How do these games help the Dog’s Refuge Home?
Karen Rhodes: Well the main thing is we need awareness and we need funds. And fortunately this event does both which is absolutely fantastic. So awareness of the Dog’s Home and how much fun it is to come out and have the dig as part of your family. And then funds raised, which is fantastic – we run at a big loss each year, so it’s great to be able to obviously raise funds to enable us to continue , and thanks to HIF who are sponsoring the event, all funds raised today goes directly to our dogs.
Lara: And how much does it cost to look after a rescue dog when they come into your care?
Karen: Well each of them are different, but on average it’s between $1,500 and $2,000 per dog. When you take into account they’re all sterilised, vaccinated, microchipped, we’ve got to drive to pounds to pick them up – some of them we fly down from Broome, so there’s a lot of expenses. We operate obviously 24 hrs a day because the dogs are there.
Lara: And a lot of people don’t realise that’s the reason why they’re paying for a rescue dog.
Karen: Absolutely, yeah I mean we’ve got to try and cover our costs and we can never cover them totally and that’s why we do rely on donations to survive, but we’ve got to at least cover some of them.
Lara: What are the best benefits out of adopting a pet?
Karen: It’s seriously the best feeling in the world. We talk a lot of the time about ‘rescue is the best breed’, that’s our motto. And the amount of people that say the dog’s rescued them right back – so they came in wanting to do the right thing by the dog, and by taking the dog it forced them to go out and exercise, make new friends, really gave them a new reason for being, made them feel loved, and really just got so much more out of the dog than the dog gave them, which is fantastic.
Lara: They give us so much love. And it also means that when we rescue a pet and adopt them out, you can save more.
Karen: Absolutely, and that’s what we’re for, we have got a pro life policy, so all of the dogs with us are safe until we can find them a loving home. But if we don’t have those dogs adopted, then we can’t go out and save more. So every time you come and adopt a dog from us, you’re enabling us to go and save another life. It’s just so rewarding and the only way to go.
Lara: This event is an awesome way to show the fun and healthy things that we should be doing with our dogs. It also highlights the important role they play in the family. So to make sure the health of your whole family is covered, visit hif.com.au
Pet Insurance by HIF
We all love spoiling our fur-kids, yet only 26% of dogs and 19% of cats in Australia have pet insurance - and that could be very hurtful when the vet bill arrives! With HIF Pet insurance, you'll enjoy affordable cover for cats and dogs of all ages. Plus, claiming is easy thanks to our online member Pet Pawtal!