Australia Pet market
Ownership Trends 2013/2016
62% of Australians own a pet
Dogs remain the most popular at 2 dogs per 10 people
Cats remain second at 1.6 cats per 10 people
There are approximately 4.8 million dogs and 3.9 million cats within Australia.
Fish is down from 2013 to 2016 by roughly 22% bringing the total number of approximate fish to 8.7 million but it is still the most popular pet by numbers owned.
Bird is down 11% from 2013 to 2016 statistics but still sits at approximately 4.2 million
Small mammals and Reptiles are now added to statistical gathering and are part of the approximately 2.5 million other pets we keep in Australia.
Bird and Fish have seen an overall pet ownership drop a combined 9% but pet ownership overall has increased by 1% thanks to stability and increases within other pet segments.
Interesting to note that even though pet ownership has remained somewhat stable that the increase in pet expenditure has jumped significantly by 42% (12.2 Billion). More than a 1/3rd on food (4.2 Billion) followed by Vet Services (2.2 Billion)
Expenditure on our pets is led by Dogs at $7 billion and followed by Cats at $4 billion
65 to 66% of Dog and cat owners now consider their pets as part of their family and an important family member
36% of Americans give their dog a birthday present (trend to watch in Australia)
27% of American pet owners have had professional photography with their pet (trend to watch in Australia)
83% of Australians have had a pet at some point in their life with 53% of Australians without a pet would like one at some point.
1 in 2 pet owners now turn to the internet for advice and information on pets currently only 4% make purchases.
20% of Gen Y have pet insurance whilst Baby Boomers only account for roughly 12%
Dogs account for 38% of overall Pet ownership with W.A. the lowest recorded at 33% and S.A. the highest at 45%* (*excludes NT)
66% of Dogs are kept indoors and outdoors.
20% only are kept outdoors and 14% exclusively inside.
52% of dogs living indoors were more than likely living in semi-detached homes or within urban and city areas.
29% of dogs over 10kg were more than likely kept exclusively outside and 21% of dogs under 10Kg were more than likely kept exclusively inside.
81% of dog owners still purchased some food items through the supermarket.
36% of dog owners now purchased some food items from Pet stores.
Purchases from supermarket overall have dropped from 70% as an average to 60% over the 2013/2016 period.
Pet store sales overall have increased from 16% to 26% over the 2013/2016 period and online food sales have increased from 2% to 4% over the same timeline.
52% of dogs are pure breed, 41% are mixed breed along with 7% designer breed.
68% of dogs weigh between 4 to 25kg whilst another 20% weight over 25kg.
36% are acquired through breeders, 17% through friends or neighbors, 16% through animal shelters and pet shops making up 14%
Of the Pet shops, 14%….28% of these are designer breeds.
53% of mixed breeds are through neighbors or shelters.
30% of total dogs were acquired free and 42% of these were mixed breeds.
66% of people acquired a dog for companionship and less than 6% acquired a dog for security
Australia is the 18th highest dog ownership country globally
We spend more on a dog than any other pet companion and the rise in expenditure can be easily attributed to the humanization of pets with premium foods leading the way in terms of our expenditure. Another trend that shows how truly our K9 companion has now become our “furkid” is the growth on expenditure within the Boarding, Minding, Grooming, Clipping, Training, Therapy and even Walking is now a $149 million-dollar business within Australia.
The expenditure statistics on our dogs highlight the growth in service-related businesses.
Consumers are looking for products that align with human health and well-being benefits that support the trend of pets as family. This may also account for the increase in pet specialty sales compared to the supermarket.
Cats account for 29% of total Pet ownership with NSW the lowest at 25% and SA the highest at 37%* (*excludes NT)
76% of cats are mixed breeds while 24% are pure breed.
25% are acquired through shelters.
19% are acquired through neighbors or family.
15% are acquired as strays (locally roaming)
Interesting that roaming cats sit 2% higher than those purchased through breeders (13%)
10% acquired through pet shops.
70% of mixed breed cats were acquired through family, neighbors, shelters or strays.
52% were acquired free.
59% of cats are kept indoors and outdoors whilst 34% are permanently indoors.
55% of cat owners live in an apartment or unit.
Cats had the largest pet ownership growth over the 2013/2016 period at 6%
65% of cat owners say companionship is the main reason for owning a cat.
Cats sit second highest on expenditure nationally with food the largest expense
Australia sits the 17th highest globally for cat ownership
Cat ownership is on the rise and again you can see the aligning with the consumer humanising the ownership of a pet. Food is the largest expense and the ever-increasing trend to move cats indoors along with reducing their numbers from shelters or picking them up as strays. The modern consumer is becoming better educated at the importance of looking after their feline friend and again a strong connection of companionship. This companionship may also be attributed to the large number of cat owners in apartments and units.
Consumers are looking for products that align with human health and wellbeing benefits that support the trend of pets as family. This may also account for the increase in pet specialty sales compared to the supermarket.
Fish account for 12% of total pet ownership with NSW and ACT sitting at 17% and 16%. The states with the lowest Percentage are QLD, SA and WA…. all at 9%* (*excludes NT)
Fish as pets are down overall from the 2013/2016 period by some 21% but have had an increase of 54% total expenditure within this timeline.
Tanks, filters, and ornaments are the largest expense but fish food has seen the largest expenditure increase at 75%
We now spend an average of $50 per fish yearly.
Fish is still the most numerous pet at 8.7 million.
The most common reason for owning a fish was relaxation at 40% followed by hobby (29%) and a combined 14% for companionship or teaching children.
69% of fish owners keep fish indoors and 24% outdoors.
10% have fish indoors and outdoors.
62% of fish food purchased through pet specialty.
37% through the supermarket and 8% have purchased online
Australia though showing a decrease in fish numbers from 2013/2016 is still the 4th highest in the world for fish ownership.
It is interesting to note that the trends above also highlight the fact we no longer see animals as pets but family. Though companionship is low as an attribute to ownership you can see that total expenditure per fish has increased along with premium fish food that attributes towards the 75% expenditure growth and the increase in pet specialty fish foods verse supermarket. Also as relaxation is a key reason attributed to ownership it could explain the increase in the more upper-class aquatic furnishings being sold in an aquatic specialty.
Birds also account for 12% of total pet ownership with ACT the highest at 16% and Tasmania the lowest at 7%
Birds have dropped as pets between 2013/2016 by 11% but still, sit at 4.2 million making it still the 4th highest globally for bird ownership.
Bird expenditure has declined by 8% except for Bird food which has increased by 11%
The average bird now costs $115 per year.
23% of bird owners have chickens and another 5% own other birds as well as chickens.
57% of some bird food is mainly brought through the supermarket, 52% from pet Specialty and 8% online.
32% of bird owners say companionship is the main reason for owning a bird.
19% for relaxation.
10% to teaching children responsibility.
65% of chicken owners kept them for eggs.
52% keep them caged indoors.
36% in aviaries.
5% for breeding purposes
Birds have had a decrease from 2013/2016 in ownership as a preferred pet but again an increase in expenditure on food as premium foods are now key across all pet categories. With 52% of birds kept indoors, this could also explain while they may be a dwindling number of birds as pets like budgies or canaries. The statistics could show an increase in more specialized birds as pets along with the increase in chickens within the urban backyard. Again, companionship is the leading factor in owning a bird and more specialized birds are more likely to interact with the owner.
Reptiles account for 3% of Australian pet ownership with SA the leader on 4% and Tasmania and ACT with 0%* (*excludes NT)
Reptiles as pets across states and territories can vary due to the different state regulations on owning a reptile.
50% of reptiles owned are lizards, 30% snakes followed by 12% turtles
57% of food purchased through pet specialty.
19% through supermarket.
Interesting that 20% is unspecified (maybe sourced locally?)
34% attribute companionship for owning.
17% for relaxation.
14% for pure hobby.
10% for low maintenance.
Reptile products and accessories are the biggest expenditure followed by food.
The average reptile costs $381 per year
Reptiles like mammals are very new to statistical data collection but it is believed there are roughly 415,000 reptiles nationally.
Reptiles are new in terms of historical data collection within Australia but I foresee a trend in keeping reptiles as pets. Only time will tell but their growth within the industry along with the products to support them continues to grow within our market. Again, companionship features but 14% as a hobby will drive growth due to the passionate nature of pet hobbyist.
Products and accessories sit higher on expenditure than food breaking other pet trends and shows the importance around habitat for these pets.
Also, surprising to see that snakes sit higher than turtles as a preferred reptile pet and should lead to an increase in more snake specialty lines and products.
Small mammals account for 3% overall with Tasmania the highest at 5% and QLD the lowest at 2%* (*excludes NT)
There are roughly 537,000 small animals as pets nationally
Though slightly higher in numbers of ownership than reptile they have the least in terms of expenditure (131 million)
56% of small mammal pets are a rabbit, 27% guinea pig, 13% mice/rats and 6% ferrets.
36% say companionship is the key factor in owning.
26% say teaching children.
13% for relaxation and 8% say that low maintenance is the key factor in owning a small mammal.
Small mammal food is the key expenditure in owning this pet which is nearly double the key expenditure cost of the next highest (products and accessories).
Small mammals can easily be seen as the entry level to pet ownership and the statistical data showing 26% are pets to teach children the responsibility of pet ownership is key. Companionship still ranks the highest showing the impact animals have on us and why our industry continues to grow. Food expenditure has increased and this could again be due to the premium offerings now being used by small mammal owners. Rabbits are clearly a popular choice but again resistance to small mammal ownership growth could be held back by state laws.
Sources of information:
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013/2016)
Australian Veterinary Association Report
Animal Medicines Australia Report