Our pets play multiple, varied and important roles in our lives. They are companions for relaxation, for physical activity or for teaching our children responsibility. They provide humour, fun and a sense of purpose. As assistance animals they help visually impaired people maintain independent, fulfilling lives and assist the ill and elderly manage anxiety and pain. Companion animals also play an important role in treatment of mental health, particularly for returned soldiers and first responders. Assistance dogs provide support and help to rebuild trust and connections with family and the wider community.
Understanding all the ways that our pets contribute to Australian society is complex.
This report outlines key findings from a Newgate Research quantitative study of Australian households and the state of pet ownership in 2019. It also draws on information from experts in the pet-care industry to provide a comprehensive view of pet ownership in Australia today and over the past three years.
Through this report, we can better understand the role pets play in modern Australian society, both in terms of the value people place on their pets and the value they deliver to us. The report provides a comprehensive dataset to help demonstrate that pets provide benefits to their owners on an individual level, however when considering public policy for companion animals, we must also consider the positive contribution of pets to the broader community.
Identifying who owns pets and what type they own or aspire to own, gives us unique insights into:
- the breadth and diversity of the pet population, by animal type and primary role played within households;
- the drivers and barriers to pet ownership;
- reasons for pet purchase and attitudes towards pets, with insights into the human-companion animal bond;
- pet health and management, including incidences of de-sexing, adoption, microchipping and pet insurance, as well as veterinary services and information sources; and
- estimated expenditure on pet-related purchases, by product and service type, and purchase channels.
Understanding more about our pet populations means we can better advise governments, industry and others about the beneficial role pets play in our community and how that can be enhanced.