Pets continue to power the economy

The Contribution of the Pet Care Industry to the Australian Economy’ summarises the economic value of the many segments within the Australian pet industry. It updates the previous figures prepared in 2006, and is the seventh edition this well respected and influential report.

Through reviewing the expenditure on pet care products, pet purchases, pet food, veterinary services and pet care services, the Australian Companion Animal Council reports the pet care industry contributed $6.021 billion dollars to the Australian economy in 2009. This is a 30.3% increase over the previous three years (since the 6th Edition of the ACAC report) which represents an average annual growth rate of 10%. 

Throughout Australia there are over 33.3 million pets of various species.  Australia’s levels of pet ownership has remained relatively static in recent years, the report shows they now stand at 3.41 million dogs, or 36% of households owning a dog; and 2.35 million cats, or 23% of households owning a cat.   These figures give Australia one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, although still significantly behind the US where 40% of households own a dog and 33% own a cat.

In addition, there were also 8.1 million birds, over 18.4 million fish and 1.06 million other pets including pleasure horses, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small mammals.

“Spending on dogs accounted for 60% of the total expenditure, or $3.6 billion; with expenditure on cats accounting for 24% of the total, or $1.4 billion,” says Dr Kersti Seksel, President of the Australian Companion Animal Council.

 “Despite this, the annual costs of owning a pet are still relatively low. In 2009, dog owners spent $1,056 per year on their pet, including food, products and services and veterinary care. This is just under $3 a day. Cats require even less of a financial commitment. The average annual expenditure per cat is $602, which is just over $1.50 a day.”

The Australian Companion Animal Council has reported steady growth on consumer expenditure in each segment – pet care products, pet purchases, pet food, veterinary services and pet care services – since the first edition of the report in 1998. This suggests that we are moving towards owning fewer pets, but spending more on them as a reflection of not only our changing lifestyles but also advances in veterinary medicine and increased choices in products and services.

The Australian Veterinary Association is profiled in the report, along with the other nine national member organisations.

Download the full report

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