Australians adore their cats and dogs, treating them more like furry family members than pets. More than half admit to excessively spoiling their canine and feline friends, spending on average $743 million on their pets each year.
1. Cats versus dogs
When it comes to a preference between cats or dogs, 49.7% of Australians share their homes with dogs, while only 24.7% welcomed cats. Another 25.6% have both cats and dogs in their households.
Australians between the ages of 56 and 76 were most likely to prefer dogs only, with 55.1% of them identifying their inclination toward dogs. Younger Australians aged 35 to 55 reported they loved both cats and dogs equally, with 32.7% of them including both in their households.
Dog owners are four times more likely to dislike cats than cat owners are to dislike dogs. Only 11% of cat owners reported they had an aversion to dogs. One in five cat and dog owners said they are less likely to get along with their counterpart pet owners as well.
Whether their preference was for cats or dogs, the majority of pet owners agreed: The best thing about having a furry friend is companionship and unconditional love.
2. Pets or people
Pets, people — it’s all the same for many Australian pet owners who are increasingly blurring the lines between the two species. A whopping 93% of pet owners who responded to the survey admitted they humanise their pets, putting them on par with other human family members. Some feel their pets have distinct personalities and worry about paying enough attention to them. The greatest share of Australians’ fun money for the month was instead spent on their furry friends:
– $7.3 billion spent on pets instead of tech items
– $6.4 billion spent on pets instead of fashion items
– $1.6 billion spent on pets instead of entertainment and leisure
3. Health and well-being
Most survey respondents said they believe their pets have a positive impact on their health and well-being and improved their overall level of happiness. Over 90% of Australians reported their pets enhanced their mental health, made them happy, improved their physical health, and prevented loneliness.
This added benefit of having a pet may be another reason why Australian animal lovers are so willing to spend all their extra money on their fluffy family members. More than half of pet owners reported their pets were worth every penny they spent on them.