The latest statistics on Pet Ownership in Australia were compiled in late 2016 by Animal Medicines Australia (AMA). AMA represent a number of animal health companies operating in Australia. These companies, such as Virbac, work on developing food and pharmaceutical products and services for Australia’s domestic animals.
To help develop policies, products, and services to promote pet care in Australia, AMA compiled statistics on pet ownership in Australia. Whether you are a pet care service provider, policy maker, animal hospital, or current or aspirational pet owner, the stats are a fascinating insight into the world of Australian pet care. So, this week, Karingal Veterinary Hospital’s blogging team decided to take a look at the state of pet ownership in Australia.
One of the statistics we found most interesting was on why pet owners bring their animals to the vet. We were glad to see that of those surveyed, over half (56% and 53% respectively) brought their dogs in for check-ups and vaccinations in the last 12 months. Sadly, both these numbers were lower than they were in 2013, the last time AMA reported on them. In 2013, vaccinations made up 63% of the reasons people brought their dogs to the vet.
Cat owners performed similarly. Cat vaccination as the primary reason for a veterinary appointment dropped from 53% to 48%. Cat check-ups, however, increased, from 53 to 54%, suggesting that more people are realising the importance of bringing your cat into the vet for annual check-ups. For both cats and dogs, pet dentistry as a reason for clinic visitation remained the same between 2013 and 2016 (6% for dogs; 5% cats).
According to the AMA, in 2016, 38% of Australian households had a dog. That’s just under 2 in every five homes. With an average of 1.3 dogs per dog-owning household, this puts the estimated number of Australia’s domestic dogs at 4.5 million.
Of those 4.5 million, over half (52%) were pure breeds, such as labrador retrievers or pugs. Seven per cent were designer breeds, like labradoodles or groodles, and the remaining 41% were mixed breeds.
31% of all dogs owned in Australia were reported to be between 10 and 25kg. 20% were heavier than this. A number of dog breeds, such as Bullmastiffs, Boxers and German Shepherds, weigh over 25kg, and for these breeds, weights around 30kg should not be considered “over ideal” (the veterinary term for overweight). But that is not to say that these dogs can’t be unhealthily heavy.
Whether you have a 2kg Papillon or a 50kg Great Dane, maintaining a healthy dog weight is a vital part of pet care. Excess weight puts excess strain on your dog’s organs, hips and joints, which, in time, can exacerbate the symptoms of hip dysplasia and arthritis. If you are concerned about your dog’s weight, talk to us today about your dog’s nutrition requirements and about establishing a sustainable, healthy doggy diet.
There are an estimated 3.9 million domestic cats in Australia, belonging to 29% of homes. The average number of cats per cat-owning household is 1.4, meaning almost every other home that has a cat has more than one. Victoria is the most cat-loving state, with over a third (34%) of cat-owning households being in our great state.
Just over half (52%) of domestic cats were adopted for free, and the same number of cats that are kept in Victoria are kept exclusively inside (34%). Purebreds were more likely still to be kept exclusively inside (54%), and apartment-dwelling cats were even more likely to be purely inside cats (55%).
Apartment-dwelling cats were also the second least likely of all domestic cats to be desexed. 79% of cats living in apartment or unit blocks were desexed, compared to the 91% of cats living in free-standing homes. Similarly, 78% of cats owned by people under 35 years old were not desexed, compared to the 97% of those whose owners were aged over 45.
Even cats that do not socialise with others, or cats that are kept indoors benefit from getting desexed. Desexed cats generally live longer and are less likely to develop certain conditions, such as ovarian cysts. Behaviourally, desexed cats are less likely to act aggressively or territorially, and are generally easier to live with. There are often financial benefits too, with councils charging more money to register non-desexed cats.
We’ve only looked at a small selection of segments from the report. It is far more comprehensive a look at Pet Ownership in Australia than we could cover in a blog. The report also looked at pet owner demographics, Australia’s pet care costs and more. You can read more of the AMA’s findings here.
For all your pet care needs in Frankston and the surrounding area, remember to visit Karingal Veterinary Hospital. For annual checks (include dental checks) and vaccine boosters, alternative treatments and surgery, contact Karingal Veterinary Hospital today.
And while you’re here, why not read some of our other blogs? We publish fortnightly on a range of dog and cat care topics, including dog activities in Mornington Peninsula, puppy school and pet adoption tips.
The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 7 days a week.
Our hours are
- 8am-8pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- 9am-1pm Sunday,
* We are closed on public holidays.