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Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. About 63% of Australian households own pets. There are an estimated more than 25 million pets in Australia.
Dogs are the most common pet, with 39% of households owning a dog. There are estimated to be 4.2 million pet dogs in Australia; 19 dogs for every 100 people. Cats are the second most common pet, with 29% of households owning a cat. There are estimated to be 3.3 million pet cats in Australia; 15 cats for every 100 people.
In 2009 the total number of pet birds was approximately 8.1 million and in addition there were about 1.06 million other pets, including companion horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles and other small mammals.
The pet population breakdown across the states and territories mirrors the country’s population distribution. New South Wales and Victoria account for 60% of all pets in Australia, and 59% of the country’s human population.
More than 1.1 million Australian households (14.9%) are planning to get a pet in the next 12 months. Pets were a normal part of childhood for more than 83% of Australians. Of the Australians who do not currently own a pet, 53% would like to do so in the future.
(2013) Pet Ownership in Australia Summary, Animal Health Alliance
(2010) Contribution of the Pet Care Industry to the Australian Economy 7th Edition: www.acac.org.au/index.html
2005 ABS data
2010 ABS data