On conventional pets The Age today writes:
‘Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, even though dog and cat populations have declined recently. About 38 million dogs, cats, fish, birds and other pets live domesticated lives. Birds and fish make up 29 million of these, and there are 3.7 million dogs and 2.4 million cats.
The pet food industry, worth more than $2 billion a year, is dominated by multinational companies. The key pet food makers include giants such as Mars Petcare and Nestle Purina.'
I posted a while back on the US pet industry but I had no data for Australia. The Age this morning cites some – not in the link they provide on their website but it is there in the hard copy. The data comes from an industry group the Australian Companion Animal Council which has an excellent website:
- Australians spend $4.6 billion per year on pets and the pet industry employ 44,000 people.
- Expenditure on pet food is $1.9 billion per year.
- 63% of households own a pet with 53% owning a cat or a dog – although there have been longer-term declines in these proportions particularly with respect to cat ownership.
Pets are a significant part of the Australian economy and a significant extension of the conventional idea of a household. There is evidence pets are a substitute for having children and are often not kept when young children are young but treated as complementary household input when children are older.