Dog Ownership Statistics Australia

Alice Newen | 23 February, 2024

            Dog Ownership Statistics Australia

When you roam around the Land Down Under, it’s almost impossible not to spot a dog. These fur babies are everywhere—frolicking in dog parks, basking in Sydney beaches, patrolling in backyards, and even shopping for matching sets in malls. It’s simply because the Australian dog ownership population is the biggest among all pet ownerships!

Currently, Australia houses over 6.3 million dogs, which comprise 48% of household pets (from 40% in 2019). This enduring popularity of dogs speaks volumes about their role in our lives as loyal and cherished members of the family.

Australia Dog Ownership in Numbers 

So, what else do we know about the world’s favourite pet? Let’s dig into some numbers and find out why are dogs popular in Australia!

Dog Acquisition

From the rise of adoption to the trends in breed preferences, the numbers behind dog acquisition tell a tail-wagging tale of how our fur babies find their forever homes. Get ready to be surprised, amused, and maybe even inspired by the statistics shaping the world of dog ownership!

  • 24% of all pet dogs were acquired without cost, typically through family, friends, or neighbours.
  • Pure breeds remain the most popular type of dog in Australia, comprising 44% of surveyed dogs.
  • Based on the Great Aussie Dog Survey, around 19% of pet dogs in Australia were rescued, and 58% were obtained from certified breeders. 
  • More than half (55%) of pet dogs are less than 5 years old, indicating the general surge in dog ownership over the past two years due to the pandemic.
  • In 2020-2021, dogs accounted for about 22% of the animals received by RSPCA Australia. 8,011 of which were rehomed.
  • Cavoodles took Australia by storm! This designer crossbreed of a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel comprised most of the 750,000 puppies observed in a pet pulse report.

Whether you're planning to adopt dogs from a shelter, searching for that perfect purebred pup, or even considering a rescue mission from your local dog park, there's a lot of fun, adventure, and wagging tails awaiting you. 

The Cost of Owning a Dog

From acquisition to everyday care, dog ownership can be an expensive pursuit. For current fur parents and those planning to have a dog, here are expenses you should account for in this month’s budget!

  • 34% of dogs are priced above $2,000 nowadays, an increase from the pre-pandemic rate of 16%.
  • Pure breeds are the most expensive dogs, costing an average $1,793. This is closely followed by designer breeds at  $1,534 and mixed breeds at $1,257.
  • Australian households invested over $20.5 billion in dog-related services and products in 2022. Most of which were for food and veterinary care.
  • In 2022, dog owners have spent $1.7 billion on pet products and accessories, including harnessesMAMA dog bags, and dog bandanas. Most of these were bought from supermarkets like KMart and pet specialty stores like Nalzo The Label.
  • Only a few dog owners pay for pet insurance (17%) as the ongoing costs of pet ownership rise. The rate fell sharply from 30% in 2019. 

Dog Ownership Benefits

If you've ever wondered why dogs are often called 'man's best friend,' get ready to discover the pawsitive perks and endless joy of having a loyal dog by your side. From heartwarming moments to improved well-being, listed below are reasons dogs truly improve life!

1. Companionship

It feels good to have someone to share the highs and lows of life with—even more if it’s a loyal, four-legged, cuddly companion. In fact, 52% of pet owners get dogs because of the unique and genuine companionship they willingly give. 

2. Mental health wellness

A report by Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) found that 23% of dog owners have positively impacted their mental health and life in general. Some even say their dogs have helped them get through their darkest days and saved them from loneliness. 

3. Physical and social benefits

As dogs require walks outdoors to stay fit, fur parents are compelled to take them to parks and beaches, where they also get to meet and interact with fellow dog owners—relationships that wouldn’t have bloomed without their fur babies’ help.  

4. Rescue

Dog ownership is a two-way street, as dogs also benefit from fur parents' care, especially dogs who unfortunately come from cruel environments. By adopting rescued dogs from shelters, you’re giving them another chance in life with love.

If you ever decide to take in a rescued or surrendered dog, pet rescue centres and shelters spread across Australia are open for pet adoptions and can assist with your rehoming needs.   

Dog Owners Profile

Dog ownership isn’t just about dogs but also fur parents who’ll do anything for their beloved four-legged family members. To have an in-depth understanding of Australia’s pet owners, AMA undertook a segmentation analysis and was able to classify pet owners into the following categories:

1. Affordability & Convenience (31%)

This group of pet owners mostly comprises Millennials and Gen X people living in solo houses or shared places with lower income levels. Consequently, they focus more on affordability and convenience regarding pet ownership and, thus, are unlikely to spend significantly on pet needs.  

2. Simplicity & Reliability (23%)

“Whether my pet likes it"

This group of Boomers aged 60+ years is more likely to be retirees and empty-nesters living in large houses with one dog filling their homes with contentment and bliss. Unlike the first group, they're more likely to prioritise quality, reliability, and their dogs’ preferences over money. 

Due to age and limited mobility, most people from this group are less likely to get another pet and would like to focus more instead on providing their lone dog’s standard needs.

3. Care & Quality (27%)

Among the four segments, this group will likely be the most emotionally invested in their pets. Since most pet owners in this bracket are financially stable, middle-aged Millennials and Gen X women, they’re the most willing to spend money on pet essentials and veterinary services, ensuring their pets’ quality of life. 

4. Appeal & Reassurance (19%)

These pet owners are most likely the people you see wearing matching outfits with or hosting parties for their pets on social media. Although they’re considered the least experienced pet owners, they’re usually the ones with the most pets. 

Since this group of people live in highly urbanised and wealthier suburbs, they’re more likely to spend on things beyond their pets’ basic needs, such as pet accessories, clothes, pet competitions, and holiday trips. 

Life with Dogs

People and dogs share an intense bond that resembles a parent-child relationship. That’s why even if their needs are costly, we still try to give them the best life. To understand this special bond better, here are some sweet and crazy statistics reflecting Australian dog owners' affection for their fur babies! 

  1. Half of dog owners believe losing their dog is more emotionally challenging than losing a human.
  2. 1 in 3 dog owners have a reduced desire to have children after getting a dog. Well, dogs are pretty much like kids, right?
  3. 65% of dog owners allow their dogs to sleep in their bedrooms, 73% of which lie on the bed, and 56% even get to snooze under the sheets!  
  4. According to the Great Aussie Dog Survey, 68% of Australians would still finish their ice cream even after their dog had given it a lick.
  5. 44% of Australians spend more than six hours with their fur babies. 
  6. 58% of dogs own clothes and other pet accessories, including collarsleasheshair bowsbow tiessweaters, and Halloween collections
  7. 78% of Australians are willing to pay an extra 5% of rent for a house that perfectly suits their dogs.
  8. 33% of dog owners aged 35 and below and 29% of 35-44-year-olds have created social media accounts for their fur babies.
  9. 3 out of 4 dog owners have chosen fur babies resembling their personalities.
  10. More than half of Australian dogs get new toys every month!


These dog population statistics in Australia reveal a nation that truly adores its canine companions. As these fur babies continue to find their way into our hearts and homes, the bond between humans and dogs remains as strong as ever. 

Whether you're drawn to their unwavering loyalty, infectious enthusiasm, or comforting presence, it's clear that dogs have a special place in the hearts of Australians. These statistics reflect a popular pet choice and a testament to the enduring and enriching relationship between humans and their beloved dogs in the Land Down Under.

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