2018 may be Year of the Dog according to the Chinese zodiac, but in Australia every year is year of the dog! Australia is reported to have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, and of the 1,000 Australian pet owners that we surveyed, 71% of them own a dog. It is estimated that more than 60% of Australian households own a pet and most consider their pets to be part of the family. Despite this, there is not much Australian research about pet ownership and the petcare category. Here’s what we found out from 1,000 Australian pet owners.
ABOUT AUSSIE PET OWNERS
Agents were only too happy to share with us some pictures of their pets. Here are some of the faces of the pets behind the stats in this survey.
Aussie pet owners overwhelmingly still prefer bricks and mortar retailers over online retailers, with supermarkets dominating pet food retail, and rating highly among other key purchase categories.
THE PET FOOD SHOPPER
When it comes to pet food, most pet owners are not looking for the cheapest brand they can find. Almost half of pet owners ranked quality ingredients as their first or second most important factor when purchasing pet food. Only 17% of shoppers rated price as the most important factor.
Dietary requirements was another important consideration that ranked marginally more important than price and value for money, and the dietary elements that shoppers consider most when purchasing pet food continue to demonstrate the consumer behaviour of humanising pet food.
Whilst shoppers may be seeking out brands that have natural colours and flavours, no preservatives and minimal processing, the vast majority of pet owners place great trust in the high quality and safety standards for food and manufacturing in Australia, and are not aware that the pet food industry is self-regulated (80%). This may all change soon however, as we await the outcome of the Senate inquiry into regulatory approaches to ensure the safety of pet food, due to be delivered on October 16, 2018.
Australians do not think that their pets are overly pampered – though the scores are notably different for those who consider their pets to be ‘Animals that they care for’ (ave. rating 3.3) versus those who consider their pets to be their children, also known as ‘fur-babies’ (ave.rating 7.9). Pet owners like to express the love they have for their pets by buying them gifts, such as edible treats and toys.
FOCUS ON FUR BABIES