Australian Pet Industry Trends Insights and Statistics

Australian Pet Industry Trends: Top Insights and Statistics for 2024

In the face of challenges such as droughts, wildfires, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the enduring love and care Australians have for their pets have remained unshaken. Despite hurdles in connecting with customers, animal breeders and rescue organisations witnessed the resilience and adaptability of pet enthusiasts across the country, ensuring that many animals found loving homes. 

This analysis delves into the Australian pet industry's robustness during these testing times, providing insights into its value and diverse aspects like pet grooming. It highlights the deep bond Australians share with their pets, treating them as cherished family members and supporting the industry even in tough times.

The Top 12 Australian Pet Statistics



Value of the pet industry in Australia (2021)

$14 billion

Number of pets in Australia

Over 29 million

Percentage of Australian households with pets


Pet ownership rates in Australia

One of the highest in the world

Average annual expense on dogs vs. cats

AU$1627 for dogs, AU$962 for cats

Market size of pet industry (2022)

$13 billion

Cats in rescue organizations (2020-2021)

Twice the rate of dogs

Number of adoptions in Queensland (2020)


Pets housed in Australian shelters (2020-2021)

64.9% cats, 30.8% dogs, 4.2% other pets

Australian pet food industry revenue (2020)

$2.8 billion

Number of pet groomers in Australia


Number of veterinarians in Australia


Average hourly wage for dog walkers in Australia

Approximately AU$26.57 per hour

Percentage of pet owners with pet insurance


Top 12 Pet Spending Statistics in Australia

1.The pet industry in Australia is worth $13 billion in 2022

In 2019, the industry was worth $12.2 billion, and some analysts believed the numbers in 2022 would be dismal because of the pandemic. However, the opposite occurred, and Australians increased their spending on pets and pet products. Although private pet stores suffered losses during lockdowns, some online suppliers profited from having a large population confined to their homes. Subscription services and pet products suppliers became invaluable to pet owners from 2019 to 2021, and it’s unlikely that online ordering will decrease when conditions have improved.

2. Australia has over 29 million pets

Like the pet owners in the United States and the United Kingdom, Australians prefer owning dogs over cats. According to the RSPCA, 64% of Australian pet owners are women and the highest percentage (70%) of pet ownership according to age group is Generation Z (ages 18 to 24). Generation Xers made up the second largest group of pet parents followed by Baby Boomers. Dog owners spent more on their beloved pets than cat owners or bird lovers. In Australia, the average amount spent on dogs was AU$1627.00 compared to only AU $962.00 spent on cats.

3. 61% of Australian households have pets

Australia is not as densely populated as most of its allies, but Australians clearly adore their furry friends. Over ¾ of Australian families with children ages 6 and up have pets in their homes but when the RSPCA surveyed pet owners and asked them if they considered their pets as family, over 65% of respondents answered “Yes”. The most common reasons for owning pets included love, companionship, and the ability of animals to improve human mental health.

4. Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world

Although Australia ranks far behind the United States and China in dog and cat populations, the country has the 4th largest population of fish and birds in the world. Although feral dogs and cats can cause issues with disease transmission and property damage, Australians prefer keeping their animals indoors. 76% of cat owners and 92% of dog owners keep their pets indoors.

5. The market size of the pet industry in Australia is $3.2 billion

Between 2012 and 2021, the market size of Australia’s pet industry has grown on average 4.3% every year. However, the increase in market size from 2020 to 2021 is predicted to be 11.6%. The pet industry performed much better than other sectors of the Australian economy. 

Its market size increased faster than the overall economy and outperformed the Consumer Goods and Services sector. The industry’s growth is a clear indication that Australians love of their pets and are willing to endure substantial costs to keep them healthy.

6.Cats entered rescue organisation from 2020 to 2021 at twice the rate of dogs

Most of the pets housed by rescue organisations were wild cats from urban areas. Although feral felines must depend on trash scraps and small prey to survive, they’re less vulnerable to predators in metropolitan areas.

7.Queensland had the highest number of adoptions (14,599) in 2020

Sydney is in New South Wales and is the most populated city, but NSW did not have as many adoptions in the region QLD with the country’s third highest population.

8.From 2020 to 2021, Australian shelters housed 64.9% cats, 30.8% dogs, and 4.2% other pets

Dogs and cats are more abundant in rescue shelters than other animals. But some pet lovers may be unaware that shelters and animal rights organisations help find homes for several types of domesticated animals, including ferrets, rabbits, and rodents. They even help home horses, ducks, chickens, pigs, goats, and sheep.

This number may seem high, but pet groomers are in great demand in Australia. The most requested positions are for experienced groomers with knowledge of treating multiple species of dogs, cats, and small animals. Like many of the world’s pet owners, Australians spend less on grooming than food or veterinarian services. However, grooming is an essential industry that keeps pets healthy and beautiful.

10.13,465 veterinarians work in Australia

The demand for veterinarian services rose from 2019 to 2021, but the devastating drought has minimised the demand for vets working with livestock. Dry conditions have caused significant cost increases for managing herds of farm animals and some farmers have had to decrease their herd size to offset the high prices. Because of this, fewer vets are finding work on ranches and farms. Australia has seven veterinary schools and around 4150 vet clinics across the country.

11.Dog walkers in Australia make AU$26.57 per hour

Most dog walkers are part time operators who already have full time jobs. But with the high hourly wage, this allows some dog walkers to make it a career. If you consider pet sitting statistics from Australia, you’ll see that dog walkers make slightly less than pet sitters. According to, Australian pet sitters make AU$25.57 an hour. In addition to the financial benefits, dog walking keeps you fit with daily exercise.

12. 16% of Australian pet owners have pet insurance.

Vet bills seem comparable to some medical costs for humans, but several pet owners are not convinced that pet insurance is a reasonable expense. Younger pet owners are more likely to purchase pet insurance but those that buy policies have higher salaries. Pet insurance premiums vary between companies, but the costs are too high for average consumers. 

Most insurance companies will not insure a pet with a pre-existing condition and customers who use insurance to help pay for expensive procedures are unlikely to be able to switch to another company.

Frequently Asked Questions About Australia Pet Statistics

How much did the Australian pet food business make in 2020?

The country’s pet food industry made $2.8 billion in 2020. According to the Pet Industry Association of Australia, the boom in pet food sales is evidence that pet owners are more willing than previous generations to provide premium food for their pets.

High-quality food can cost over twice as much as the standard kibble or canned wet food, but most pet parents believe that the high cost improves their pet’s health and allows them to live longer lives. Because pet food sales increased during the pandemic lockdowns, some analysts suggest that the industry may be more “virus-proof” than other markets that experienced substantial losses.

Which pet products are purchased the most by Australian pet owners?

Pet food is the top expense of Australian pet parents, followed by health-related products for pets eg. Farmer Pete’s Pet treats. Only one in five pet owners take their pets for yearly veterinary examinations. Some claim that the high costs of visits and availability of reliable online sources for animal health keep them from making regular appointments.

Have Australian farmers benefited from the pet food industry boom?

In the 20th century, most pet owners in Australia and other developed countries relied on dry kibble and wet food from the top pet food manufacturers, but today’s consumers have more options. Demand has risen for human-grade ingredients and non-GMO meat and vegetables, and Australian farmers have benefited from the expansion of the premium pet food market.

The raw and fresh food companies make up a small percentage of the pet food revenues in Australia, but analysts predict the niche market’s growth will increase the demand for high-quality red meat products.

Australian Pet Industry Trends Insights and Statistics - collage of pets including cats and dogs with stat and graphs behind them


In conclusion, the pet food market is experiencing robust growth not only in Australia but also in other pet-loving nations like Great Britain, France, and the United States. This trend is particularly pronounced in Australia, where a significant shift towards premium pet food, supplies, and services reflects the deepening bond between Australians and their pets. Recognised for having one of the highest pet ownership rates globally, Australians increasingly view their pets as integral family members, a sentiment that drives the demand for high-quality pet care products. 

As the Australian pet industry continues to flourish, we can anticipate the emergence of numerous new businesses specialising in pet food, animal supplies, and veterinary services each year. This expansion is a testament to the growing commitment of Australian pet owners to provide the best possible care for their beloved companions.

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