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Locked up Aussies find companionship by adopting pets

As most of the country yoyos in and out of state-wide lockdowns, data suggests Australians are looking towards man's best friend to keep them company.

Google Search data analysed by leading digital marketing provider, Localsearch, reveals search queries relating to adopting a dog have experienced an upward trend over the past 12 – 18 months as people spend more time than ever at home – working, entertaining and staycationing. 

The search query ‘small dog pet rescue’ has experienced a 1140% increase in search volume in the past year – having been searched on average 742 times in March 2020 rising to 9,200 times in March 2021, suggesting an additional 8,500 Aussies have been searching for a lockdown barking partner. The Google query has remained constant between 5,000 – 10,000 searches per month since then.

Pitting dogs against cats, ‘dog adoption’ averaged a search volume of 8,100 per month in Australia, while ‘cat adoption’ only recorded an average volume of 2,900, settling the cats vs dog debate to one side for now.

Priscilla with her newly adopted
Staffy Quorra
“After COVID started, many families had to leave the country and give their pets away.” says Priscilla. “I’ve been a RSPCA supporter for quite some time and after visiting their facilities I saw how lonely animals are during the day. I think every dog deserves a loving home.

Quorra was a happy coincidence as my partner and I love Staffies. When we decided “Okay, we're ready to get a dog!”, she appeared on the RSPCA website. She demands attention and training but after one week with us, she’s already started to come out of her shell and see humans as safe, loving, not just food and training sources. We love seeing her as the joyful puppy she’s supposed to be.

Localsearch, having supported more than 28,000 regional and small businesses across Australia for more than 28 years, were keen to understand how we have been finding companionships during times of physical separation.

According to animal care and protection provider, RSPCA Australia, pets can make us physically and mentally healthier. Supporting studies highlighted by the charity suggest that pet owners seemed more empathetic having a more positive outlook on life, while also reporting less loneliness, restlessness and boredom.

The search data sourced and analysed by Localsearch is backed up by sales data from O’Brien®, one of Australia’s most iconic brands providing customers with glass repair, electrical and plumbing services.

The 95-year household brand noticed a 28% increase in the sales of pet doors installed into glass doors, during the January – June 2021 period. 

Interestingly, they have also seen an 87% increase in the sales of cat doors installed in glass doors and a 15% increase for dog doors.

O’Brien® Commercial Director, Nick Street said: “Across January to June 2021 we’ve seen a 20% year on year increase in visitors to our website seeking information on pet doors in glass, and remarkably a greater than 60% increase in those visitors to O’Brien submitting an online enquiry about a pet door installation in glass.

“Without compromising on the quality or style of homes, we provide the freedom and flexibility for owners to support the frequent comings and goings of their pets. As lockdowns change, we believe it’s important our pets have the freedom to be inside or out, irrespective of our movements.

“That extra love from our pets during the day is good medicine and a welcome distraction. So as we see more demand for glass installed pet doors we are happy to know that we have helped do our part in making sure that a new furry friend is well cared for and is very much part of the family,” Nick said.

Localsearch Director of Digital and Growth, Adam Boote said: “We never doubt the kindness and collaborative nature of Australians, evident by the data we’re seeing. 

Matt's family with Duke and
new puppy Hunter
Pet Rescue’ has an average search volume of 36,000 a month in Australia with ‘adopt a dog’ recording nearly 17,000 a month searches alone. The data suggests there’s a lot of people out there keen to find their new best friend.”

“After losing one of our 18-year-old dogs last year, our other puppy Duke just wasn’t the same”, explains Matt. In search of a new buddy for Duke, we found Hunter and it was love at first sight! 

Hunter is the perfect addition to our family and with his new partner in crime by his side, Duke is back to his usual happy go lucky self.”

“We know the world of digital marketing can be noisy, cluttered and difficult to navigate. However, it’s also an incredibly rich source of data and information that, when harnessed correctly, can be used to help businesses be seen online. Whether you’re a pet shop owner or a hairdresser, we act as the one-stop-shop for all digital marketing needs and can use this data to help you become noticed.” concludes Adam.

Localsearch creates opportunities for small businesses through a complete suite of services from its online registration directory platform to SEO, SEM, social media marketing and websites.

For more information on Localsearch, visit

For more information on O'Brien, visit

MEDIA RELEASE, 1st September 2021

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