Latest News

Pet and the cities: where you live matters!

Dressed to impress in Sydney, South Australian couch potatoes, Melburnians pamper pets

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world and it's clear we love our pets, but how we entertain, pamper, indulge and care for them differs depending on which cities they live in, PETstock’s 2022 Pet Parent Survey of almost 1600 Australian pet owners found.

Malinois Aramis & Porthos dressed up for their
8th birthday (accessories by Swanky Paws)
Sydney pets owners take the
gold medal nationally for dressing up their pets in costumes!
40 per cent say they have “outfits and costumes for my pet” far more than any other city, while Adelaide owners are far less likely to do this (26 per cent).

The humanisation of pets is a trend that has grown in recent years. Many pet parents enjoy dressing up their pets in a jumper or jacket to keep them warm, especially for Christmas or Easter,” says Animal Behaviourist Dr Kate Mornement.

“Some of these outfits are very practical while others are just for fun on special occasions. And with the growth of social media in our lives we’ve seen an increased focus on our pets’ appearance – with some pet parents even dedicating social media accounts to their pets.

“As long as you’re mindful to ensure your pet is comfortable with being dressed up for fun, that’s ok. But it’s best to avoid dressing pets up if it makes them stressed or anxious,” explains Kate.

In Brisbane, 38 per cent of pet owners worry that their pet has anxiety or depression - compared with less than 25 per cent nationally.

“This difference could be due to the warmer weather and pet parents spending more time away from home or perhaps more pets in Brisbane are anxious in response to storms and tropical weather,” says Dr Kate.

Melbourne pet owners are the most likely (80 per cent) to agree that “they pamper their pet as much as they pamper themselves”, compared with Adelaide where only 76 per cent of pet owners say this. 

Pampering includes activities such as professional grooming, doggy day care, purchasing birthday or Christmas presents or purchasing special treats such as new toys, beds or premium food.

In Adelaide, people are far more likely to bond with their pets while watching TV together (90 per cent), and this city also leads the nation in pet owners who let their pets sleep on, or in, the bed with them.

PETstock’s 2022 Pet Parent Report also found that 54 per cent of pets in Adelaide came from a breeder, compared with 44 per cent in Perth. Brisbane led the pack as far as having rescue pets at 49 per cent, with the lowest concentration in Melbourne (40 per cent).

Brisbane was also in front on openness to adopting a senior pet (63 per cent), which was far less popular in Sydney (53 per cent).

“We can speculate that this variation could be due to population differences. For example, there are many retirees living in Queensland who might be more open to adopting senior pets compared to younger adults and families living in Sydney who may want more time with their pet. Future research could look into these differences in how we care for and value our pets,” says Kate.

“But one thing that is irrefutable from this survey is that Aussies love their pets! Even though we are world-leaders when it comes to sharing our lives with animal companions, rates of pet ownership are on the increase.”

Double the number (52 per cent) of Brisbane pet owners feed their pets supplements, compared with 26 per cent in Adelaide.

Nationally, 39% of people cook for their pets, yet relatively few pets must follow their human’s diet, with only 4 per cent reporting that they “make my pet eat to my food philosophy” such as a vegetarian or grain-free diet.

“While many people may cook for their pet or feed them their meal scraps, it is heartening to see the majority of people are not subjecting their pets to their own dietary choices which may be biologically inappropriate and potentially harmful,” says Dog Expert and Animal Nutritionist, Lara Shannon.

“Our pets need a species-specific complete and balanced diet to maintain good health and wellbeing. So, while feeding our dogs some steamed veggies and meat can be a good thing, we need to ensure we aren’t over feeding them and that they are primarily receiving the biologically appropriate nutrition they need at all life stages in their diet.”

In Brisbane, 10 per cent of pet owners say they have a cleaner because of their pet, but only 4 per cent of pet owners say they do this in Perth.

There are more similarities in regional areas across the nation, with pet owners favouring birds and fish more than metropolitan dwellers.

People who own fish are also more likely to have other pets, and particularly reptiles.

It is also more common to have more than one dog for pet owners in regional areas across the nation, but Brisbanites also love to have more than one pooch, and also matched the regions when it came to having fish as pets.

People in Melbourne and Adelaide were more likely to have only one dog

Other key state-based findings of the PETstock 2022 Pet Parent Report: 


✔️ 57 per cent of Brisbane pet owners surveyed said they preferred “pets over children” compared with 39 per cent in Sydney

✔️  owners led the nation in giving supplements, reading labels, cooking for their pets, feeding scraps and feeding their pet at the same time as they eat

✔️ owners prefer pet charities over human charities and

✔️ believe their pets have more anxiety


✔️ Pet owners agree that pets can mend a broken heart or sense when the owner isn’t feeling themselves

✔️ pets might get a bit more overfed

✔️ pets are in more family portraits and watch more TV

✔️ are professionally groomed more than anywhere else

✔️ have TV or radio left on for them when they are alone

✔️ are the most microchipped and

✔️ owners are most likely to donate to an animal charity


✔️ dogs have eaten more clothing!

✔️ owners can tell when their pet is bored

✔️ are more confident letting their dog off leash

✔️ 27 per cent would adopt a cat over a dog and

✔️ are most likely to agree that “my kids have built trust and responsibility from having a pet.”

Australian Dog Lover's Aramis (left) & Porthos (right) enjoying a Yappy Christmas!


✔️ pets have way more outfits, birthday parties and smart monitors and entertainment devices

✔️ owners are more likely to insist their pets accompany them on holiday and

✔️ owners are more likely to cut hair/nails and brush teeth at home.

2022 PETstock Pet Parent Report

Research was undertaken by PETstock in March 2022. Total sample size was 1583. The figures are representative of Australian pet owners aged 18+ nationally.

Dr Kate Mornement

Dr Kate Mornement is an Applied Animal Behaviourist, consultant, expert witness, educator and media spokesperson based in Melbourne. She has a PhD in canine behaviour, from Monash University, and a Bachelor of Science with first class honours in zoology (Animal Behaviour) from La Trobe University.

Lara Shannon

As a one of Australia’s most well-known animal welfare advocates, Lara is passionate about educating and empowering people to help improve the lives of companion animals. Lara is a certified pet food nutritionist, dog trainer and behaviourist, TV presenter and Author of ‘World of Dogs’ and ‘Eat, Play, Love (your dog)’.


Related Topics:

Australians love for their pets skyrockets!

Pets and Dating: swipe right!


No comments

Post a Comment