Victorian pet census

The Government committed to delivering the first ever Victorian Pet Census (the Census) in its 2022-23 State Budget.

The Census was held in July 2023 and received 37,460 responses. Thank you to all who participated and shared their experiences.

Census data will help Animal Welfare Victoria to better:

  • understand issues facing Victoria’s pet owners and their pets
  • understand how to support pet owners and the industries that service them
  • target education, policy and program initiatives relating to responsible pet ownership across Victoria, with benefits for animal welfare.

The Census asked questions about:

  • the types and number of pets Victorians owned
  • the main reasons Victorians decided to get a pet, or decided not to
  • the challenges and rewards of owning a pet
  • how Victorians take care of their pets, including the types of animal services used, and the frequency and cost of accessing these services
  • understanding of laws relating to responsible pet ownership and animal welfare
  • views on some animal management and welfare practices and issues.

Some key findings from the Census include:

  • 58% of Victorian adults own a pet.
  • There are an estimated 1.4 million Victorian households with a pet.
  • Dogs are the most common type of pet.
  • 51% of dog owners acquired their dog from a breeder, compared to 10% of cat owners.
  • 28% of cat owners got their cat from a rehoming organisation and 22% from an animal shelter.
  • Victorians spent $6.6 billion on their pets in the year leading up to the census.
  • 10% of Victorian adults planned to get a pet in the next 12 months.

A full report of the census findings and a summary infographic are available for download below:

Page last updated: 12 Jan 2024